(as amended through 2021)
ARTICLE I, Membership
A. To qualify as a member, a person must be of good character, and not engaged in activities which tend to degrade or bring to disrepute the FCB.
B. The majority of the membership of the chapter must be legally blind.
C. Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older and not a member of a chapter, may become a member-at-large.
D. Chapters may establish minimum age requirements for voting membership.
E. Any eligible individual of more than one (1) Chapter may only be registered (this includes payment of FCB and ACB dues) and be counted once with their primary Chapter on the FCB membership roster. An FCB officer is also entitled to one (1) vote on FCB issues either as an officer or as a member of their primary Chapter. A primary Chapter is the only Chapter that can count an individual as a vote on FCB issues.
ARTICLE II, Voting
A. A Chapter or special interest affiliate shall count only a maximum of 250 primary members for voting purposes. Each chapter or special interest affiliate is entitled to have one (1) delegate for every ten (10) primary members or fraction thereof up to 250 primary members. Chapter and special interest affiliates may not count FCB Officers in this calculation and the majority of a chapter’s or special interest affiliate’s delegates must be legally blind.
B. The Chapter or special interest affiliate will be required to pay dues to FCB only for up to 250 members. The entire membership of the Chapter or special interest affiliate will be entitled to full services of the organization after having submitted a complete roster to the State Membership Secretary at the appointed time.
C. The Credentials Committee shall be responsible for credentialling members from each chapter and special interest affiliate (pursuant to timely submission of chapter/affiliate documents as set forth herein) and shall submit a list of certified delegates to the FCB Secretary for roll call at the business meeting of the annual convention. Only primary members of chapters and special interest affiliates may serve as delegates.
D. During the business meeting of the annual convention, each certified delegate shall be entitled to ten (10) votes or a number of votes from one (1) to nine (nine), pursuant to the number of credentialed members the Credentials Committee determines that chapter or affiliate is entitled to. For example, a chapter or affiliate with 47 credentialled members may have five (5) certified delegates, four (4) of whom will be entitled to ten (10) votes and one (1) of whom shall be entitled to seven (7) votes.
ARTICLE III, Dues and Assessments
A. Annual FCB membership dues for chapter membership shall be three dollars ($3.00) above those of the American Council of the Blind.
B. Dues for each Member-At-Large shall be two dollars ($2.00) more than those submitted to FCB for each chapter member.
C. Dues and membership rosters must be submitted to the Membership Secretary before November 30th of each year.
D. Chapters and Members-at-Large submitting dues after November 30th may not vote at the Convention.
E. In addition to membership dues each chapter shall be assessed a minimum of $50.00 annually, or 20% of chapter-sponsored fundraising activities, whichever is greater, and 35 % on raffle tickets up to $1,000.00 of ticket sales.
F. An annual accounting and payment of the above, (Article III, section E.), is due November 30th of each year.
G. New chapters are exempt from payment of dues and assessments during the FCB Fiscal year, or portion thereof, in which they are chartered.
ARTICLE IV, Fund Raising
Prior approval by the Budget and Finance Committee shall be necessary for any fundraising events using professional fundraisers. The Executive Committee may suspend chapters failing to do so, pending a hearing.
ARTICLE V, Suspension and Expulsion
Chapters and/or members found to be in violation of the FCB Constitution and By-Laws may be suspended by the Executive Committee pending a hearing by the Board of Directors. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors is required for expulsion. Such hearing must be held within 60 days of suspension.
ARTICLE VI, Officers
A. No chapter may have a majority of state officers.
B. In the event of absence or vacancy of President, the First Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President.
C. In the event of vacancy in the office of First Vice-President, the Second Vice-President shall assume the duties of the First Vice-President.
D. In the event of vacancy of Second Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and/or Membership Secretary, the vacancy will be filled by appointment by the President and approval of the Board of Directors.
E. The Secretary of FCB, in addition to the usual duties of such office, shall furnish each Board Member a summary of all official actions taken at each Convention or meeting of the Board of Directors within sixty (60) days after the close of each meeting. The FCB Secretary shall also receive annually, at the same time that membership dues and assessments are received, a copy of all Chapter and Affiliate minutes, Treasurers' reports and the latest version of each Chapter or Affiliate's organizational documents. Failure to annually file these documents with the secretary may result in the imposition of sanctions by the Board, the assessment of a fine, and an ongoing refusal to comply with these requirements may lead to suspension or charter revocation.
F. The Membership Secretary shall receive membership rosters and dues; and maintain membership records.
G. A member may hold office in no more than either 1 (one) local chapter and 1 (one) statewide special interest affiliate, or 2 (two) statewide special interest affiliates at the same time.
