The Aggie’s editorial on April 29 criticizing urgent spending measures was well intentioned, but we feel it needs some clarification: ASUCD Senate meetings are always open to the public, and the minute recordings for each meeting are posted the following week. A count of previous years’ urgent resolutions as a proportion of total legislation passed would show that the currently elected senators have passed less urgent legislation than ASUCD Senates have in recent years.
Despite this, the current sitting senators have repeatedly aimed to curb urgent legislation in an attempt to strive for greater fairness and transparency in the legislative process. Many pieces of legislation introduced as urgent this year could have been avoided, but La Raza Culture Days – the centerpiece example used by the Aggie in its opinion – was a justified use of urgent spending procedure.
It’s important to note that the “urgent bill” for La Raza Culture Days was falsely classified as “[lacking] planning from the organizers.” The bill was originally introduced through the normal process and referred to commissions, a two-week process during which time members of the public were notified of the proposed spending and could have approached senators and commissions with their concerns.
It was only after extensive changes were made to the bill in the Business and Finance Commission, which asked for a more in-depth budget breakdown, that the bill was forced to be introduced as urgent rather than be referred back to the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission, which had approved the bill prior to the clarifications regarding budget allocations. The urgency, though the authors originated the process three weeks before, was due to the reality that the event would take place in a week’s time.
The Aggie was correct in saying that urgent legislation should be avoided when possible. But by citing a clearly justified use of urgent legislation, we wonder how well The Aggie is living up to its own responsibilities of researching editorials.
ALISON TANNER, SELISA ROMERO, JOEL JUAREZ, ANDRE LEE, DON HO, ABRHAM CASTILLO-RUIZ and OSAHON EKHATOR