In an unexpected turn of events Tuesday night, Student Government senate chose to table Bill 47-101 for at least another week – possibly two – according to senate President Barclay Harless.
Bill 101 has been under scrutiny for the past two weeks because it calls for a complete rewrite of section 902 of the SG Statutes, which defines the responsibilities and duties of the SG comptroller and SG Administrative Services. The bill intends to divide the two into different departments that would subsequently fall under the SG umbrella, holding both accountable to the student body president and senate.
Currently, the comptroller is a part of SGAS and remains a separate entity from SG, giving SGAS the power to hire and fire whomever it wishes. SGAS is responsible for approving funding requests for SG from the Activity and Service Fees students pay each semester; this year’s allocation came out to $9.3 million.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Director for the Department of Governmental Relations and Legislative Advocacy David Brickhouse was designated to give the Executive Branch Report to senate. In his report he noted that he has placed a formal request for a hearing with the SG Supreme Court to review violations he and a small committee have found against the SG Business Office, which includes the position of comptroller.
“Obviously with the new bill coming along – prior to that there was some concern brought by senate President Harless with some concerns that he had heard from different constituents,” Brickhouse said. “He then wrote a memo to (student body President) Frank (Harrison) asking for an investigatory commission to be formed just to kind of look into these things.”
In the memo to the Chief Justice, Brickhouse outlined that SGAS failed to comply with its own statutes by not creating a formal rules of procedure guide and failing to adhere to proper hiring procedures.
Brickhouse explained that after the committee had been formed, SGAS began to inquire about the issues that were found, and ultimately the committee was obligated to turn over its findings to the Supreme Court.
“I wish it didn’t have to get to this point because it sucks that we have to do this,” Brickhouse said.
The matter will be reviewed by the Supreme Court in its weekly Wednesday evening meeting.
The Supreme Court also took to the podium Tuesday night to announce the resignation of its chief justice Misbahuddin Syed. A new chief is expected to be appointed Wednesday evening as well.