GA Fee Set at $200
Louisville, Kentucky (June 17, 1999)-The 27th Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) General Assembly approved the recommendation of its Administrative Committee, to set the registration fee for the 28th General Assembly at $200. The action increases the fee $60, from the current $140-an increase of close to forty-three percent.
The proposal was approved by the Permanent Administrative Committee (AC), which has been facing shortfalls in its budget; and by the AC Committee of Commissioners, on a vote of 18-4-1. Rationale for the huge jump includes the fact that the registration fee is not covering the expenses of conducting the Assembly; that next year's Assembly will be even more expensive, since it will be held at a convention center; and that the fee also helps to support mandates from the Assembly, such as funding the Standing Judicial Commission and other committees and agencies whose budgets come under AC.
Speaking in opposition to the proposed increase was Dr. Jay Neikirk, a political science professor at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa. Dr. Neikirk, who is a ruling elder at Hillcrest Presbyterian Church, Volant, Pa., and Stated Clerk of Ascension Presbytery, argued that setting the fee so high would discourage many smaller churches from sending commissioners to the Assembly. The court, however, overwhelmingly adopted the measure.
The registration fee was first approved in 1983, to be effective at the 1984 General Assembly, "not exceeding $45.00." By 1994, the fee was $100. In 1995, the AC asked for a thirty percent increase, to $130. The 1995 Assembly agreed to raise the fee by only half that amount, to $115, for the 1996 Assembly only. The 1996 Assembly acquiesced with the AC request for a fee for the 1997 Assembly of $130. The 1997 Assembly raised the rate to $140.