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Douglas Administration announces cuts

first_imgSecretary Lunderville’s Letter to Legislative leaders over the failure to reach agreement on state budget cuts.Secretary Lunderville’s LetterGeneral Fund RescissionPlan #2General Fund Rescission Plan #2 NarrativeSEE ALSO BELOWkeep:AFDETA FY 2009 – resc #2 by Dept – web versionFY 2009 APPROPRIATIONS BY DEPARTMENTGeneral Fund RescissionPlan #2 12/15/08 CommentsSecretary of administration (62,123)Information and innovation (30,946)Finance and management (71,686)Libraries (29,939)Tax (65,000)Buildings and general services (33,368)Executive office (71,500)Legislative council (30,000)Legislature (180,000)Legislative information technology (5,000)Joint fiscal committee (10,000)Auditor of accounts (39,362)State treasurer (67,000)State labor relations board (16,498)VOSHA review board (2,003)Municipal tax – homeowner rebate (1,100,000)Attorney general (346,179)Vermont court diversion (45,794)Judiciary pendingMilitary (290,692)Criminal justice training council (35,146)Agriculture, food and markets (328,750)Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration (23,408)Secretary of state (132,444)Human rights commission (23,437)AHS – secretary’s office (60,000)Secretary’s office – Global Commitment (5,344,498)Office of Vermont health access (193,124)Health (155,000) further reductions in Global Commitment (see box)Mental Health 0 further reductions in Global Commitment (see box)Department for children and families (2,602,000)further reductions in Global Commitment (see box)Disabilities, aging and independent living 0 further reductions in Global Commitment (see box)Corrections (296,514)Labor (98,427)Education department (691,870)University of Vermont (1,530,853)Vermont public television (49,097)Vermont state colleges (992,431)Vermont interactive television (66,880)Vermont student assistance corporation (766,151)ANR – central office (197,471)Fish and wildlife (393,835)Forests, parks and recreation (441,440)Environmental conservation (854,979)Natural resources board (73,366)STATE OF VERMONT – FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2GF reduction portion of GlobalCommitment flows through todepartments as follows:VDOH $ 585,970DMH $2,296,229DCF $ 276,420DAIL $2,185,879Total $5,344,498keep:AFDETA FY 2009 – resc #2 by Dept – web versionFY 2009 APPROPRIATIONS BY DEPARTMENTGeneral Fund RescissionPlan #2 12/15/08 CommentsSTATE OF VERMONT – FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2ACCD – administration (130,000)Housing and community affairs (30,000)Economic development (295,544)Tourism and marketing (180,700)Vermont council on the arts (23,919)Vermont symphony orchestra (5,363)Vermont historical society (36,313)Vermont humanities council (8,136)5% salary reduction for executive branch exempt employeeswhose annual salaries are above $60,000. (225,251)Sub-Total GF Rescission Plan #2 (18,783,437)Other fund transfers and reversions to benefit the GFFrom Prop Transfer Tax – additional 8% redux in RegionalPlanning grants ($228,872) and 50% redux in MunicipalPlanning grants ($408,700) (637,572)From Next Generation Fund (278,000)Grand Total Rescission Plan #2 (19,699,009)STATE OF VERMONT – FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 – IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 1 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 – IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.001.Secretary of administration – secretary’s officeThe Secretary’s office will reduce spending authority for Regional Marketing Plan grants by $50,000 and exhaust the vacancy savings associated with the personnel change in the Secretary of Administration position. Current year RMP obligations will be fulfilled through prior year unallocated balances that will be reverted in the budget adjustment act and given back to the program. This mitigates any negative program effects for the current fiscal year but eliminates the use of prior year funds for recipient proposals.Sec. 2.002.Information and innovation – communications and information technologyThe Department of Information and Innovation is reducing General Fund spending in its Telecommunications Broadband program by $8,709. Reductions will be made to travel and other operating expenses to meet the rescission target. The proposed cuts should not have a significant impact on the program.Sec. 2.003.Information and innovation – Vermont information technology leaders (VITL)The Department of Information and Innovation is proposing a $22,237 General Fund reduction in the Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL) appropriation. This should have minimal effect since there are other funding sources available.Sec. 2.004.Finance and management – budget and managementBudget and Management will receive no appropriation reduction. Surplus cash from the VISION internal service fund will be directly