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first_imgJohn Gregg’s $239,114.64 Issueby ABDUL HAKIM  SHABAZZ f or IndianaForefrontDemocratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg has a problem and it’s worth about $239,114.64.Because by the end of the year, that’s how much taxpayers are estimated to have paid for what basically amounts to free healthcare for Gregg, his wife, his ex-wife and two sons.You see back in 2002, when Gregg was Speaker of the House, he along with then Republican Senate Leader Bob Garton passed legislation giving lawmakers lifetime health care. Yes, lifetime, as in when they left office the taxpayers would still be picking up the tab for most of their health insurance.House Speaker Brian Bosma ended the perk in 2006, but due to legal/constitutional restraints they couldn’t end it retroactively. So the Speaker authored a law saying any lawmaker elected or re-elected after 2006 could no longer get the benefit. A number of them retired. And today, Gregg and about 30 other lawmakers are still receiving it.With respect to Gregg’s family, coverage for his former spouse ended in June 5, 2006. Coverage for his current wife began on March 30, 2013 and coverage for his two sons ended on December 31 of 2015. Those same records also show the House of Representatives paid $202,863.63 in benefits for Gregg and his family through the end of 2015 and is expected to pay another $36,251.01 in 2016.Gregg’s campaign is defending the benefit, arguing it’s not free, but he does pay premiums. Which is true, but they won’t disclose the amount.Luckily you have me.In 2002, a traditional family health insurance plan under the state was $8,993.60. A retiring lawmaker would only pay about $343.67 or 4 percent of the costs. And the law locked in that rate for life any lawmaker who had six years and one day of service. Extrapolate that to today. And assuming Gregg is on the traditional plan, he is paying $1,440, saving about $34k -$36k year. Or that’s what you’re paying for him and his family’s health insurance.Now my Democratic friends say this isn’t an issue because Gregg didn’t do anything illegal and some have even brought up Governor Mike Pence’s salary when he was in Congress. And to be honest, I was surprised Gregg was still on the program. I figured he would have been on his own plan since he was President of Vincennes University at one time and worked for a Fortune 500 company. Regardless, I think my democratic friends’ positions show a fundamental misunderstanding of politics.While voters may not appreciate the subtleties between acquired wealth and deferred compensation, they can sure wrap their arms around any politician (who is supposed to be part-time) writing a law to give him and his family basically free health insurance 14 years after they left office.And if you don’t believe me, just watch the campaign commercials that are likely to come out of all this.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

