Senate rejects finance reform legislation

The Student Association Senate quashed a bill intended to reform the SA funding process at its meeting Tuesday night.

The bill would have broken the allocation fund into four separate funds for graduate student groups, undergraduate student groups, special funds and the executive budget.

According to the legislation, 25 percent of the money would have been set aside for graduate groups and 25 percent would have been earmarked for undergraduate groups. The bill also permitted the Senate to allot at least 10 percent of the money to “special funds” and no more than 20 percent of the funds to the SA executive budget.

While many senators agreed the bill was backed with good intentions, some felt the legislation would not accomplish what it was intended to do.

Jeff Marootian, SA vice president for community affairs, who spoke on behalf of SA President Carrie Potter, who is out of town, said he and Potter disagree with the bill. He said Potter has no intention of signing it.

“In drafting the piece of legislation, they didn’t look at what the real problems were,” Marootian said. “As (undergraduate) Sen. Jared Hosid (CSAS) said in the meeting, we should trust the Finance Committee to do the job they were appointed to do.”

Graduate Sen. J.P. Blackford (SEAS), Finance Committee chair and a sponsor of the bill, said he feels the legislation would have benefited students.

“Many senators are saying this piece of legislation didn’t go far enough, but we didn’t create this bill as a miracle to fix all financial problems within the SA,” Blackford said. “Even if it doesn’t fix all of our problems, it’s a start.”

Undergraduate Sen. Caity Leu (ESIA), a sponsor of the bill, said she plans to introduce a new bill at the next meeting, which will include only the part of the legislation that limited the executive budget.

“For me, the crux of the bill was the 20 percent cap on the executive budget,” Leu said. “The operating cost of the executive is not that high, and they don’t need that much money. The majority of the money should go to student groups.”

Marootian said while he and Potter believe student groups should get more money, he does not feel that removing money from the executive budget will help students.

“We absolutely agree that student groups should get more money, but the executive budget needs the money,” Marootian said. “There are a lot of expenses the executive budget has that they didn’t take into account. It was really a ridiculous limit they wanted to set.”

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