The Quirks [June 25, 2010 Edition]

Last week’s meeting: not so eventful.

This week’s meeting: no events at all, because the House voted to give themselves the day off in celebration of Independence Day.

That about sums meaningful happenings up, but since I invested the time to be there, and you invested a few seconds to visit the blog, I’ll mention a few more details than that.

Student body president Ayden Maher was absent for the second week in a row. He’s only required to show up once a month, but until now he’d been attending them all. Speaker Josh Pollock was also missing in action, leaving Pro-Tempore Nicholas Scalice to act in his place.

Boca governor Allison Gentry announced progress in signing weeks-old legislation:

“Myself and Ayden signed the library resolution as well as the website update resolution. And I have the free speech resolution on my desk.”

Let’s see. The library resolution passed on May 28. The website update resolution passed June 4, as did the free speech one.

Of course, according to SG’s own rules, it’s now irrelevant if the governor signs anything that’s currently outstanding. Everything passes automatically after seven academic days.  The first time I noticed this in the statutes, actually:

Upon approval by a majority vote of the total active membership of the Campus House, the legislation is then sent to the Campus Governor for approval or veto. The Campus Governor has seven (7) academic days in which to enact or veto legislation. If there is no action on the legislation by the Campus Governor for those seven (7) academic days, the legislation shall then be considered enacted and shall carry the force of law. (458.312)

Of course, I’ve never heard anyone in the House raise this point — maybe they just like to follow procedure even when it’s unnecessary. This past meeting held such an example, actually.

Representative James Shackelford raised a fuss when the House unanimously approved Gentry’s appointment for NightOwls assistant director without doing a roll call vote. That is, he wanted every single person to vote out loud, like they do on legislation. He said that’s the rules.

Gentry pointed out that they’d never done that for any other appointment she’d made, and Shackelford had never raised it before. Representative Boris Bastidas also objected, and forced the House to have a vote on whether they should have a vote or not.

Lastly, I would be amiss if I failed to quote Representative Dean Hasan in a quirks post:

If you guys notice, you can see an FAU building from I-95. It’s the Oxley Center. It has a logo from like two logos ago, and it looks like crap. I think someone should write a resolution, I don’t want to write it, to get that changed.

I’ll do the legislative update tomorrow, but it’s another small one with nothing passed.

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8 Responses to “The Quirks [June 25, 2010 Edition]”

  1. Will.I.Am Says:

    It seems as though it is 7 days from when its passed on to the governor or am i mistaken?
    Didn’t you post that the slowdown in legislation being passed on was due to the signing sheet looking horrible? so now that problem is fixed and the legislation is passed on to the gov. now starts the 7 days. thats how i read it.
    It would be strange if the House could pass a bill and then sit on it for 7 days just to avoid having it vetoed by the gov or president, In fact if this was the case our checks and balances system would be heavily in favor of the legislative branch.

    I think your interpretation might be flawed brandon and I suggest in the future instead of making up your own you should seek one from the branch of government that interprets such laws. Thats what I would do if i was covering this, not just pull it out of thin air.

  2. Brandon Says:

    “Will,”

    I didn’t pull anything out of the air, I pulled it out of the text. I agree that it is meant to mean seven days from when she receives it.

    But leaving everything up to the interpretation of SG would encourage vague rules that they could flex to suit their needs — if the rules aren’t clear, they should be fixed.

    The interpretation you’ve suggested would upset the balance between branches is a valid one too, the way it’s written: it says the governor has seven days, and doesn’t mention whether or not the House can hold on to it. I agree, that’s not the spirit of the law, and it would be problematic if the House tried it.

    But the statute doesn’t say nay or yay on doing that, and nobody’s opinion about it will change that. Still, if you’re interested in the official interpretation, I can ask.

    Cheers,
    Brandon.

  3. Will.I.Am Says:

    Brandon,

    I would very much appreciate you asking the Judicial Branch seeing as how it is their job to interpret the law, and an answer from them will tell you and I both how the law is currently being interpreted and applied.

    Also ask a Poli Sci professor while your at it why laws are written so vague. Laws are written vaguely so they can be flexible for certain situations that lawmakers may not have accounted for at the time of making the law and also because the way we apply the law often time will changes over the course of our history. In our government we look to the courts to interpret the laws that our legislators make not the political pundits

  4. Brandon Says:

    All right, you got it. I’ll speak to the chief justice — although he spends more time promoting athletics and school spirit than he does interpreting statutes.

    As for vague laws, that’s true at a national scale precisely because those laws are so difficult to change. In SG, that isn’t so — especially this year, statutes should be studied and improved during the constitutional revision process. I can’t think of a situation where vagueness would serve the public good at FAU.

    Thanks for the comments. I’ll post when I hear back from the chief justice.

  5. The OWL logo sign on the Oxley is in fact very old and without SGA funding an update, it will never happen.

    It’s way down on the priority list and Angelos has said in his ASK THE AD section that he doesn’t have money to replace it unless someone steps forward (like SGA) with the funding.

  6. If Hasan thinks it is a good idea then why doesn’t he write the resolution/bill?

    What a douche-bag thing to say. I guess Hasan is representing the 500 douches on campus.

    Douche.

  7. […] Gov. Gentry, in explaining her veto, clarified an issue I raised a couple weeks ago about statutes. If you haven’t read about that, this might get […]

  8. There are two main methods for approvals of the governors appointments to the GAC. Both are equally effective. The house may use the roll call vote or a simple motion to approve followed by a second, giving way to any one individual willing to object- and if objected, sends the motion to a pro-con debate followed by a roll call.

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