applied to the General Fund to cover its allocation. This cash transfer will mitigate any negative program effects for this division.Sec. 2.009.LibrariesSavings will be achieved through: terminating the software maintenance contract with Symquest; moving Library board meetings from bimonthly to quarterly; implementing a new photocopier contract; reducing periodical subscriptions, postage & printing and reducing phone & property maintenance expenditures. These reductions increase the departments risk that operations will be less efficient if their computer system experiences any problems, and there will be fewer periodical collections available.Sec. 2.010.TaxSavings will be achieved through vacancy savings, and there should be minimal impact to the departments operations.Sec. 2.012.Buildings and general services – engineeringBGS will charge payroll expenses associated with capital projects to capital funds. This mitigates any negative impacts to the division but leaves less capital money for materials purchases. It forces the department to more strictly prioritize capital expenditures.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 2 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.013.Buildings and general services – information centersBGS will close three rest areas on Rte.89 (Highgate, Sharon-South, and Randolph-North) and one rest area on Rte. 91 (Hartford-North) on February 01, 2009. There will be minimal impact on the traveling public because of proximity to exits with full services available.Sec. 2.026.Executive office governors officeOne position will be eliminated ($21,000), vacancy savings will be increased ($47,000), and equipment purchases will be reduced ($3,500). Impact will be managed by reallocating workload.Sec. 2.028.Legislative councilSavings will be achieved through vacancy savings.Sec. 2.029.LegislatureSavings will be achieved by reducing operating expenses and personal service contracts.Sec. 2.030.Legislative information technologySavings will be achieved by reducing operating expenses.Sec. 2.031.Joint fiscal committeeSavings will be achieved through vacancy savings.Sec. 2.034.Auditor of accountsThe auditors office is planning to fund the $39,362 reduction from reduced expenditures from their internal service fund due to unanticipated savings in personal service contracts.Sec. 2.035.State treasurerAchieving these savings will require the elimination of three staff positions, based on allocation of costs to the General Fund and the time remaining in the fiscal year. The Treasurers Office plans to re-align its office structure although there will be impacts on response time to state agencies, vendors, and external customers.Sec. 2.039.State labor relations boardThe Board is using its carryforward from FY 2008 to cover the FY 2009 rescission. In addition, they have found savings such as reducing postage costs by 26% and printing costs by 56% through more use of electronic media, and insuring training costs are fully covered by participant fees for training programs.Sec. 2.040.VOSHA review boardVOSHAs $2,003 General Fund reduction results in a loss of another $2,003 in Federal Funds due to match requirements. VOSHA can backfill the reduction with carryforward for the remainder of FY 2009.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 3 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.041.Homeowner RebateThe projected program surplus will be returned to the General Fund.Sec. 2.101.Attorney generalThe Attorney Generals Office is using the balance left over from the amount of Special Funds set aside for the renovations to its office space to cover the General Fund rescission.Sec. 2.102.Vermont court diversionCourt Diversion has earned interest in the Court Diversion Special Fund; this will be used to cover this rescission amount.Sec. 2.105.JudiciaryReductions pending notification from Judiciary.Sec. 2.116.Military – administrationThe Military will reduce base budget for office supplies and travel, and will use FY 2008 General Fund carryforward.Sec. 2.117.Military – air service contractActivation of the 24/7 Alert Mission will save $100,000 in General Funds during FY 2009 due to an increase in Federal Funds participation in this program.Sec. 2.119.Military – building maintenanceThe Military has requested a replacement of $50,000 in General Funds with Federal Funds to cover utilities expenses.Sec. 2.120.Military – veterans’ affairsAn office management position with responsibility for the Veterans Cemetery in Randolph will be held vacant until the end of FY 2009 and other General Fund cemetery-related expenses will be paid for from the Special Fund/Cemetery receipts.Sec. 2.122.Criminal justice training councilThe Council will reduce contract expenses for health/stress management instruction and will look for in-house expertise to cover this block of instruction; eliminate a field training officer course by utilizing an in-state cadre of instructors; delay the train-the-trainer course; and reduce operating expenses.Sec. 2.123.Agriculture, food and markets – administrationAgriculture Administrations rescission will be accomplished through a reduction in personal services which will have some impact on services.