SGA Senators Express Concerns about Bill to Restructure Judicial Branch

Teresa Schuster / Staff Writer

Several senators raised concerns about a bill that would restructure the Student Government Council at Modesto Maidique Campus’s judicial branch at Monday’s senate meeting.

The bill was introduced by Bryan Gomez, SGC-MMC’s speaker pro-tempore. Some senators said they were not made fully aware of the changes it would make.

These changes would include creating a department of justice and adding new positions of university defender, deputy university defenders, attorney general, and deputy attorney generals.

The university defender would provide representation to students brought before the supreme court or elections board, while the attorney general would provide counsel and representation to students petitioning those institutions.

The bill also includes changes to the trial and appeals processes. For example, under it a decision could only be appealed if it violated state or federal law, a narrower standard than the current one.

At the meeting, Biscayne Bay Campus SGC adviser Larissa James asked senators what the current judicial branch officials thought of the proposed legislation.

Some senators also asked for the chief justice’s opinion.

But current chief justice Natalie De La Osa was not present at the meeting. Neither was SGA president Alexandra Valdes or vice president Alexandra Ibarria.

When asked by senators, Gomez said he’d spoken with De La Osa about the bill but stopped short of saying she supported it, telling senators he didn’t want to mischaracterize her comments.

De La Osa later told PantherNOW she hadn’t yet read the legislation and didn’t feel comfortable commenting on it until then.

Multiple senators expressed reservations about passing the legislation.

“I feel uncomfortable with all of the amendments being made [in the bill] and I think we should give [senators] time to review them,” said SGA senator Ashley Nunez at the meeting.

When asked to elaborate on her sentiments after the meeting, Nunez told PantherNOW she [didn’t] have any comments at the moment.”

After approving several small amendments to the bill, SGA voted to discuss it at its next meeting, on Sept. 14.

Be the first to comment on "SGA Senators Express Concerns about Bill to Restructure Judicial Branch"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.