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Senate committees to review SG executive branch budget

After several student complaints, the Student Government Senate passed a resolution at its Tuesday meeting to review the SG executive branch’s budget.

The resolution states, “all senate committees shall review the efficiency and effectiveness of their respective executive branch departments or offices and write a report addressing their findings in reference to student concerns.”

The resolution also states that it is the senate’s responsibility to “appropriate Activity & Service Fee monies judiciously.”

In a presentation to the senate, Senate President Pro Tempore Matthew Diaz said the document is a restatement of the powers the senate already has to monitor the executive branch.

“It’s not something new, it’s something that we already do,” he said. “We already have the power to go and check up on the executive branch.”

During the meeting, Student Body President Juan Soltero said his administration is “committed to fiscal responsibility” and that he has “absolute faith” in the budget.

“I like to get my picture taken, that’s great,” he said. “But I don’t like my picture going on the middle of the Oracle saying (we’re spending) $318,000 of student fees (on the executive budget).”

Soltero said he welcomed the resolution, but hoped that it would apply to all branches, not just the executive.

“I recognize the students’ concerns,” he said. “Trust me, I’ve gotten e-mails, phone calls – even employees of mine have asked me, ‘Hey, what’s up with this?'”

During the meeting, senator Christopher Biemer expressed his concerns about the 2009-10 executive branch budget.

Though Soltero and SG Vice President Bruno Portigliatti said that the money left over from payroll would be put into projects, Biemer asked why the executive branch didn’t just allocate the money for projects in the first place.

Senate President Jennifer Belmont said the document regarding the executive branch’s budget is a response to “multiple concerns of students.”

The resolution was passed with a 19-7-1 vote.