Iowa Senate GOP votes to hire private firm to check welfare eligibility

first_imgDES MOINES — Republicans in the Iowa Senate want the state to hire a business to determine whether Iowans who get government food assistance or Medicaid coverage are eligible for welfare benefits.Supporters of the plan say a private firm doing this work in other states can quickly flag problems, so the State of Iowa doesn’t extend welfare benefits to people who are not U.S. citizens or people who’re hiding assets or double-dipping by getting benefits in another state.Senator Jason Schultz, a Republican from Schleswig, said he’s been working on this concept for three years, to deal with a 10 percent error rate.“It’s time to do something about it,” Schultz said.Schultz pointed to estimates suggesting the state could save $10 million a year with the private company doing welfare eligibility checks rather than the 500 state employees who do it today using an ancient computer system.Democrats in the Senate criticized the plan, arguing the state would recoup far more by going after tax fraud.“Go just as aggressively against the tax cheats who owe us money,” said Senator Pam Jochum, a Democrat from Dubuque.Jochum also said businesses that fail to pay all they owe to workers should be investigated.“We lose $600 million each year in this state on wage theft alone,” Jochum said, “and yet that bill’s been buried for years.”Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, accused Schultz of “grinding away” at the poor.“When it comes to poor people, by God, we’ve got to squeeze ’em,” Bolkcom said. “…This is a mean bill. It’s going to save a few bucks by taking food out of people’s mouths.”Senator Schultz, who said at the start that he’d been called “Dr. Evil” for proposing the bill, replied to Democrats in his closing remarks on the legislation.“You don’t want limits on health care. I mean, your number one presidential candidate right now is an avowed socialist…I mean, you say you’re against fraud, but really you’re not against fraud,” Schultz said. “You want to give it to them anyway (with) Medicare for All.’”Senate Democrats shouted their objections to that characterization and there was a brief time-out in the debate. A few minutes later, Schultz tiptoed up to another barb.“Oh, I’m guessing the whole Andrew Yang Universal Income line ain’t gonna go either,” Schultz said.The Senate’s bill now goes to the Republican-led House for consideration.last_img read more

Who Gets Crowned Today?

first_imgSenators of the 3rd Legislature go to the poll today to elect a new President Pro Tempore, replacing former Grand Bassa County Senator Gbehzohngar Findley who was defeated in the Special Senatorial Election last December.It is, however, not clear whether Senators Varney Sherman (Grand Cape Mt.) and Morris Saytumah (Bomi) whose injunction orders were last Tuesday cleared by the Supreme Court, will be eligible to vote in today’s poll.According to sources within the Senate secretariat, the two cleared Senators will first have to be seated through procedures as did their newly inducted colleagues.   According to Section 3, Rule 19 of the Senate Rule, in case of removal of the President Pro Tempore, the Senate shall elect a successor in keeping with several procedures, such as announcing the vacancy of the position.Following that, an election shall be held in plenary within the period of 30 calendar days, allowing interested Senators to declare their intentions in writing to the plenary through the Secretary of the Senate not later than 20 calendar days from the date of the announcement of the vacancy…, and said letters circulated to all members of the Senate not later than five calendar days prior to the date of the election.The winner of today’s poll will serve as Pro Tempore until the 2017 General and Presidential Elections.    According to the first of five guidelines prepared by an Ad Hoc Committee set up recently for today’s election, all duly seated Senators who apply to participate in the elections for Pro Tempore and Statutory (Leadership) Committees are eligible to contest any vacant leadership position in the Liberian Senate; provided however, that each intending Senator shall have the required three years for said post.The five-member committee headed by the acting chair on Rules, Order & Administration Senator George T. Tengbeh, also stated in the guidelines that “any Senator serving on the Leadership of the Liberian Senate who makes an application for a vacant elective position shall be deemed to have resigned his/her chairmanship position.”Generally, according to the guidelines, elections for all vacancies that may be created for chairpersons in the Leadership Committee shall be held within a week following the induction of the President Pro Tempore.On the prescribed date for elections to leadership positions, aspirants for available positions shall be required to make a ten-minute presentation in the case of the President Pro Tempore and a five minute presentation in the case of a chairperson of a Leadership committee to the plenary of the Liberian Senate, guidelines rule four stated.The President Pro Tempore of the Senate is elected for a period of six years, while chairs of Leadership Committees are elected for three years; which also affects those appointed on non-Leadership committees as chairs.Of the three contenders for the position of Pro Tempore, only Senator Oscar Cooper is chairing a Standing committee which is Public Works; Senator Armah Zolu Jallah chairs the Leadership committee on Internal Affairs, Governance & Reconciliation, while Senator Joseph Nagbe chairs the Leadership Committee on Judiciary.In the event that one of the two leadership committee chairs wins, his post will be out for grabs together with those of the Committee on Executive, vacated by former Senator Clarice Jah; the committee on Rules, Order & Administration formerly chaired by ousted Bomi Senator Lahai G. Lansanah, and the prestigious Leadership committee on Ways, Means, Finance & Budget, once occupied by former Lofa County Senator Sumo Kupee.Members of the Ad Hoc Guidelines Committee include Senators Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Jewel Howard-Taylor, J. Gbleh-bo Brown, Matthew N. Jaye, and George T. Tengbeh.The President of the Senate, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai who since the 4th session of the Senate has always presided, will again preside over today’s proceedings which will have only one agenda item: election of the President Pro Tempore. However, the Secretary will conduct the poll in the event the President of the Senate is not available.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

