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Davis sponsors bill to reclaim unspent funds

Thomas Clatterbuck

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Authorizing spending is one of the chief powers of the legislature. The so called “power of the purse” lets Congress appropriate money to be spent by various agencies. These agencies then dutifully spend as much money as they are allowed. When there is a spending issue, it is normally that projects have overspent. But what happens in those cases when there is money left over? Where does the money go?

The answer is typically nowhere. Unspent money just sits waiting to be used. If the spending authority expires, then the money cannot be spent at all. HR 3 has identified over $15 billion in funds that either cannot be spent, or are not being spent.

Congressman Rodney Davis (R-13) said, “It’s just common sense that we rescind billions of taxpayer dollars that have gone years without being spent and in many cases can no longer be used because the authorizing authority has expired. An example of this is $523 million in energy loan guarantees program authorized as part of President Obama’s 800-billion-dollar stimulus bill that were not used and lapsed seven years ago.”

Sponsors of the bill stressed that it only impacts older appropriations and programs. It would not impact any funding authorized in the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus bill. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated that the bill would not affect CHIP payments to states over the 2018-2028 period.

Senior strategist, statehouse reporter and political correspondent for Springfield Daily. Graduate of District 117 and UIS. Thomas covers stories in both Morgan and Sangamon Counties, as well as statewide politics.

Business

SJ-R writers march for a contract

Thomas Clatterbuck

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2007 was the year President George W. Bush sent the “surge” of troops to Iraq, the iPhone was released, and the subprime mortgage bubble popped. It was also when writers at the State Journal-Register (SJR) last got a raise. Even after forming a union in 2012, the newsroom writers are still fighting to get their first contract with GateHouse Media. GateHouse Media is part of the New Media Investment Group, which acquired the SJR in 2007. They are based in Fairport, New York,

Today, members of the local United Media Guild marched to demand a labor contract. Those negotiations are ongoing in St. Louis, and have made some progress. A deal struck last year will guarantee a one percent raise in September of this year, and a 1.75 percent raise in October of next year. The marchers were joined by members of other local labor unions including AFSCME.

The local United Media Guild is part of The NewsGuild-CWA which represents 25,000 journalists and media workers across the nation.

You can see our interviews with Union representatives in the video player above, and watch some of the march in the player below.

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U.S.

Davis seeks travel arrangement changes inspired by the family of Petty Officer Logan Palmer

Staff Contributor

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The loss of any service member in the armed forces is a tragedy. When a service member dies in a combat zone, their remains are either flown home or to Dover Air Force Base. If the family needs transportation to Dover, the Department of Defense (DoD) handles the arrangements. But if the death occurred outside of a combat zone, that does not always happen. Waivers are often granted in these cases, but only by request. Congressmen Davis (R-13) wants to change that.

This issue was highlighted in August 2017, when the USS John McCain struck a merchant ship in the Singapore Strait. Ten US service members died in that accident, including Petty Officer Logan Palmer of Harristown, Illinois. The Palmer family struggled with the DoD bureaucracy, and ultimately relied on outside organizations to arrange travel to Dover.

Davis’ bill, H.R. 5848, would require the DoD to cover the travel arrangements for non-combat deaths without the red tape. Davis said that, “The Department of Defense has assured me that they are working to change this policy now, but a law is necessary to ensure this change remains permanent.”

H.R. 5848 is an amendment to the Fiscal Year (FY) ’19 National Defense Authorization Act, which is expected to pass the House later this week.

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City/County

LIVE | Village of Chatham, IL Board Meeting – May 22nd, 2018

Staff Contributor

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LIVE | Village of Chatham, IL Board Meeting – May 22nd, 2018

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