The Student Government (SG) executive branch made the right choice to change its mind and not request $7,000 more from the SG senate to take students to the FSU-USF football game later this month.
The senate saw fit to approve an executive branch payroll increase of $90,733.50 on May 26, which included the payroll of eight Student Resource Agency (SRA) employees. However, the SRA portion only totaled $35,841.
Thankfully, this new expenditure wasn’t brought to the senate this time, as the executive branch changed its plans to transfer the funds from their loaded payroll.
At the time, the increase seemed extravagant and wasteful – considering the executive branch has two press secretaries now. To try and justify the increase, Student Body Vice President Bruno Portigliatti then argued that the executive branch was over-budgeting, because the previous executive branch had to request more money throughout the year.
“We’re requesting the money in the beginning,” Portigliatti told The Oracle in a June 18 article. “We’re not going to be requesting more money throughout the whole year. We know what we’re going to need and that’s it.”
It turns out the executive branch didn’t have all they need. What’s even more troubling is that they possibly didn’t consider taking the funds from its payroll in the first place.
The Oracle obtained an invoice, which showed a $7,000 projected cost for the FSU-USF trip, after the executive branch confirmed it would be requesting more money from the senate. Chief Executive Officer Shane Johnson said Tuesday that the executive branch would take it from its payroll after he got an e-mail from Daniel Shelnutt, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and had a discussion with Student Body President Juan Soltero.
This was the right move by the executive branch. Funds for these kinds of expenditures come from students’ Activity & Service (A&S) fees, and the senate shouldn’t have to use students’ money, while the executive branch sits on a boosted payroll.
Providing transportation for the students to the game is not a bad idea, but it’s imperative that these funds come from the right place.
What is most worrying is that this change by the executive branch was essentially a last-minute decision. The original plan was to be presented at a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting Thursday. Though Shelnutt disapproved of the plan, it still may have been rubber-stamped by the senate.
The executive branch has spent in excess already, and although it made the right call this time, it’s important it makes the right decision consistently.