It’s rare for a resolution to not pass the student senate, and even rarer for a president to stop it.
Student Government Association (SGA) President Isaac Mitchell vetoed a resolution requiring senate cabinet members give a monthly report to the senate during their weekly meetings.
In Mitchell’s statement addressing why he vetoed the bill he said, “We are not in need of any additional checks. If the senate is under the impression that the cabinet is not doing an adequate job, the senate should use their current checks.”
A veto can be overruled by the senate through a 2/3 majority vote, after which the legislation will be implemented, according to the senate’s constitution.
After senators discussed the merits of the veto, the bill was voted on 22-13, meaning the veto stands.
“If there is a perceived issue in transparency with the cabinet, a conversation with the executive board is a preferable way to handle that problem.” Mitchell said in his statement. “Passing amendments to our bylaws is not the best way to handle short term problems. A long term solution comes from discussions between the executive and the legislative branches.”
Mitchell said a part of the solution is to make certain cabinet positions not mandatory.
“I actually think that all of them should be optional, and they should be left up to the discretion of the president and the executive board,” Mitchell said.
He said he wishes he and the senate had a dialogue before the resolution was introduced.
I think if we could have talked about it the bill may have ended a little differently,” Mitchell said.
Myriam Bevelle, co-author of the resolution, said she was surprised the veto stayed.
“I was a little surprised, honestly, considering the legislation initially passed senate,” Bevelle said. “I’m surprised to see how many senators were convinced by Isaac’s words.”
Bevelle said the resolution had a “sunrise clause” in it, meaning it would not take effect until next year. She said it’s possible for the resolution to appear again next semester.
Contact Charles Melton with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Cmelton144.