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 4 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.124.Agriculture, food and markets – food safety and consumer protectionThis portion of the Agriculture rescission will be achieved through a reduction in personal services. The impact will be minimized by a redistribution of the workload in this division.Sec. 2.125.Agriculture, food and markets – agricultural developmentAgriculture Development will reduce personal service contracts by $30,000 and Organic Transition funding by $10,000. This will have a minor impact on services.Sec. 2.126.Agriculture, food and markets – laboratories, agricultural resource management and environmental stewardshipThis division will reduce Nutrient Management Planning Implementation grants by $148,800 and Basin Planning grants to the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts by $25,000. The division will reduce personal services to achieve the remainder of the savings. There will be an impact on services.Sec. 2.134.Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration – health care administrationBISCHA will reduce operating expenses by $23,408 which will have a minimal impact on the delivery of services.Sec. 2.135.Secretary of stateThe Secretary of State will achieve these savings by delaying projects related to the implementation of the Vermont State Archives and Records program. This could result in the elimination of positions and will reduce the level of support to other departments within state government.Sec. 2.141.Human rights commissionReductions will be made by reducing staff hours, and reducing legal and consultant contracts, food, books and periodicals. Carryforward balances will be used to offset these reductions. Any reduction in staff hours will slow the pace of pending and future investigations and will reduce the level of services to Vermont citizens.Sec. 2.201.Agency of human services – secretary’s officeVermont Legal Aid:This rescission represents only the grant from AHS to Vermont Legal Aid and is not their entire funding base. The reduction will result in less staff time at Vermont Legal Aid, resulting in further prioritization of cases.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 5 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.202.Secretary’s office – Global CommitmentThe Global Commitment (GC) appropriation in the Secretarys office is being reduced by $5,344,498. However, the reductions flow through to other departments within the Agency; see the impact statements shown below by department.Sec. 2.206.Office of Vermont health access – administrationEliminate chiropractic coverage:Chiropractic coverage is optional under federal rules; however, the Legislature required OVHA to reinstitute reimbursement for chiropractic coverage in SFY 09. Chiropractic coverage is mandated for private health insurers in the state, and the recent legislative change put state Medicaid policies on the same footing. When the state mandate is removed, Medicaid participants would receive essential services from their primary care physician.Sec. 2.211.Health – administration and supportTele-psychiatry Pilot ProgramThis would eliminate a new program supported by a one time appropriation intended for children’s mental health services in Federally Qualified Health Centers. This initiative included a commitment by the UVM College of Medicine to use this program to enhance clinical training for child psychiatry residents and improve access to care for children and adolescents living in rural areas of Vermont.Sec. 2.216.Health – public healthImmunization Program for AdultsThis $4 million program is in its second year and was instituted as part of the Health Care Reform Act of 2007. A reduction of $1,000,000 will be absorbed by eliminating HPV vaccine for women over 18. This will preserve access to HPV vaccines for children under 18, and to adult vaccines of greatest importance to the public’s health, PPV 23, TDaP, and Hep A and B.Blueprint ProjectSavings will be realized by reductions in personal service contracts, IT and publications.” Personal Services contracts ($45,000 GC) This line item was intended for a contactor to evaluate health statistics.” IT ($31,500 GC) – Actual grant awards to communities to enhance their IT systems were lower than the budgeted amount.” Publications/Printing ($30,000 GC) The original line item was $40,000. This line item is being reduced with the expectation that there will not be any large print jobs in FY 2009.