At Associated Students Legislative Council meeting Wednesday night, Leg Council discussed honoraria and Judicial Council appointments, and approved a resolution opposing federal anti-terrorism legislation.
During the Spring elections, students passed a $1 lock-in fee for A.S. Program Board. Now, A.S. Program Board, working in conjunction with off-campus representatives Eva von Thury and Sarah Hooper, have written a bill that, if passed, would allow A.S. boards and committees to allocate themselves honoraria out of their own budgets. Erica Stein and Joe Carlos, members of A.S. Program Board, spoke in the public forum portion of the meeting on this issue.
“We put in a great deal of time to put on concerts … it’s almost a full-time job. In order for us to keep on doing what we do, we need compensation,” Stein said.
Carlos added that the programs have suffered this year due to people having to take outside jobs.
Off-Campus Representative Anthony Flores said he strongly disagreed with the proposed legislation.
“I am unequivocally opposed to this bill. We’re in a time of really bad finances,” he said. “I think that if you work for A.S., you shouldn’t be doing it for physical compensation.”
Hooper proposed an amendment that would limit the amount of money that could be given to board and committee members per quarter to 5 percent of the quarter’s budget. The amendment and bill were approved with little opposition, passing with an 11-4 majority.
In other business, Leg Council considered the appointment of two new members to Judicial Council. The appointments had been unanimously approved by the three members of Judicial Council, but Representative-at-Large Anita Galvan said she wondered about the qualifications of one of the appointees, Javier Moreno, saying she did not know anything about him. On-Campus Representative James Young said he thought Judicial Council was capable of making responsible judgments about its appointees.
The other appointee, Michael Aleras, spoke to Leg Council at a previous meeting, and his appointment was given unanimous consent. The approval of Moreno’s appointment was delayed until next week’s meeting.
The last item of business was the passage of a resolution authored by Off-Campus Representative Scott Talkov that opposed the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, better known as the USA PATRIOT Act. Passed in 2001 by the U.S. Congress, the PATRIOT Act grants additional powers to law enforcement and the government for the purpose of ferreting out terrorists. It has been opposed by civil rights advocates who claim its broad-reaching powers unreasonably infringe on civil liberties.
“I can’t think of anything less patriotic than this act. It grants potentially unchecked power to law enforcement, so phone conversations can be wiretapped, e-mail can be intercepted and your personal rights can be violated,” Talkov said.
All but one member of Legislative Council agreed. The lone dissenter, Flores, had harsh words for his colleagues.
“Passing this bill just shows Leg Council as being incompetent,” Flores said.