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SG will fund FSU buses using payroll

After originally planning to request $7,000 more from the Student Government (SG) senate Thursday, the SG executive branch chose to transfer the money from its payroll instead, Chief Financial Officer Shane Johnson said Tuesday.

At the first senate meeting Tuesday, SG senator Daniel Shelnutt, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he would like to see the money come out of the payroll portion of the executive branch’s budget.

The executive branch’s 2009-10 budget totals $318,225.78, which was approved by senate May 26. The payroll portion of the budget totals $225,771.

All funds appropriated by SG are from Activity and Service fees paid by students.

“Obviously, it’s my job to make sure money is being spent responsibly for students,” Shelnutt said. “If I find out that 45 or 50 students said yes to the free bus option, then obviously we don’t need four buses. We need one or two.”

Johnson said he received an e-mail from Shelnutt after the senate meeting Tuesday.

After discussing the project, the executive branch decided it would not be requesting funds on Thursday, Johnson said.

“We decided that would be the best bet,” he said.

According to the original budget request to the senate – which was signed by SG Vice President Bruno Portigliatti – $6,000 would fund six tour buses and $600 would fund security for the trip provided by University Police.

The original request said $400 of the funds would be used for “any unexpected costs.”

The executive branch planned to make the $7,000 request at the Senate Appropriations Committee meeting on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Johnson, who was not at the senate meeting Tuesday, said that after speaking with Student Body President Juan Soltero, the executive branch was no longer going to request the funds from the senate.

Johnson said they felt it would be more “appropriate” to transfer the $7,000 from the payroll portion of the executive branch’s 2009-10 budget to the project portion.

Soltero said in an Oracle article on June 18 that the payroll funds could later be allocated to other areas such as projects and initiatives.

Portigliatti said in the article that the executive branch would not request more funds this year.

“We’re not going to be requesting more money throughout the whole year,” Portigliatti said. “We know what we’re going to need and that’s it.”

The original request said, “all funds not used directly for this (FSU-USF game) project would go immediately back to the account they originated from.”

Each bus seats 56 students. Seats will be given to students on a first-come, first-serve basis, said SG Press Secretary Michael LeBlanc.

Soltero said that when students purchase their game ticket, there is an option to sign up for a seat on the bus.

The original request said the buses would provide 300 students with travel to and from the game. Johnson said over 250 students have shown interest in riding the bus.

Soltero said there will be a raffle to determine which students get a seat.

Johnson said the executive branch will request the transfer of funds to the senate Thursday. The senate will vote on this at the senate meeting Tuesday.