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 6 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.217.Health – alcohol and drug abuse programsStudent Assistance ProgramFunding will be eliminated to 5 schools out of a total of 101 schools budgeted in FY 2009. Grants have not yet been processed; award letters have gone out, but grant execution is not complete.Outpatient Treatment SavingsSavings are based upon FY 2009 Year-To-Date underutilization trends for outpatient grant services delivered by ADAPs Preferred Providers.Sec. 2.219.Mental health – mental healthDesignated Agency NetworkThe Department of Mental Health is proposing a 4% reduction in the current allocation to the Designated Agency Network, which will result in an 8% reduction in funding for the second half of FY 2009. This will have an impact on the delivery of mental health services. The Department has agreed to work with the Designated Agency providers to minimize the impact on the delivery of services to consumers by allowing the providers flexibility, subject to approval, on how they implement these reductions.Second Spring RecoupmentThe Residential Recovery program in Williamstown, Second Spring, had lower census in FY 2008 than budgeted in addition to vacancies in professional staff. The resulting un-needed revenue will be recouped in FY 2009. This is a one-time savings as the program has now developed to a near capacity population and will likely use all funds in this year.Adult and CRT Caseload Reduction; Projected Underutilization in Adult Services;Waiver /PNMI; and Child Residential Length of StayCurrently, the program trends are showing underutilization of services. The amounts contained in this rescission represent the savings related to the underutilization. The rescission also includes a $100,000 reduction for length-of-stay (LOS) which falls in line with current practice.Sec. 2.221.Department for children and families – administration & support servicesReduction of Operating Expenses Across the Board – To achieve the $150,000 reduction the Department will reduce expenditures in travel, supplies, and other discretionary categories.Sec. 2.222.Department for children and families – family servicesReduce Substitute Care Budget – The number of children in substitute care has decreased in the past two years, both as a result of demographics and as a result of significant practice changes. This reduction is reflective of the current trend line.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 7 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.223.Department for children and families – child developmentChild Development Grants and Contracts – These reductions of $100,000 include public outreach grants regarding child care, funding for peer support networks for child care providers, and several other small grants connected to playgroups.Non-implementation of the Child Care Fee Scale Eligibility Change – The Legislature added $852,000 to the FY 2009 budget to fund a January adjustment to the child care subsidy eligibility guidelines, moving the criteria from the Federal FY 1999 Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to the Federal FY 2000 FPL. There has been pressure from the federal government to update these criteria. This was intended to be an incremental adjustment scheduled for implementation on January 1, 2009. This adjustment will be delayed.Building Bright Futures District Directors – This will eliminate the 12 district directors by March 1, 2009. This will curtail efforts to create a unified system of care, education, and health care for Vermonts youngest citizens.Sec. 2.228.Department for children and families – reach upReach Up Grants and Support Services – Phase IReduction of $400,000 in Support Services – Each Reach Up case manager has available a pool of dollars to assist people in addressing specific barriers to employment. In Vermont, transportation is the largest barrier and consumes much of the Support Services line item. This reduction would reduce the amount of support services per client on average to $175 from $200.Reduction of $200,000 in Grants – These grants were part of the new funds allocated a couple of years ago following the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act, but they were never spent because of caseload overages. Because of the continued budget shortfall, we have not committed these dollarsReductions in Reach Up Support Services – Phase II – $300,000While the TANF caseload is up as a whole, the post secondary population is trending downward; therefore less funding is needed.Sec. 2.230.Department for children and families – office of economic opportunityIndividual Development Accounts and Micro Business Grants The Department is suspending any additional commitments to these programs; the uncommitted funds available for rescission are estimated to be $150,000.