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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Senate stipend on ASUA ballot

    An additional item on tomorrow’s student government general election ballot will decide how senators can receive funding for various projects and where their paychecks come from.

    If students vote “”yes”” on the additional item on the ballot, senator stipends would come from the general Associated Students of the University of Arizona budget and the annual senate budget would be used and divided between programming, operations expenses and projects deemed appropriate by the internal budgeting process of the senate, said Sen. Matthew Boepple.

    If students vote “”no,”” the financial structure of the senate will remain the same.

    Currently, the entire ASUA budget is more than $1.1 million and the senate works with about 20 percent of that, or $220,000, though the amount the senate receives changes every year, said Sen. Rhonda Tubbs.

    With the current financial structure, the senate isn’t able to carry out some of the bigger projects it wishes to implement because half the $220,000 it works with goes to stipends, which compensate senators for their work, said Boepple, a political science sophomore.

    Boepple said the item is important for students to vote on because they will have a say on the senate’s funding decisions. But Boepple thinks a lot of students will skip this portion of the ballot because it’s more of an internal matter that students won’t see firsthand.

    “”I really hope students will care about this,”” Boepple said. “”This amendment is trying to equalize our ability to do projects. It will help the senate continue to put on projects and compensate senators on the same level as (ASUA) directors.””

    Tubbs said a “”yes”” vote would mean the change in funding would only affect the senate and not any other branches within ASUA.

    “”This will result in net increase funds available to us,”” said Tubbs, a finance senior. “”It will give us more money to do our projects.””

    Senators currently receive 10 percent of the ASUA funding through stipends, and the change would mean the senate would receive 7 percent, but the money would come from ASUA’s general funding, Boepple said.

    Boepple said the current budget for projects and senate stipends allows $13,000 to be distributed among the 10-member senate.

    Sen. Ryan Montana Erickson said that while the amendment has merits in allocating more money to the projects senators would be working on, he said he doesn’t agree with it because he believes the financial structure of the senate is fine the way it is.

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