USG Senate passes budget unanimously

The Undergraduate Student Government Senate passed the new administration’s 2010-2011 budget Tuesday night with eight “aye”s and zero “nay”s.

The budget that passed was $25,000 less than the budget presented at last week’s USG meeting. USG officials discovered last week that they were receiving $25,000 less from the carry-over fund — money left over from the 2008-2009 administration — than they had anticipated.

Past USG administrations have received about $25,000 from the carry-over fund after passing their budgets and have had to amend their budgets accordingly. This year, the administration assumed they would also get about $25,000 and factored it into their budget, only to find out that the money was not there because of an accounting error made during the 2008-2009 administration.

On Tuesday, the proper amendments were made to the budget that had been presented last week to account for the $25,000 difference.

The budget could still change, however.

This summer, the university’s Board of Trustees will vote on USG’s proposed $1 increase to the student programming fee. If that increase comes through, USG will be able to use the budget it had proposed at last week’s meeting.

Although the current instability of the budget could cause difficulties for other committees and branches of USG, Treasurer Brian Anderson assures them that it will not be too big of a difference.

Anderson said he is advising committees to plan based on the budget passed Tuesday, but to be aware that their budget could change if the programming fee increase is approved.

“We communicated that there might be increases, but we tell them not to plan for it until it is approved,” Anderson said. “The extra $25,000 will be spread over the entire organization, so their budgets will only increase at most a couple percentage points.”

Members of USG said they are hoping the programming fee increase goes through.

“The [budget] increase would have been nice, but the financial committee will approve what they think is right,” said Genevieve Flores, director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Assembly.

The Board of Trustees will reconvene for their summer quarter meeting, so USG will know if it has been approved before school starts. The dollar increase is already reflected on students’ Oasis accounts, however.

“We’re not sure if it’s a mistake,” Anderson said. “Student Affairs approved it, so it seems good. It just has to go to the Board of Trustees.”