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 8 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.239.Disabilities, aging and independent living – developmental servicesDesignated Agency NetworkThe Department is proposing a 4% reduction in the current allocation to the Designated Agency Network, which will result in an 8% reduction in funding for the second half of FY 2009. This will have an impact on the delivery of developmental services. The Department has agreed to work with the Designated Agency providers to minimize the impact on the delivery of services to consumers by allowing the providers flexibility, subject to approval, on how they implement these reductions.Sec. 2.244.Corrections- correctional servicesThe 48 bed increase at Northern State Correctional Facility, and the accompanying reduction in out of state bed use (Sec. 2.245) will have a net savings of $177,845. The consolidation of smaller district probation and parole field offices includes the elimination of two anticipated vacant positions. There should be minor impact on services.Sec. 2.245.Corrections – correctional services- out-of state-bedsSee explanation above (Sec.2.244).Sec. 2.302.Labor – programs$20,000 of General Fund savings is due to vacancy turnover and operating efficiencies within the Wage & Hour program. There are no negative program impacts from these savings.$8,000 of General Fund savings will be distributed as modest grant reductions to each of the 12 Workforce Investment Boards. The WIBs will mitigate any negative impacts through the use of prior year unobligated cash balances.$70,427 will come from decreasing the number of Workforce Employment & Training grants. This will result in approximately 100 less people receiving services. Businesses are reluctant to train new employees given the current economic environment hence most of the WET Funds are not being used or are being returned by employers.Sec. 2.305.Education – finance and administrationThe department will reduce miscellaneous operating expenses by $12,439 and manage to the money by reducing employee meetings, travel and supplies, etc.Sec. 2.306.Education – education servicesThe department will reduce miscellaneous operating expenses and manage to the money by reducing employee meetings, travel and supplies, etc. Administrative savings will come from internalizing the Teacher Quality Initiative within the department and adding Maine to the multi-state NECAP agreement. Furthermore, the department will receive a refund from the NECAP program due to increased economies in the testing program. Further General Fund savings will come from shifting payroll costs onto various Special Funds &STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 9 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Federal Funds and the residual vacancy savings associated with the Commissioner position. Early Education Initiative grants will be reduced 3.8% statewide leading to an approximate $1,151 reduction per service provider. The grants for students competing in national competitions will be eliminated. The remaining funding will come from a cash transfer from the Conference Fee Special Fund.Sec. 2.309.Education – adult education and literacyThe $102,229 reduction will come from a decrease in statewide activities such as program marketing. Administrative and local Adult Education & Literacy positions may be reduced resulting in a loss of capacity to serve students. This would cause the program to develop or extend waiting lists for services.Sec. 2.321.University of Vermont50% of the Universitys General Fund reduction will be distributed across academic and administrative units, 25% will be allocated to the medical school and 25% will be allocated to the Extension program & Agriculture Related Services. These entities will be required to manage to the reductions via reduced operating expenses, prior year surpluses, vacancy savings, etc. A portion of the 50% reduction will come from student financial aid but that amount will be minimized to the greatest extent possible.Sec. 2.322.University of Vermont- Morgan Horse FarmThe University has requested that this appropriation be eliminated. The Morgan Horse Farm can easily absorb this reduction given a recent private donation for over $1 million.Sec. 2.323.Vermont public televisionThe hiring freeze from the last rescission will include the previously exempted grant writer position. This will negatively impact VPTs revenues. New episodes of local based programming will be frozen and fewer live-on-location broadcasts will be feasible. This may lead to a reduction in viewers as programming becomes stale. As VPT loses its viewer base it simultaneously loses its fundraising base thereby putting future revenues from such activities at risk. Overtime will be restricted to technical emergencies and travel expenditures will be reduced.Sec. 2.324.Vermont state collegesThe General Fund reduction will be spread across the five colleges and the Chancellors office with savings based upon each entitys institutional priorities. In general, VSC will look to eliminate the renewal of temporary employment contracts, hold open unfilled positions, reallocate workloads, reduce reserves, use prior year unobligated surpluses, defer or cancel purchases, place a moratorium on all travel, and reduce energy costs.Sec. 2.325Vermont state colleges – allied healthIn general, VSC will look to eliminate the renewal of temporary employment contracts, hold open unfilled positions, reallocate workloads, reduce reserves, use prior year unobligated surpluses, defer or cancel purchases, place a moratorium on all travel and reduce energy costs.