ASUU Annual Budget Line Item Amendments – Bylaws IV § 3 (1):
Redbook Section in Question:
Bylaws IV Section 3 Clause 1
Name: Sarah Hong
Position/Affiliation: Assembly Chair
Question (Be as specific as possible):
When the budget is presented to Assembly or Senate, can Representatives or Senators propose/vote on/make adjustments to specific line items similar to how they amend traditional legislation, like student org funding?
For ASUU Office Use Only:
Attorney General:Dallas Blackburn
Text Section in Question:
Bylaws IV § 3 (1-2):
1. The Directors of Finance, in coordination with the President-elect, will create an annual budget for the entire ASUU Government and will submit the entire proposed annual budget in the form of a bill to both the Assembly and the Senate for consideration and approval. In the event that the proposed budget is not approved by either or both the Senate or Assembly, the budget will be revised by the Directors of Finance and President-elect and re-proposed for approval.
2. The Directors of Finance will present the final budget, as passed by the Assembly and the Senate, with all changes and amendments, to the Committee on Student Affairs for approval. If the budget is rejected, it must be revised and presented again to the Committee on Student Affairs.
The question posed is whether or not Representatives and Senators can propose, vote on, and pass specific line item amendments in the ASUU Government Annual Budget without requiring it to be resubmitted through the bill submission process.
The answer to this questions lies in the language of a few different clauses found throughout the Bylaws. First, the clause in question specifies that the budget must be submitted in the form of a bill, so it follows that the budget itself must then be treated as a bill. Numerous clauses including, but not limited to, Bylaws I.I § 13 (15) and Bylaws I.II § 10 (1.6) grants the Assembly and the Senate respectively the right to amend bills that come before their bodies, and the amendment process allows Representatives and Senators to change the language of the bill on a per-line basis. This means that the specific lines of the bill can be changed without requiring it to be resubmitted for consideration. The same amending process can be undertaken for the budget. Compelling the resubmission of the budget for every line item change would be extremely time consuming and could prevent the budget from being passed by the Committee on Student Affairs (COSA) in time for it to be considered by the Board of Trustees meeting in June as required by the Bylaws.
Second, the succeeding clause to the text in question says, “The Directors of Finance will present the final budget, as passed by the Assembly and the Senate, with all changes and amendments, to the Committee on Student Affairs for approval.” This statement implies that changes and amendments can be made on a per-line basis. It states “all changes and amendments,” which means that the Assembly and Senate can make numerous adjustments to the budget. If the budget had to be resubmitted with every change made to the bill prior to it being passed by the Assembly or Senate, then the clause would have simply omitted the phrase “with all changes and amendments.”
Thus, Representatives and Senators can propose, vote on, and pass specific line item amendments in the ASUU Government Annual Budget without requiring it to be resubmitted through the bill submission process.