ASUO Constitution Court rules on Senate’s power over financial committee budgets

The ASUO Constitution Court has released a clarification regarding the ASUO Senate’s authority over the financial committee’s budget.

EMU Board Chair Miles Sisk asked the court on April 16 to clarify if the ASUO Senate “may unilaterally cut from or add to the budgets of the EMU Board, Athletics & Contracts Finance Committee or Departments Finance Committee” before the annual budget hearing.

The Constitution Court said no.

“The Senate is obligated to ‘act on’ matters relating to the allocation and appropriation of incidental fees, but to read this as the power to alter a major program committee’s budget directly is a stretch not supported elsewhere,” the document read.

In English, this means the senate can’t directly participate in the budget process of the finance committee. The court also clarified that the ASUO Senate is responsible for establishing budgeting benchmarks, voting on the budget recommendations of the four finance committees and allocating funds for any budget in the appeal process.

During this year’s ASUO budget season in winter term, the ASUO Executive asked the EMU Board in a meeting to cut $100,000 out of its budget. Executive was attempting to bring down the 5 percent increase in the incidental fee after a miscalculation during the process.

EMU Board members were not happy with the cut, but the board voted to pass the cut anyway “to help ASUO out,” member Kenneth Ancell said at the meeting.

A motion of clarification is usually followed by a grievance filed to the Constitution Court. But Sisk said the court’s decision is solely for future reference and that he won’t act further on this matter.

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Tran Nguyen

Tran Nguyen

Crime and Court senior reporter, specializing in sorting through non-interactive spreadsheet. Formerly reporting on ASUO, Housing and Construction.

Send tips to [email protected] Follow me on Twitter @tranngngn. K thanks bye.