Is Medicaid expansion a legal “trap”?

Is Medicaid expansion a legal “trap”?.

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Beavercreek City Council Passes Resolution on 1.5% Income Tax Referendum

Beavercreek City Council Meeting – 28 Jan 2013

                Tonight the Beavercreek City Council met in regular session at city hall.  Members in attendance included Mayor Vicki Giambrone, Vice Mayor Jerry Petrak, Council Members Brian Jarvis, Scott Hadley, Melissa Litteral, Zach Upton, and Debborah Wallace, City Manager Michael Cornell, City Attorney Stephen McHugh and the Clerk of Council Dianne Lampton.

                Prior to the Call to Order, the Council recognized the awards earned by several young Beavercreek citizens in the VFW Post 8312 Voice of Democracy Speech and Patriots Pen Essay Contests. 

                Following the Roll Call three Boy Scouts led the assembled gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a moment of silence for service members serving abroad. 

                Ms. Marty Heide, Congressman Turner’s Greene County Outreach coordinator provided information on two opportunities for Beavercreek students sponsored by Congressman Turner.  The first is a Service Academy Day at Centerville High School on 13 April from 8am until noon.  This is an opportunity for students in the 8th grade on up to meet with representatives from all of the Service Academies to learn about what it means to attend an academy, military life in general and how to prepare.  There will be specific information available on the Congressional nomination process. 

                The second opportunity is the 2013 Congressional Art Competition.  Dating back to 1982, this competition recognizes the artistic and creative talents of high school juniors and seniors.  Each student is allowed one entry.  The works of art are collected at the beginning of April and are put on display are the Dayton Art Institute through early May.  There they are judged with the winner going to Washington D.C. for a reception and their artwork is displayed in the Capital Tunnel over the next year.  For more information on the Congressional Art Competition please go to http://turner.house.gov/constituentservices/artcompetition.htm for details, student packets and release forms and to see the local winners from 2011 and 2012. 

                The minutes from 14 Jan 13 were approved with minor editorial changes and the minutes for the 21 Jan special meeting were approved as written.

                Next the council read for the second time ordinances and resolutions up for consideration.  The first was the Ordinance 13-01 Z 12-2 Soin Rezoning (no public comment).  The second was the Ordinance 13-02 PUD 12-2 Crestview Manor Rezoning and Concept Plan (no public comment).  Additional information on both of these can be found in the minutes to the Beavercreek City Planning Commission minutes from 5 Dec 12 (http://ci.beavercreek.oh.us/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/120512.pdf).  The third Ordinance read for a second time , 13-03 Beavercreek Bikeway Advisory Bylaw Review Committee Recommendations, also did not meet with any public comment. 

                The Council then unanimously approved the Resolution 13-04 to include a referendum, “1.5% Income Tax Shall Be Submitted To the Electors”, for the 7 May 2013 election. 

                The City Manager then gave his report starting with a review of the Municipal Income Tax being put on the ballot in May.  This is a 1.5% income tax for a 7 year term starting 1 Jan 2014.  The tax exempts military pay, social security benefits, pension plans, interest and dividends as well as capital gains.  There will be 100% credit given for taxes paid to another municipality.  Also, no less than 20% of the taxes revenue will be allocated to the capital improvement budget.  As part of this tax plan recurring levies covering some areas intended to be funded by the income tax, such as the street levy, will be let to expire.  Thus, the Council claims property taxes will decrease by 2017 by $223/yr per $100,000 of assessed property value.  Additionally, the city will be barred from introducing any additional levies during the 7 year income tax period.  The Mayor pointed out that more information can be found on the City of Beavercreek website at http://ci.beavercreek.oh.us/municipal-income-tax/. 

Next the Mr Cornell provided information on the I Love Beavercreek Celebrity Affair to be held at Bar Louie on 7 Feb to support local non-profit organizations through the Beavercreek Forward Foundation. 

