The student government debated changing the process for how they determine their internal budget for the first time in 17 years on Wednesday.
The Associated Students of Madison’s Student Council spoke about the possible move of the internal budget process from the Finance Committee to the Coordinating Council at their meeting.
ASM Vice Chair Adam Johnson said the Finance Committee does not deal with ASM at large and has been responsible for drafting the budget for the past 17 years, since the conception of ASM.
Coordinating Council already sets goals for ASM and is much more aware of what happens throughout the entire organization, Johnson said.
“This will lead to a much better budget going forward,” Johnson added.
Finance Committee Chair Matt Beemsterboer said the Finance Committee does not know enough about ASM’s budget and the needs of all of its organizations in order to be responsible for drafting the budget.
Beemsterboer said in years past very few changes have been made to the budget by Finance Committee members because the committee has not been educated on and does not care about the budget.
SSFC Chair Matt Manes agreed the move of budget drafting would lead to more efficiency in developing it.
“It will be crafted by the people who actually understand it,” Manes said.
Representative Jolie Lizotte voiced concern about the potential move of budget drafting responsibility to council appointees, saying it contradicts how ASM runs its other committees.
Lizotte said having the budget drafted by the Finance Committee provides a check in the system and shifting the responsibility to Coordinating Council might eliminate that check.
Johnson explained Coordinating Council would only be responsible for drafting the basics of the budget.
He added after the budget is drafted, it still has to be scrutinized by SSFC and Student Council.
Manes said there is a difference between having input and having autonomy within a representative body.
“There are far and away enough checks in this system,” Manes said.
The Budget Reform Act will be further discussed at the council’s next meeting
In addition to discussing the Budget Reform Act, the council voted on Nominations Board Chair Andrea Nichols’ request for a leave of absence.
Nichols’ introduced a revised version of her request at the meeting.
Instead of the initial semester-long leave of absence she requested, Nichols’ reduced her leave to one month and will receive a 20 percent pay cut.
After one month, Nichols’ said she will either continue attending council meetings or resign.
It is not part of any chair’s responsibility to be at these meetings, Beemsterboer said.
Johnson said chairs should be required to attend council meetings, but he found the request to be reasonable.
The council approved the revised version of Nichols’ request.
The council also approved new judiciary appointments.
Nicholas Checker was appointed as an Associated Justice and Christopher Neal was appointed as the Student Judiciary Outreach Consultant.
ASM Chair Brandon Williams said both appointees are highly qualified and are expected to do well in their positions.