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 10 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.326.Vermont interactive televisionVIT will reduce part-time staff by 33%, equipment repair by 5% and increase its sales revenue by 5% in order to absorb the rescission reduction. This increases the risk that services will be negatively impacted should equipment malfunctions occur or staff is unavailable during demanded hours. Increasing sales revenue will be difficult given the risk that services may not be available.Sec. 2.327.Vermont student assistance corporationThis rescission will result in approximately 9,000 Vermont students receiving less in second semester VSAC incentive grants than they were originally awarded. Revised award letters will be issued to the grant recipients and affected students will have a payable balance at their school equal to the grant reduction.Sec. 2.401.Agency of natural resources – administrationANRs Central Office will reduce four positions and hold another vacant ($125,000). A contract with UVM to evaluate opportunities for carbon offsets will be reduced ($60,471); research to date has not shown strong prospects for carbon offsets.Sec. 2.402.Connecticut river watershed advisory commissionANR will reduce the grant to the Connecticut River Joint Commissions to the FY 2007 level (a reduction of $12,000). The grantee should seek an alternate grant from the Fish and Wildlife watershed grant program.Sec. 2.406.Fish and wildlife – support and field servicesThe Department will make the following reductions: contracts for land management assistance ($25,500); wildlife temporary employees doing data collection and assistance to private landowners ($34,890); one-time infrastructure maintenance delay in hatcheries ($26,800); one-time delay upgrading fish sampling equipment ($23,200); law enforcement vehicle purchases ($75,000); warden overtime ($30,745); travel ($40,000); maintain two vacant warden positions ($124,310); adjustment to fuel cost at hatcheries ($10,390); and printing ($3,000).Sec. 2.408.Forests, parks and recreation – administrationThe Department is returning a fleet vehicle expected to generate savings of $3,259.Sec. 2.409.Forests, parks and recreation – forestryRescission amount includes the elimination of the recognition dinner at the annual fire warden meetings ($10,000). A Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Public Service will provide $5,000 for a Fuel Use Survey. Forestry will leverage F&W Federal Funds by performing work requested by F&W ($80,000).Sec. 2.410.Forests, parks and recreation – state parksParks will reduce seasonal maintenance employees ($16,667), advertising work will be brought in-house ($10,000), specific known timber sales revenue will be used ($150,000),STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 11 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08parks rules-based fees will be increased to compensate for inflation ($75,000), and one-time funds will be used ($35,000).Sec. 2.411.Forests, parks and recreation – lands administrationMileage on fleet vehicle will be reduced ($500). The survey section will access one-time alternative sources for reimbursement, and tap federal legacy project funding ($20,000).Sec. 2.413.Forests, parks and recreation – forest highway maintenanceParks Forest Highway work will be deferred ($36,014).Sec. 2.414.Environmental conservation – management and support servicesThe Department will eliminate four filled positions ($54,369); this will require reprioritization and realignment of duties, but core program needs will continue to be met.Sec. 2.415.Environmental conservation – air and waste managementThe Department will eliminate two vacant positions ($55,671); this will require reprioritization and realignment of duties, but core program needs will continue to be met.Sec. 2.416.Environmental conservation – office of water programsThe Department will eliminate six vacant positions ($334,596) and filled positions will be reduced by one ($3,343). This will require reprioritization and realignment of duties, but core program needs will continue to be met. A reduction to general operating expenses ($20,000) and a reduction in pass-through agreements will also be made ($57,000).ANR – DECCarryforward from a one-time appropriation to develop electronic permitting capacity (2007Act 65 Sec. 274(a)(1)(B)) will be reduced by $330,000. This system has achieved some of its core goals and deferral of continuing this work has less impact than other possible reductions within the agency.Sec. 2.418.Natural resources boardThe Natural Resources Board will relast_img read more

