New Rules Lead ASUM to Consider Dipping Into Emergency Fund for Child Care Center
As the University of Montana administration deals with budget woes and cut backs, the Associated Students of the University of Montana may be dipping into emergency funds to keep the ASUM child care facility up and running. According to ASUM Senator and Chair of the Childcare oversight Committee Kaitlin Hopingardner, the fiscal difficulties began with a new state law.
"Basically it means that we would have to increase the number of rooms in our childcare facility, increase the staff, but decrease the number of children to comply with the new regulations. They are state wide and they will go into effect on March 1, but actually they won't begin until later."
Hopingardner says that the “biggest issue” right now for the ASUM budget is an increase in something called the Administrative Assessment, a fee that organizations like the Adams Center pay to help keep other, non-profit departments of university life, like Human Resources, running.
"[The Adminstrative Assessment] is more than it has been in the past this year," Hopingardner said. "Basically, that is a tax on ASUM by the administration where they take the money that we've raised through student fees. We are trying to get it changed because since we don't actually profit, we are fee based, it doesn't make since for us to pay this as well. Normally we've been paying about $130,000, but this year it jumped up to close to $160,000."
ASUM has already voted to approve of setting aside $80,000 from the emergency fund to possibly help fund the child care center, a final vote on the matter is expected this Saturday, February 27.