West Ham to pay Sheffield United £10m in peace deal over Tevez

first_imgShare on Twitter West Ham United Bill Neenan Carlos Tevez has been the subject of a legal battle between former club West Ham and Sheffield United. Photograph: KIERAN DOHERTY/REUTERS West Ham United Sheffield United Thu 12 Mar 2009 21.32 EDT • Bramall Lane club will drop all complaints• FA and Premier League may impose further fines Shares33 Topics First published on Thu 12 Mar 2009 21.32 EDT Share on Pinterest West Ham to pay Sheffield United £10m in peace deal over Tevez affair West Ham United will pay compensation to Sheffield United in the long-running dispute over Carlos Tevez and the Sheffield club’s relegation in 2007, reports said last night.West Ham have agreed to pay more than £10m – to be paid in instalments over five years – and Sheffield United will withdraw all of its complaints against the London club, ending the legal battle that began with United arguing that Tevez’s participation in key matches in breach of the Premier League’s third-party agreement rules had been decisive in helping them to remain in the top league while Sheffield were relegated. United had been asking for £45m in compensation.An independent Football Association arbitration panel, headed by Lord Griffiths, sided with United against West Ham and ruled that Tevez was instrumental in the result. The panel were due to meet on Monday to determine the extent of compensation that should be involved but the hearing has now been cancelled in light of the agreement yesterday.West Ham still face the prospect of a further fine or a points deduction after the FA and Premier League announced a fresh investigation into the Tevez affair in January. The Hammers were originally fined £5.5m but the independent panel convened by the Premier League in April 2007 did not impose a points deduction. The FA and Premier League decided in January that the conclusions of Lord Griffiths, delivered in September, left them with no option but to return to the matter. Their lawyers have written to those involved asking them for written statements and arranging face-to-face interviews.The move will focus on the conduct of West Ham’s chief executive, Scott Duxbury, in the wake of the Premier League’s original ruling on the matter. Lord Griffiths ruled that Duxbury had provided Kia Joorabchian, the leader of the consortium that “owned” Tevez and his Argentinian international colleague Javier Mascherano, and his lawyer Graham Shear with a series of “oral cuddles”.”We have acted in good faith throughout the inquiries and investigations into this matter and fulfilled the undertakings given to the Premier League following the initial penalty,” said the club at the time. “We have nothing to hide and will ensure that this is once again reflected in our evidence to the FA and Premier League.”center_img Share on Facebook Share on Facebook news Share via Email Share on LinkedIn This article is more than 10 years old Share via Email Share on Twitter This article is more than 10 years old Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Reuse this contentlast_img read more