Associated Students Legislative Council spent the majority of last night’s meeting discussing the specifics of their impacted 2011-2012 budget.
Next year’s proposed budget contains $284,953 in unallocated funds — about half of last year’s unallocated budget — and must be approved by the council within the next week. Representatives deliberated over the most effective areas to make cuts, focusing on honoraria and ongoing projects.
Most of the debate centered on whether finances for the proposed A.S. Isla Vista Annex would come from unallocated funds or the budgets of various A.S. subcommittees that have already donated about $40,000 collectively. Representative-at-Large Danielle Mayorga said requiring further funding from committees would limit their ability to function.
“Personally, I don’t like taking most of it from committees,” Mayorga said. “They’ve already invested so much in the space and cutting their budget is going to hurt the work they will be doing in the space. The money should come out of unallocated [funds].”
External Vice President of Local Affairs Cori Lantz said funding from committees is a necessary means of determining whether or not the project is viable.
“This is really a trial run — a chance for us to see if this is something beneficial so if it doesn’t work we can pull out,” Lantz said. “The committees want this to happen and will do everything in their power to see it happen.”
However, Lantz said students should ultimately determine the project’s fate via a lock-in fee on next year’s Spring Election ballot.
To absorb requisite cutbacks, Representative-at-Large Chloe Stryker said committee member’s honoraria should constitute a smaller portion of the association’s budget.
“If you look at our budget, most of our fees are going towards honoraria,” Stryker said. “I don’t think that’s right. Members should be working out of good heart and because they want to be involved.”
According to Finance Board Chair Katie Lieberknecht, honoraria currently comprises an excessive portion of A.S. finances.
“Honoraria is the most expensive thing we pay for,” Lieberknecht said. “People give to this association to get something back and not just pay for our salaries.”
Additionally, the council deliberated Finance Board’s request for $23,075 from next year’s unallocated budget, $19,000 of which would go toward the group’s honoraria. Lieberknecht said she feels such a substantial request is unwarranted.
“You should cut our honoraria,” Lieberknecht said. “Most of the money requested would be going towards honoraria.”
The council eventually decided to approve $21,600 for the board.