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Council unanimously passes budget, resolution

Student Council unanimously approved both their 1999-2000 budget and a resolution concerning the amount of Student Activities Fee money Madison House will receive over the next nine years at their meeting last night.

The 1999-2000 Council budget cuts Council's costs by 63.6 percent; it requested $36,394.00 in Student Activities Fee funds compared to last year's request of $100,066.57.

The budget, written by Council Chief Financial Officer John Finley, is the largest budget decrease in Council history, Finley said.

"The primary goal in creating the Student Council budget for the 1999-2000 academic year was to return Council to a SAF request that both reflects its operating expenses while exercising the same degree of fiscal responsibility expected of other groups," the budget states.

This budget contains less expenditures compared to last year's for several reasons, Finley said.

"We don't need any more furniture," he said, referring to last year's purchase of close to $6,000 in office furniture.

"There are no excessive expenditures that will not be followed up on," he added.

Finley said in the past Council members often have requested money for projects that never got off the ground, but this year there will be no requests for money that will go unused.

"This is not a responsible way for SAF money to be spent - and this took money out of the pockets of other" Contracted Independent Organizations, he said.

The extreme cut in Council's budget could be beneficial to CIOs, Finley said.

"I do not believe there will be an across-the-board SAF funding cut," he said.

The Appropriations Committee, which allocates SAF money to CIOs each spring, has had to cut its allocations to student groups in the past due to a lack of funds.

Finley said if last year's Council had managed their budget more efficiently, a CIO funding cut would not have been necessary.

The Council budget includes expenditures for Council committees, such as Safety Concerns, Escort Service and Appropriations.

In other Council news, Council unanimously passed a motion concerning the amount of SAF money Madison House will receive over the next nine years.

Madison House now has an endowment of about $800,000, which has been a source of conflict between Council and Madison House since April 1998, when the Appropriations Committee gave the community service organization a zero allocation.

According to the resolution, Madison House will receive a 5 percent cut in funding each year over the next nine years. Last year, Madison House received an allocation of $52,000. By 2008, Madison house will receive $34,498. After 2008, Council no longer will fund Madison House.

"We are in support of the Council resolution," said David Katz, Madison House Board of Directors Co-Chairman. "We feel the resolution is in the best interest of Madison House and Student Council."

Finley said the resolution will benefit both groups.

"This is nice closure to this issue and a compromise on behalf of Madison House. For all parties involved this is a nice, agreeable way to resolve the dispute," he said.

Taking Madison House off SAF money also will help Student Council in another way, Council President Taz Turner said.

"Madison House's three or four appeals in one year is an issue we wanted to squash by doing this," Turner said.


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