first_img May 1, 2001 Amy Brown Assistant Editor Regular News Local bar associations gear up for Law Week Assistant Editor “Law Day provides an opportunity for all Florida lawyers and citizens to celebrate our freedom and the laws that protect it; and whereas, Florida joins the legal profession and all its citizens in recognizing the annual nationwide observance of Law Day with “Celebrate Your Freedom: Protecting the Best Interests of Our Children” as a national theme; Now, therefore, I, Jeb Bush, governor of the state of Florida, do hereby extend greetings and best wishes to all observing Law Week.. . . “ Gov. Jeb Bush from his Law Week Proclamation Law Week 2001 is underway, and citizens across the state are celebrating the event by learning about the role of law in their lives. Lawyers, judges, and law enforcement officers in Florida are working with teachers and community leaders to teach children and citizens about constitutional freedoms and the laws that protect them. This year’s theme, “Celebrate Your Freedom: Protecting the Best Interests of Our Children,” focuses on outreach to children.“Protection of the interests of our children is not only essential to the protection of freedom, but it is also our legacy,” said Bob Pritt, statewide Law Week chair. “We cannot expect to remain a free society unless we fiercely protect the best interest of our children.”In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day U.S.A. to strengthen our heritage of liberty, justice, and equality under the law, and three years later, May 1 was designated by a joint resolution of Congress as the official date for celebration.May 1 remains the official date, however, the celebration in most states has expanded to cover an entire week or more, and Law Day has become the biggest single public relations project conducted by the legal profession.In 1998, with the help of the Florida Legislature, The Florida Bar saw the passage of legislation that officially designates Law Day and Law Week each year in the state. Like most states, Florida has answered the ABA’s call-to-action and follows the nationwide theme.In her message to this year’s Law Week participants, American Bar Association President Martha Barnett said, “One of the noblest pursuits of the legal profession is helping improve children’s lives through legislative and judicial reform, as well as by legal work on cases affecting children. Few professional activities are as rewarding as helping the most vulnerable children in our society: abused, neglected, and abandoned children; youth who find themselves in the juvenile justice system; child victims of crime; and children affected by their parents’ divorce or separation.”The ABA has taken a leadership role in organizing and promoting Law Week celebrations across the country and offers planning guides and myriad materials to aid state and local bar associations in their efforts.Utilizing the ABA’s suggestions, voluntary and local bar associations across the state are undertaking major public outreach projects ranging from providing speakers for schools to golf tournaments to benefit local charities.Some notable efforts include:• The Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association’s Courthouse Law Week Committee is hosting several educational events for the community, including a visit by the judiciary to local high schools, tours of the Alachua County Courthouse, and Law Day on the Downtown Plaza, featuring information booths and a police K-9 unit demonstration.• The Hernando County Bar Association has organized a Law Week banquet, a free “Ask a Lawyer” session with one-on-one legal consultations, the 4th Annual Law Week Golf Tournament, a probate seminar, a televised roundtable discussion, a radio talk show on WWJB, guest editorials in local papers, and several awards to be presented during the week.• The Highlands County Bar Association is providing an open house in the law library, followed by a ceremony in the Judge Clifton Kelly courtroom. The ceremony will feature speeches by Justice Parker Lee McDonald, Highlands County Bar President William Nielander, and Circuit Chief Judge Charles B. Curry. The winners of several student contests will be recognized, as will the circuit’s sheriff and teen court and guardian ad litem programs.• The Hillsborough County Bar Association has planned two major events, in addition to their regular courthouse tours for all fifth graders in the county. In two televised Judicial Town Hall Meetings, both kids and adults will be educated about the inner-workings of the court system. First, Judge Ralph Stoddard, Public Defender Julie Holt, and State Attorney Mark Ober will present a skit of a domestic violence detention hearing and answer questions from students. The second meeting will be lead by local family law judges and family law practitioners and focus on the legal standard, “in the best interest of the child.” The community will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the child custody experts.• In Duval County, Circuit Judges Karen Cole and Gregg McCaullie will visit a local high school and discuss both the family court and criminal dockets with students.• The Caribbean Bar Association has scheduled a Miami-Dade County Juvenile Court Field Trip for students from a local high school legal magnet program; a juvenile dependency panel discussion titled “Juvenile Dependency and You” and featuring Circuit Judge John T. Luzzo, assistant attorney generals, and representatives from the Florida Department of Children and Families; and agreements with local media to publish information and essays about Law Day.• The Clearwater Bar Association will again present their Annual Law Day Luncheon, which will feature John J. Loftus, president of the Holocaust Museum, as the main speaker. The bar will also commemorate Law Day 2001 with the 7th Annual Law Day Ride, at which motorcycle riders provide a donation to the Clearwater Bar Foundation’s pro bono program.• The Tallahassee Bar Association has scheduled a Fairy Tale Mock Trial for local elementary schools; speakers for high schools; a Habitat for Humanity project; and “Community Law Day” at the local senior center, featuring speakers and question-and-answer sessions.• The Volusia County Bar Association will hold the 6th Annual Barristers’ Scramble golf tournament which will benefit the bar’s Scholarship Fund Development, Volusia County “Friends of Teen Court,” and a number of other bar programs. The bar will kick off Law Week with a luncheon with featured speaker Circuit Judge Julianne Piggotte, who serves in the juvenile dependency division.• The St. Petersburg Bar Association has garnered space in the City of St. Petersburg’s “City Hall in the Mall” booth, at which volunteers will provide general legal information and promote the bar’s Community Law Program. The bar also plans to hold a poster contest, career shadowing, criminal mock trial, jail tours, and provide speakers for local high schools.To get involved in the activities in your area, contact your local bar association or access the Bar’s website at www.FLABAR.org for information about the Law Week chair in your community. Local bar associations gear up for Law Weeklast_img read more

first_imgRelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Sanwo-Olu: We’re committed to fulfilling promises to Lagosians Premier League clubs should face a windfall tax unless they tackle the “obscene situation” of players earning fortunes during the coronavirus crisis while other employees take pay cuts. Julian Knight, a member for the ruling Conservative party who chairs the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said this on Thursday. Talks between the Premier League and the PFA players union over potential wage cuts or deferrals were continuing after no agreement was reached on Wednesday. Player wages, with some paid many times more per week than the average Briton takes home in a year, have become a hot topic as club staff are furloughed under a government job retention scheme. Knight said he had written to finance minister Rishi Sunak urging action. He said: “We are facing an obscene situation where top players who aren’t working are continuing to see hundreds of thousands of pounds roll in each week while the staff who keep the clubs going are losing wages. “If the Premier League isn’t going to act to resolve this crisis then the government must step in by imposing a significant financial penalty on clubs to reimburse those hit hardest in the pocket.” Professional football in England has been suspended until April 30, at the earliest, due to the pandemic with some top flight clubs putting non-playing staff on leave. Norwich City said on Thursday their players and management had agreed to donate a percentage of their salaries, amounting to more than 200,000 pounds ($247,280) to help those affected by the virus. Captain Grant Hanley told the club website (www.canaries.co.uk): “As a group of players, we wanted to stand up and do our bit. “The lads have heard at first-hand stories and challenges that some of our supporters are currently facing. “We need to make sure we’re reaching out and helping those who have been hit hard and are struggling at this time.” Senior management at Bournemouth and Brighton & Hove Albion have taken voluntary three months pay cuts to help protect staff jobs. Others such as Tottenham Hotspur who imposed a 20 per cent pay cut on 550 non-playing staff on Tuesday, have said they hoped players would end up “doing their bit for the football eco-system.” In a separate letter to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, Knight expressed his “strong dismay” and set a Tuesday deadline for the clubs to “do the right thing…or face the consequences”. A windfall tax would help fund payments to non-playing staff or help the grassroots game, added Knight. The DCMS committee chair said the Premier League should be “role modelling a responsible approach” along the lines of European rivals. Players at a number of top continental clubs, including Italian and Spanish heavyweights Juventus and Barcelona, have agreed temporary pay cuts. Reuters/NAN.Tags: CoronavirusCOVID-19Julian KnightPremier Leaguelast_img read more

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