Budget strains and funding issues dominated A.S. Legislative Council’s agenda during its meeting last night.
Council members approved a $500 allocation for the Elections Committee to supplement the advertising budget for Spring Elections. The council also doled out a significant portion of its remaining budget for the year to the Food Bank, Finance Board and IV Pride.
According to Elections Committee Chair Courtney Axner, advertising the upcoming elections is critical to prevent the possibility of a nullified election if less than 20 percent of the student population votes.
“We actually are contracted through the Hub with a certain amount of money to use, within the current budget itself; we don’t have enough money as it is,” Axner said. “We’re over budget by about $300 [and] we don’t have any more money for advertising. If not enough students show up to vote it would be as if there was no election at all.”
Attorney General Dina Varshavsky, a fourth-year communication major, informed the council that a timing conflict will prevent her from being able to attend Sunday’s Judicial Council hearing about the elections code and place the legislation in limbo.
“There was an email sent out by the chair of Judicial Council – there’s going to be a case to try the elections code case,” Varshavsky said. “My concern as a petitioner involved in this case is that I wasn’t asked my opinion on the timing. No one will be present from our side because of the conflict.”
A.S. President Harrison Weber addressed the growing concern regarding the UCOP tax and said he collaborated with campus administration to ensure that campus-based student-initiated fees are not assessed in the tax for 2011-2012.
“I had a meeting with Chancellor Yang and Todd Lee; it amounted to us moving the ball forward in this matter,” Weber said. “A memo will be released to all control points on the campus. In my opinion, it is not a complete win but is a step in the right direction.”
As A.S. is still unsure of the status of UCOP taxes for next year, Weber said the internal budget will require careful assessment.
“This continues into the internal budget issue, because we don’t know at this point if it will be taxed,” Weber said. “It would be a very deep cut to Associated Students.”