Submit a Bill

Submit a Bill

Introduction

Looking to secure funding, plan an event, start an initiative, change RHA’s Governing Documents, or make a statement? The first step is to submit a bill. A bill is a formal declaration of your intent to take an action on behalf of RHA, and bills fall within four general categories.

  • Area Council bills are intended for local community use—mainly by residents, Area Council Officers (ACOs), and Resident Assistants (RAs) that reside in the two to three buildings that make up that Area Council. If an event, initiative, or resolution is for or applies to just one Area Council, the bill should be passed through Area Council.

Ready to Submit a Bill?

Fill out the below form to get started. Help text is provided on the form for your reference, and additional support is provided below.

Important Policies Surrounding Bills

Before you submit a bill, it’s imperative that you review your Area Council’s Governing Documents which should spell out all policies and procedures related to bills.

It’s important to note that RHA works on a reimbursement system—when a bill is passed, the Bill Author effectively has spending credit, per the specifications and limitations of the bill. If a bill is passed for $100 for pizza, for example, the Bill Author—or a designee acting on their behalf, with the Bill Author’s permission—can spend up to $100 on pizza. After making a purchase, the Bill Author submits a copy of the receipt from their purchase, and they’re then issued a reimbursement for the amount they spent via the Bursar’s Office. You should review our reimbursement page in its entirety before submitting a bill.

❗ RHA Does Not Pay for Bills or Directly Give Bill Authors Money

Once again, RHA primarily works on a reimbursement system. When a bill that you submit gets passed through Area Council, RHA neither gives you money to pay for the items in that bill nor buys those items on the Bill Author’s behalf; rather, a Bill Author or a designee thereof pays for the items in the bill out of pocket and submits proof of their purchase to then get reimbursed for that purchase—at no point is money directly issued to a Bill Author. We understand that not all Bill Authors have the luxury to pay for items out of pocket, and it’s wholly possible for somebody to have a great idea for an event or initiative but not have the personal funding to make that event or initiative a reality. If you would like to discuss alternatives to reimbursement, please reach out to your Finance Coordinator or our Director of Finance.

Both the RHA Executive Board and each individual Area Council Coordinating Board have the right and ability to impose a deadline for bill submissions and review all bills prior to their hearing at a public forum and nullify or temporarily not hear any bills that do not align with policy. That is, a bill that does not follow policy is not legitimate and will not be treated as a valid bill submission.

I Submitted a Bill. What’s Next?

After submitting a bill to RHA, you should receive a copy of your bill submission via email. After bill submission, your designated Meetings Coordinator for Area Council bills—will be CCed on the email, and you may receive follow-up guidance, information, comments, or suggestions from them regarding your bill. They’ll review your bill to ensure compliance with policy, and, assuming it’s compliant, place the bill on their next meeting agenda. You should assume that, unless you are explicitly told that your bill is non-compliant and will not be heard at the next meeting and/or you do not meet the appropriate bill submission deadline, your bill is approved and will be on the following meeting’s agenda.

You should then plan to attend the next meeting for Area Council to present your bill. If you cannot attend, you can send a representative in your place to present and speak on behalf of the bill for you; if you cannot send a representative, your bill will be tabled (temporarily suspended) until you are able to attend a meeting.

Bills are publicly presented and voted on by constituents at Area Council. At meetings, every bill is processed in the following steps:  

  • Bill Presentation—the Bill Author, or a designee thereof, has the opportunity to speak about and present their bill, providing a summary of it to residents and discussing its merits and relevance. 
  • Questioning—meeting attendees can ask the Bill Author questions about their bill, and the Bill Author has an opportunity to respond. 
  • Discussion—meeting attendees discuss the merits of the bill, its pros and cons, and whether the bill should pass, be revised, or tabled. 
  • Voting—meeting attendees vote on the bill. Unless stated otherwise in our Governing Documents, bills, by default, require an absolute majority vote to pass. 

I Have Questions or Need Help!

That’s okay—we know the Bill Submission process can be confusing for first-time Bill Authors. If you have questions about submitting a bill to Area Council, please contact your local Area Council Meetings Coordinator.