Bills to support Boca Raton student organizations go missing in the house

Gregory Cox, Managing Editor

According to a Boca Raton House of Representatives meeting held June 19, a number of approved bills are missing or have not been processed from the previous semester.

The bills, which passed through the house, were intended to improve some aspects of student life, but physical copies with signatures cannot be found, leaving the legislation up in the air.

A bill is a piece of legislation responsible for the allocation of funds, creating or abolishing programs and affects the internal aspects of student government or the university.

In order for organizations to receive funding from student government to host events or cover expenses, organizations can approach the house of representatives and present a bill justifying their needs. That bill is then voted on by the house of representatives.

One bill under question, passed on Jan. 23 of this year, would have given close to $9,000 to Night Owls, the on campus student taxi service.

The funds would have gone toward the purchase a new golf cart in order to replace two older ones that had been damaged.

The UP reached out to Robert Marriaga, the current speaker of the house, asking what other bills were missing, but did not receive a response as of publication time.

Since these bills never reached the proper authority, the organizations who presented the bills will need to resubmit their requests next fiscal year. This means that they would have be financed out of budgets that are tighter because of mandatory 15 percent cuts that take effect July 1.

Marriaga is conducting an investigation to find out what happened. “I will be giving this house a complete report once we are finished [with our investigation],” he said.

Evan Harrow, a member of the house and chairman of the Rules and Policies Committee and the longest lasting member of the house, said a possibility for the slip up was that all the bills may have been signed, but were never handed to the Activity and Service Accounting and Budget Office. Or, he added, “Some of them were vetoed when the money was frozen, and we were just not told.”

A bill passes with over a 50 percent vote. It is then presented to the governor, who can veto or pass the bill, and then to the Vice President of Student Affairs. It is unclear in the process where the bills got lost.

Marriaga told the UP that there is currently no one to blame for the mishap, as there are a lot of moving pieces in order to get a bill approved.

Chris Ferreira, the current governor and Marriaga are currently looking into ways to still have the funding for these bills appropriated before the budgets turn over on July 1.