SGA passes activity budget

[media-credit name=”Sho Kitamura / Student Publications” align=”alignnone” width=”639″][/media-credit]SGA passed the 2013 fiscal year student activity fee budget on Tuesday, allocating approximately $4.64 million to various organizations across campus.

This was a sum lower than what both the UHR and GSS approved in their respective legislatures, the former approving $4.69 million and the latter approving $4.68 million.

First to receive and scrutinize the budget was the Joint Finance Committee (JFC).

“Our goal was $4.6 million flat,” said JFC chairman and Vice President of Finance Charley Crosson. “We understood that, especially with budget submission of $5.4 million, that maybe we wouldn’t reach that.”

Organizations requesting budget approval are assigned to members of the JFC committee, who are responsible for communicating with organizations to determine acceptable budget line items.

One of the committee’s biggest goals was decreasing unused funds in organizations’ budgest.

“In recent years, we have had funds that have been tied up in budgets, funds that organizations never end up spending,” Crosson said.

The committee met over a period of six weeks to discuss the budget, devoting over 30 hours of discussion. After JFC approval, it proceeded to both legislative branches for further review.

According to Speaker of the House Brooke McDaniel, the House did face one major problem in this session.

“The timing of everything was the biggest challenge,” McDaniel said. “We had low attendance, quorum issues…and at one meeting we started 20 minutes late and I was very frustrated.”

Because the versions passed in UHR and GSS were different, the budget went to a conference committee.

“We never went above or below between the [maximum] or [minimum] difference between GSS and UHR,” said conference committee member Daniel Farmer, in regards to the amounts finally approved. “If we couldn’t really find a good way to agree between the graduates and the undergraduates, we would go halfway between the two amounts.”

The final budget was approved Tuesday in the House and the Senate with a unanimous vote.