Senate passes budget bill

After almost three hours of debate and multiple amendments Monday night, Student Senate passed a bill 22-2-1, adopting the Finance Commission’s 2008-2009 organized activities budget.

With a total of $3,075,735 requested, the commission allocated $2,933,100, which is $12,000 more than the Finance Commission’s recommendations, President Ray French said.

Funding will come from the 2008-2009 organized activity fee; this is $288 for a full-time student, an $8 increase.

While members accepted the overall budget, a few numbers faced resistance, including the amount Senate received.

Members spent half the time debating a proposed amendment to the bill, calling to allocate $9,000 from the special reserve to Senate general opperations.

The special reserve funds special allocation requests, and general operations received $101,000, which is $12,000 less than it requested, according to the bill.

Senate voted earlier this year to increase the annual salaries of its executive board members by a collective total of $17,400, but the Finance Commission only gave Senate half the requested amount, according to Commission records.

Since then, Senate has been debating on whether or not giving itself a pay raise is appropriate, and if so, by how much.

“If we see fit that we need a raise, I say we fight for it,” Sen. Davendra Raj said.

But others voiced concern that it is unfair to continue changing their own budget until they are happy.

“Look at every budget the same way and not just ours because we have the power,” Sen. Jake Johnson said.

When this amendment passed 19-4-1, a second amendment called for $100 from the special reserve to go to International Activities, which received $100 less than it requested.

This amendment failed 4-18-2, and Information Technology Commission director, Aaron Brewster, called for a third amendment, which would move $3,000 from the special reserve to The Forum.

“I firmly believe that bringing new interesting and relevant speakers to campus is one of the (most important things) we fund,” said Brewster, who is on The Forum committee.

This amendment passed 13-8-4.

To compensate for the $12,000 taken from the special reserve, Senate voted 22-0-3