ARTICLE VII, Meetings of the Board of Directors
A. There shall be a meeting of the Board of Directors immediately before and immediately after each Annual Convention.
B. There will be at least one (1) interim Board meeting.
C. Special meetings of the Board may be called only with approval of a majority of the Board of Directors. Board members shall receive at least two weeks notice of Board Meetings.
ARTICLE VIII, Committees
A. The President shall appoint the chairpersons of all standing and special committees except the Nominating, Awards, Budget and Finance, and Executive Committees. Each chairperson shall select the members of the committee, in consultation with the President.
B. The Nominating Committee consists of one (1) representative from each chapter. The Board of Directors elects the chairperson at the pre-convention board meeting.
C. No committee except the Nominating Committee will exceed seven (7) members.
D. The Awards Committee consists of three (3) members serving three (3) year staggered terms. The senior member is the chairperson and selects the new member.
E. The Treasurer shall chair the Budget and Finance Committee.
F. The White Cane Bulletin Editor(s) will serve on the Publications and Publicity Committee but shall not serve as its Chair.
G. The Convention Committee will include a Convention Coordinator, a Program Planner, a Hotel Coordinator, a member of the Budget and Finance Committee and at least 1 member from the host chapter to act as a Liaison between the committee and the host chapter.
H. At the annual convention, the Credentials Committee, shall convene a timely credentialling meeting. At this meeting, this committee shall notify each chapter and special interest affiliate how many delegates they are entitled to. Each chapter and special interest affiliate shall then indicate how many delegates they are presenting for certification as well as the names of these delegates. The Credentials Committee, finding that the proffered delegates fulfill all requirements, shall then certify these delegates. In addition, this committee shall identify (to the FCB Secretary for roll call purposes) the names of all members-at-large who have timely paid their dues and are therefore qualified to be certified members-at- large (with the right to vote) at the convention.
I. The Executive Committee consists of the officers and the Immediate Past President.
J. Changes to chapter and affiliate Constitutions and Bylaws must be submitted to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee for review and approval before presentation to the Board.
ARTICLE IX, Expenditures and Reimbursements
A. The FCB is responsible for the reasonable and actual expenses of FCB officers, White Cane Bulletin Editor(s)), Committee Chairs (if not a Board representative), Administrative Assistant/Project Insight Coordinator, streaming engineer, and non-Board member committee persons (with prior approval of the FCB President) attending FCB Board of Directors meetings, special committee meetings, and conventions on the following basis: true lodging paid, $0.445 per mile, or actual transportation expenses, whichever is less, as well as per diem of $6.00 for breakfast, $11.00 for lunch, and $19.00 for dinner. The mileage and per diem rates set forth above shall be periodically adjusted by the Executive Committee to conform with the state reimbursement rates authorized in S. 112.061 of the Florida Statutes. All out of state travel must be approved by the Executive Committee. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit non-board members of FCB from being selected to serve on an FCB committee if such individual is willing to pay his/her own expenses.
B. The state will pay each chapter representative's bus or train plus local taxi fare to and from bus or train station or mileage, whichever is less, plus one day per diem, to help defray some of the expenses. Each person receiving this allocation will be expected to attend all board meetings and committee meetings to which he/she is assigned, and be on time.
C. At any board meeting or convention the Executive Committee may declare and announce a financial emergency and such announcement shall mean that travel and/or per diem expenses pursuant to subsections A. and B., as announced, will not be available from the next scheduled board meeting or convention until such financial declaration is rescinded by the Executive Committee or the Convention.
D. To the extent possible each chapter may reimburse the expenses of its representative on the FCB Board of Directors that are not covered in Article IX, Section B. and C. of the By-Laws.
E. Special committee meetings shall be as authorized by the President.
F. All disbursements over $500.00 require the approval of two (2) FCB state officers, one of whom must be the President or Treasurer. Such approval may be conveyed using either a letter or an email. The Executive Committee must be notified of the disbursement.
G. The fiscal year is from July 1st through June 30th. An independent reconciliation of the accounts must be made and reported to the Board of Directors at the first board meeting of the new fiscal year.
H. For any meals sponsored by FCB, per diem shall not be paid to members, but rather shall be applied to defray part or all of the costs of the member's meal.
I. 1. All persons entitled to reimbursement from FCB's master account shall only receive reimbursement for actual expenses incurred.
2. All persons entitled to reimbursement from FCB's master account must present valid receipts for all expenses for which reimbursement is sought.
3. No one seeking reimbursement from FCB's master account for lodging, per diem or travel shall accept funds from his or her local chapter or affiliate covering the same expenditures.
4. However, a chapter or affiliate may reimburse a person for expenses not reimbursed by FCB or to the extent certain expenses exceed the per diem limits set forth by FCB.
5. If 2 (two) or more persons share an FCB reimbursable expense (e.g., taxi fare or room reservation), only 1 (one) of those persons may seek reimbursement for such expenses from FCB.