Weekly Update: Announcing Reduction in PSSA Testing, Encouraging Stability for Insurance Premiums, Standing United Against Hate, Touting Economic Growth in Pennsylvania

first_imgLike Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Weekly Update: Announcing Reduction in PSSA Testing, Encouraging Stability for Insurance Premiums, Standing United Against Hate, Touting Economic Growth in Pennsylvania SHARE Email Facebook Twitter By: The Office of Governor Tom Wolf By shortening the PSSA’s, we’re ensuring that our kids can focus more on learning in the classroom and less on preparing for one exam. https://t.co/SeFZrzgk6b— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) August 15, 2017 The Blog,  Weekly Update Governor Wolf kicked off this week in Harrisburg with a joint announcement with the Department of Education regarding a reduction in testing time for the PSSA standardized tests. To address the concerns of students, parents, and educators, the Department of Education worked with stakeholders to reduce the length of the tests by 20 percent. On Thursday, the governor traveled to Pittsburgh to tout and discuss the benefits of the reductions with parents and educators.On Wednesday, Governor Wolf sent a letter to the PA Congressional Delegation regarding the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the potential impact of terminating payments for cost-sharing reductions. The governor urged Congress and President Trump to continue payment of cost-sharing reductions for the remainder or 2017 and all of 2018 to ensure that insurance premiums in Pennsylvania, and across the country, remain stable.After the weekend events in Charlottesville, Governor Wolf condemned the hatred and bigotry of white supremacists. “The white supremacy rally in Charlottesville does not reflect the values we hold as Pennsylvanians or as Americans,” Governor Wolf said. “We must speak out strongly for true American values of justice, fairness, and compassion and lead with our actions to reject the groups that gathered in Charlottesville.”On Thursday, Governor Wolf attended Ag Progress Days where he highlighted the importance of building Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry and rural communities. Continuing economic growth in Pennsylvania communities is a priority for Governor Wolf and, also on Thursday, the governor announced completed financing by the Commonwealth Cornerstone Group to combat blight and help revitalization efforts in downtown Lancaster. On Friday, the governor also announced new jobs coming to Elk County with the expansion of Clarion Sintered Metals.Governor Wolf’s Week, August 13, 2017 – August 19, 2017Monday, 8/14/17Governor Wolf Announces PSSA Testing Reduction to Benefit Students, Teachers, and Parents511PA Website Feature to Assist Travelers to Little League World SeriesGovernor Wolf, Advisory Commission Stand United Against HateTuesday, 8/15/17Wolf Administration to Use 21st Century Cures Grant Funding to Further Expand Access to Medication-Assisted TreatmentWednesday, 8/16/17Governor Wolf Writes PA Delegation Regarding CBO Analysis of Ceasing Payments for Cost -Sharing ReductionsGovernor Wolf Touts Work to Build Vibrant Agriculture Industry, Rural Communities in PA during Visit to Ag Progress DaysThursday, 8/17/17Governor Wolf Tours Standardized Test Reduction Benefiting Students, Parents, and TeachersVIDEO: Governor Wolf Welcomes Little League Players, Families to PennsylvaniaGovernor Wolf, PennDOT Announce Completion of State’s First Diverging Diamond InterchangeGovernor Wolf Announces Tax Credits for Rehab and Reuse of Lancaster’s Vacant Bulova Technologies BuildingFriday, 8/18/17Governor Wolf Announces Expansion of Clarion Sintered Metals in Elk County, Creation of 55 New JobsHighlights from The BlogWolf Administration Announce Reduction in Standardized Testing (Round-Up)Highlights from TwitterToday is the start of #LLWS2017 — to everyone participating, spectating, and working: have fun, and good luck. Welcome to Pennsylvania! pic.twitter.com/jkSmvUvyTv— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) August 17, 2017 August 18, 2017last_img read more

McIlroy learning from ‘mistake’

