The Missouri Students Association’s 2015 budget draft went through its second reading in front of the 27 present senators of the MSA Senate on April 2.
Interim Senate Speaker Nick Schwartz gave MSA Vice President Kelsey Haberberger unlimited time to answer any questions regarding the content and language of the draft.
Questions were asked about Senate’s budget being cut in half twice over the past two years, and how student salaries are reflecting the recent minimum wage increase in Missouri.
Haberberger said the minimum wage increases will be based on the time commitment and level of the positions.
Five bills entered second reading, including Bill 53-33, a bill to pass the association’s budget.
During the reading of the bill, Academic Affairs chairman Ben Vega presented input from outside sources, including himself and former Senate Speaker McKenzie Morris.
Morris said in a text message to Vega that she did not believe that the current Senate budget should reflect her spending habits as Senate Speaker, and instead should accommodate for current Senate Speaker Ben Bolin’s plans.
The proposed amount for the Senate’s 2015 budget is $2,000.
Both Morris and Vega support setting the Senate budget at $4,000, which was the set amount for Senate during the 2014 fiscal year.
Vega said this increase would be a way to maintain the checks and balances system within MSA, as well as programming that would help improve Senate retention.
Director of Student Activities Chelsea Fricker asked Vega why Senate needed funding for programs when the Department of Student Activities already has its own. She said DSA was always open for collaboration, and she does not recall any senators approaching DSA about programming.
In response to Fricker, Social Justice chairman Payton Head mentioned that during his campaign to fund Hate Wall, which took place in November, he had approached DSA and received no support for funding.
The 2015 budget draft will go through its third consecutive reading April 9, during which the budget will be voted on by the Senate.
In addition to Bill 53-33, four other bills went through their second readings.
Senate unanimously passed Bills 53-34 and 53-35, which were both contingency and reserve requests. Bill 53-34 was a request on behalf of MUTV for MSA to contribute $4,000 to assist in replacing a broken modulator.
Bill 53-35 was a C&R request for MSA to allocate $4,378 to replace the copier used by both MSA and the Department of Student Life.
Bill 53-29 and 53-30 also passed unanimously.
Bill 53-29 was an act to amend the Constitution by referendum to include gender identity and expression and add a line that permits MSA auxiliaries to be removed only by referendum.
Bill 53-30 was an act to restructure the Department of Student Services committees.
Three bills went through their first readings.
Bill 53-31, which was an act to amend the senate rules, was tabled for the second time.
Bill 53-37 was an act to ensure cooperation between the vice president and the Budget Committee during the drafting of the proposed budget.
Vega, who drafted the bill, said this would ensure more transparency during the budget making process.
Bill 53-38 was an act to amend the MSA Senate’s budgeting process in which committees would recommend their own budgets, which would take some power away from the Senate Speaker position.
Freshman Jordan Bruening was approved to fill an at-large senate seat by Senate.
Two Board of Elections Commissioners vice chairs, Allie Humes and Tyler Gill, were also confirmed.