In its last meeting before next week’s turnover to the newly elected representatives, the 2006-07 Associated Students Legislative Council took full advantage of its final opportunity to bring bills to the table.
During a two-hour meeting yesterday, council members heard and tabled six bills. Meanwhile, the council approved 2006-07 funding rollover requests from organizations such as A.S. Environmental Affairs Board and A.S. Student Lobby. The council also passed a resolution, mostly affecting commuting faculty and staff members, to create a bike accessibility policy in regards to construction projects.
The resolution, supported by the A.S. Bicycle Improvements Keep Everyone Safe committee, requests that every new or expanded building connects to bike paths and parking, include shower and changing areas for bikers and provide secured bike parking, such as with lockers or a designated room.
“The facilities encourage people to commute by bike to work,” Internal Vice President Cecilia Perez said.
After little discussion, the resolution passed with consent.
As for the six bills brought to the council, the A.S. Legal Code stipulates that each must be automatically tabled for one week. The bills included two that plan to add new positions to A.S. Program Board and the External Vice President of Statewide Affairs’ office.
In addition, the council will vote next week on a bill restructuring tbe A.S. Queer Commission, as well as a bill to abolish the A.S. First Year Council.
Off-Campus Rep Samantha Nevels said she felt that the council should remove the First Year Council due to a lack of student involvement in A.S. boards, committees and commissions.
“I’ve been wanting to get rid of the First Year Council, especially since we’re understaffed,” Nevels said. “I’ve never wanted to put anybody in it – I’m happy to see it go.”
The council also heard a bill to update Finance Board Policies and Procedures. Finance Board Chair Nick Szamet said this bill has been in the works to deal with the new influx in funds due to the passage of the Students’ Initiative last Fall Quarter.
“This has come together over the period of the year and [as a result of] the problems we’ve come into,” Szamet said.
Among the changes to the policies are creating internal lock-in funding for Student Initiated Outreach Programs, the United States Students Association, sports clubs, cultural events and graduation ceremonies.
Additionally, if the bill passes, these organizations – defined as “non-A.S. entities that advance the accessibility and diversity of the University that do not have ballot initiative lock-ins” – will be subject to financial policies and procedures governing A.S. boards, committees and commissions, which do not have the same conditions as other entities requesting funds from Finance Board.
“What we have seen throughout the year with SIOP and culture events is that everyone agrees we want to fund these events, but we can’t,” Szamet said. “If we do it this way where they’re funded like [A.S. boards, committees and commissions], you can.”
The council tabled the bill until next week’s transition meeting.