first_img It took McIlroy until December to register his only win of the season, but the two-time major winner has shown glimpses of his best form already this year – despite a second-round exit from the WGC-Accenture Match Play last week – and can also enjoy some home comforts this week having bought a house in Palm Beach. Asked what the lowest point of 2013 was, McIlroy told the PGA Tour website: “Probably The Honda last February. I made a mistake walking off the course and disappointed not just myself. “Golf can be a frustrating game and emotionally tough. What’s important, though, is that I’ve learned from that episode. I need to stay patient and play my way through the difficult patches. “I had to mature, and I did. And through the lean times it was important to remind myself that it was my love of golf that secured my position as number one in the world. That passion for the game is something I’m really enjoying again.” McIlroy has also vowed to keep showing such passion on and off the course, where his candour is appreciated if not always wise. For example, he blasted golf’s “stupid rules” after correctly being given a two-shot penalty for an incorrect drop in the third round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. “I think people have warmed to me for who I am, for the honesty I display on and off the course,” McIlroy added. “I’m learning to take the rough with the smooth, too. “It simply wouldn’t be me if I couldn’t show elation after a win or disappointment when things haven’t exactly gone to plan. You get what you see. “I don’t think I’m an isolated example of a golfer who’s happy when he’s playing well and frustrated when he’s not. It’s really just the way things are. But winning, knowing my game is in good order and being fit really keeps me positive. McIlroy was defending champion last year when he walked off the course midway through his second round, initially telling reporters he was in a “bad place mentally” before citing toothache as the cause of his early exit. The 24-year-old subsequently apologised for the incident and admitted he should have battled through the bad form which blighted most of last year following his multi-million pound switch to Nike. Former world number one Rory McIlroy will revisit the lowest point of his 2013 season this week at the Honda Classic. Press Association “I do get upset sometimes, however, when I’m personally criticised for not playing well enough. I respect the opinions of those close to me – whether family, friends or media – but uninformed or meaningless attacks are a little less easy to swallow.” The world number eight admitted he spent more time dealing with lawyers last year than he hopes to for the rest of his career, but feels he was right to leave both of his previous management companies. “I’m not sure if regret is the right term for management changes,” added McIlroy, who is still embroiled in a legal dispute with Horizon Sports. “I saw my future differently in each case and decided accordingly. “Management teams often have to consider other players in their camp when decisions are being made, and I think I outgrew that. I won’t pretend everything in the future will be smooth sailing because obstacles will always present themselves and there will be highs and lows. “Now that the decisions rest with me, though, I’ll have to take the poor ones on the chin.” Seven of the world’s top 10 are in the field at PGA National, with Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson returning to action after opting to miss last week’s match play event in Arizona. Jason Day, Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson are the players to miss out, with Day taking a break after his WGC-Accenture victory which lifted him to a career-high fourth in the rankings, while Rose is again struggling with a shoulder injury. last_img read more

American woman jailed for 18 months

first_imgA United States of America citizen on Monday was jailed for 18 months when she appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts slapped with one count of forgery and one of fraud.Stacy Hamilton, 44, originally of Texas, USA, pleaded guilty to both offences when Magistrate Fabayo Azore read the charges to her.The first charge stated that between January 1, 2015 and August 12, 2016 at Georgetown, she conspired with persons to forge one passport in favour of Tara Ashley Vaughn, reporting that same was issued by an immigration officer.The second charge read that on August 12, 2016 at Lethem, with intent to defraud, the defendant reported to Steven Williams that the passport was issued by the immigration office.The Prosecution contended that on the day in questioned, Hamilton was intercepted at Lethem as she was attempting to travel to Brazil with the forged passport.Her passport was checked and she was arrested and told of the offence after which she was charged.She told officers that she bought the passport from an unidentified person for a sum of US$1500.Her attorney Paul Fung-a-Fat in a plea of mitigation begged the Magistrate that she not be given a custodial sentenced as she have been living in Guyana for the past year and a half.However, the Magistrate said that a fine will not be given as the matter is a serious one, as such she handed down her sentence.The defendant is to be deported after serving her time in prison.last_img read more