Press "Enter" to skip to content

SGA President Vetoes Proposed Budget

Outgoing SGA President Anthony Jankoski has vetoed the student government’s proposed budget.

The budget, unanimously passed by the senate on Monday and the finance board Tuesday evening, was denied when it landed on Jankoski’s desk later that very night.

The task of creating an initial budget proposal is assigned to the SGA president and treasurer. However, there has been minimal collaboration between Jankoski and the current treasurer, Tristan Oetker.

Although a formal presentation of the proposed budget didn’t take place until April this year, Jankoski’s own proposed budget became public in early February.

It included a 58.7 percent cut to the funds of the Student Events Board, a 66.66 percent cut to The Retriever’s funds, a 30.9 percent cut to SGA’s funds and a 51.1 percent increase to the funds of student clubs. The budget rapidly received criticism from a variety of students, many of which questioned its practicality.

In a past interview, Oetker referred to the budget as “reckless.”

He explained, “I knew Anthony’s proposed budget wasn’t going to fly. I knew it was a sinking ship, and that I’d have to come up with my own budget. Getting the votes to pass the budget is obviously a pressing issue, so I figured that if I wanted my budget to be successful, I would need to work with senators and finance board so that it is a collaborative effort, and when the times comes around for voting, I’m not worried about whether or not they will vote yes or no on my budget because they will have already contributed to it.”

So he, aided by the help of many other individuals, began the process of creating a budget separate from that of Jankoski.

Sarah Lilly, assistant speaker of the senate, was in direct discussion with Oetker to reach a resolution, though according to her, “Every member of senate and finance board has played a role in the current budget proposal.”

Thanks to some prompt negotiation over the weekend, all parties were able to reach an agreement before the senate meeting on April 27, when the first vote would be taken. In this proposal, no cuts were made to The Retriever or SEB, though SGA stipends were slightly decreased.

Jankoski was present during Oetker’s proposal, though he didn’t offer much commentary. He could have presented his own budget but decided against it, making Oetker’s budget the focal point for discussions and amendments to come.

The budget unanimously passed in the Senate (11-0) and was then handed over to the finance board who would collectively vote on it Tuesday night. Likewise, they proceeded to unanimously approve the budget (4-0, 3 absent).

Later that night, the budget was passed on to Jankoski, who evoked his veto and therefore sent the budget back to the senate. The senate can overturn the veto with a 2/3 majority.

Speaker of the Senate Will Rice was asked about his thoughts on the veto. He replied, “Actually, this made me laugh. Despite the president’s actions, I believe that the budget will be passed in the form agreed upon by the senate and finance board.”

Should the senate override the veto, as Rice expects, the budget will then go to the student activity fee review board, who will either make recommendations and send it back to the senate or give their approval and send it to President Freeman Hrabowski for the final assent.

Although Jankoski could not be reached for comment, Chair of the Finance Board Trent Bae talked with the SGA president shortly after he vetoed the legislation. According to Bae, “He told me that he vetoed on the grounds that he believes there should be a cut to both the Student Events Board and The Retriever.”