University of Wisconsin’s Associated Students of Madison Student Council approved their internal budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year Wednesday night with two amendments. 

The budget totaled $1,287,598.70 which will fund student leader salaries, supplies and services, leadership development and programming, grants and staff salaries. 

The budget was reduced by about 7 percent from last year’s internal budget.

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One of the amendments proposed and passed was a movement to put $14,259 into a fund that pays the salaries of Grant Allocation Committee members.

Another amendment passed was a motion to change the funding for telephone line and rental charges from $3,000 to $0. Chair of Student Services Finance Committee Jeremy Swanson said the cost of telephone lines was encompassed by a different section of the budget.

A contested part of the budget was whether or not to fund the yearly Student Council orientation. Some members raised concerns as to whether or not an actual orientation was necessary, and whether it needed to be off campus.

Swanson and others spoke in favor of maintaining funding for the orientation. In the end, the council voted not to decrease funding for the event. 

“I am all for fiscal responsibility …  but I do not think we need to cut pennies from our budget,” Swanson said. “This is a valid use of our funds and is still fiscally responsible.”

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Also at Wednesday’s meeting, Rep. Ruben Moreno and the Teaching Assistants’ Association introduced legislation that focused on finding alternatives and alleviating the “burden” for graduate students assistants having to pay for segregated fees.

Rep. Wayne Goodman criticized the fairness of requiring graduate students assistants to pay segregated fees.

“The spirit of [the debate on segregated fees] is that we find it strange that this is essentially like employees paying to work for a company — like if a company had a gym, the employees would not have to pay to use it,” Goodman said.

But there was debate on where the funding would then come from.

The legislation will be reintroduced for debate at the next Student Council meeting.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated four amendments were passed, it has since been corrected to two amendments. A previous version also suggested the proposed graduate student assistants legislation was part of the internal budget debate. It has since been corrected to reflect that it was its own legislation. The Badger Herald regrets these errors.