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TO PLACE A QUESTION ON THE BALLOT FOR THE 2008 GENERAL ELECTION REQUESTING THE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE SENATE OF THE ASSOCIATED STUDENTS TO INCREASE THE COMPENSATION OF SENATORS
FEBRUARY 21, 2008.—Reported to the Senate and ordered printed
Mr. MCDONALD, from the Committee on Budget and Finance, submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. B. 75–47]
The Committee on Budget and Finance, having had under consideration S. B. 75–47, by a nonrecord vote, report the same to the Senate favorably with the recommendation that the bill do pass. PURPOSE AND SUMMARY The bill proposes a ballot question for placement on the 2008 General Election ballot seeking the authorization for the Senate to increase the compensation of Senators up to a stated maximum amount. An increase cannot take effect until the next Senate session. The ballot question seeks the authorization for the Senate to fix the compensation of Senators at a maximum of a $500 grant per semester in addition to the equivalent to the cost of 14 undergraduate credit hours per year. The maximum compensation allowed is tied to the cost of an undergraduate credit, thus may increase each time tuition and fees increases. Table 1 below shows the comparison between current levels of compensation and proposed levels of compensation using fiscal year 2008 figures. TABLE 1. COMPARISON OF COMPENSATION LEVELS. COMPENSATION CURRENT 6 credit hour equivalent stipend PROPOSED 14 credit hour equivalent stipend GRANT $0 $1000 STIPEND $724.50 $1690.50 TOTAL $724.50 $2690.50
2 BACKGROUND AND NEED In August, a study was compiled comparing the compensation of ASUN Senators to several other student governments within the Nevada System of Higher Education. That report concluded, “Based on data from UNLV, TMCC, and CSN, the pay of their respective senators ranges from 3.1 to 4.5 times more than an ASUN senator.” (Student Government Compensation). The report also pointed out that the ASUN President earns more than 12 times a Senator. Noting the extreme pay disparity between Senators and the President, and also among other student governments within the NSHE, the Committee decided to propose an increase. IMPACT ON FUTURE BUDGETS The Committee is cognizant of the fact that an increase to senatorial compensation will have an impact on future budgets. The Committee computed several alternative scenarios regarding the impact compensation would have on the budget. The Committee concluded that there is sufficient revenue available to place all officer compensation on budget and to allow for an increase as proposed by the bill. If approved, and using fiscal year 2008 figures, the aggregate increase in senatorial compensation would be $41,286. SUMMARY OF COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION The Committee held meetings on February 7 and 14, 2008. The Committee explored several options regarding compensation levels of Senators and concluded that an increase was advisable. The Committee reported out a bill favorably on February 14. SPENDING LEVELS AUTHORIZED BY THE BILL The bill does not authorize spending. CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT The Committee finds that the Constitutional authority for this legislation is provided in Article I, section 1(e), which states that the elected members of the Government are to receive a compensation to be set by law, but that any increase is subject to the approval of the voters in a general election.