Last week, Senate passed four bills from the Government Operations Committee (GOC). While Senate passes allocations to clubs almost every week, GOC bills occur less often. While all of the bills have to do with the internal operations of SA, two of them require a constitutional amendment to pass.
One of the bills was authored primarily by Brett Baumgartner. It’s titled the “Filibuster Prevention Act.” Before the bill, there was a two minute limit on speaking for each senator for discussion and comments at the end of the Senate meeting.
However, there was no limit for how long senators are allowed to speak during the rest of the meeting. If a discussion seems to go on for a long time, the only ability senators had is to “move the previous question,” which ends all discussion and moves Senate directly to a vote on a measure.
Baumgartner thought this was too strict since someone might still have a new point to bring up. His bill allows Senate to cut a senator off if he or she had been talking for more than two minutes. Baumgartner says he doesn’t expect the bill to be invoked this semester, but during his freshman year there was a senator who would sometimes speak for more than six minutes at a time.
The bill would also codify speaking privileges for guests. The bill passed with a relatively close margin.
Another bill was titled “Let’s Trust Cabinet.” It removes the requirement that a GOC member attend each cabinet meeting and report on it. The bill passed without objection.
The other two bills were proposed constitutional amendments that would have to be voted on by the student body.
The voting would be during the executive elections towards the end of the year. Senate just voted to approve the amendments for voting by the student body as a whole.
One of them was titled “Scribing a Clerical Name Change.” It would change the name of the Senate clerk to the scribe.
This measure was also authored by Baumgartner. There are currently two SA positions with the title of clerk. One position is for the Judicial Council and one is for Senate. Baumgartner thought the duplicity of the title made it confusing. The bill passed without objection.
The other amendment was titled “Let There Be Freshman.” It would allow clerks for the Judicial Council to have fewer than 12 hours of credit.