Following the City Managers report, the Mayor reminded those assembled that Beavercreek has the lowest effective tax rate in the region.  She stressed that the Council and the city government has tightened their belts, cut more than $2M from the city budget and continues to run budget drills and scenarios to plan for future budgets.  She also went on to relate conversations she has had with some local businesses about the fear the income tax would chase business away.  She said those she has talked to dismissed the possibility since they pay municipal income taxes at other locations.  The Mayor also thanked Wright State University for the Beavercreek appreciation night at a recent WSU basketball game.  Following here remarks, she asked for additional comments from the council members.  Mr Upton had none.  Ms. Wallace welcomed Sleep Outfitters and Debella’s Subs, two new Beavercreek businesses, to the community.  Mr. Petrak made the point that the Income Tax referendum, if passed, specifically precludes the Council from enacting additional taxes or change the code as passed without a voter referendum on the change.  Mr. Hadley added that the Township was rolling back 2 mil of a levy as an agreement with the city but he also reiterated that the passage of the income tax in the city will not prohibit the school district or the township from proposing additional levies or taxes themselves.  Ms. Litteral had no comment.  Mr Jarvis expressed that he is pleased the tax will come before the voters. 

The meeting was adjourned to Executive Session at 6:32 pm.   

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The Congressional Record App

I’m sitting here in my favorite coffee shop. The inauguration in on CBS on the big screen but I am not paying attention. Bottomline is we are all comrades now. But I digress.
With the passage of the Superstorm Sandy disaster relief bill and the reporting of Jamie Dupree (http://www.wsbradio.com/weblogs/jamie-dupree/) from DC showing it contained provisions that could be spent anywhere in the US, not just in the storm afflicted areas, I went on a search for an app to get the bill and to see the wording for myself. With all the pundits I follow and opinion pages I read, it is really easy to fall into the bad habit of letting others determine my opinion for me. In this New Year promising to be an accelerated slide into a progressive utopia providing neither individual freedoms nor greater prosperity, I have made a resolution to go to the source. I’ve resolved to look beyond the rhetoric and see if the language, the written record and the facts line up with what I hear and, more precisely, with my principles and what I believe. I encourage you to do the same.
So my app search led me to the Congressional Record (search on the iTunes App store) and there was the complete word for word record of the day’s congressional testimony complete with the referenced bills. There are other links within the app for the bill language from the Library of Congress website and the record of votes. It is a very nice, straight forward app and one I will be referring too routinely.
So I looked at the record for Tuesday and saw that in addition to the Sandy bill, the House read the Constitution and all the amendments there to. It was just the second time in history that the Congress had read the Constitution into the record. Pretty cool. Then it dawned on me, how many people actually read the record? And with social media (Twitter, Facebook etc.) what would happen if our representatives in the House and Senate suddenly began getting more and more comments, questions and interactions in their public forums about their testimony? And what if one of the specific questions was “Where in the Constitution does this fall?
So besides a cool application, I think I have found a new method of activism. In the days that follow I will be reading the record and asking questions and seeing if I get responses. I will share those with you and encourage you to do similar. I will do this at all levels of our government as well. I believe that We The People need to be heard and if we stay silent, we will no longer be free.
My first tweets to Congressmen however were ones of thanks. I went through the readers of the Constitution and, one by one, found their Twitter account name or Facebook page and posted a simple thank you for reading the Constitution and a wish that they abide by it. I have gotten a few thank yous and a couple of retweets. Nothing worth reposting yet.

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A note to Representative Steve Austria

Dear Representative Austria, First, I would like to thank you for your service as our Representative these last few years. I know it must be hard to depart but I thought it mighty honorable for you to step aside when the districts were tweaked. As you look to the end of a great run, I would like you to consider voting NO on any “fiscal cliff” solution that attempts any tax hike on anyone. In fact, I would like to have the country drive off the cliff at full throttle. That might sound contrary to my wish for you to vote NO given the tax burden when we run off the cliff will be substantial. My point is that everyone bears a responsibility for funding this bloated government and the cliff will impact everyone in a very real way. Avoiding the bitter pill will only drive us deeper into the hole. We as a country must feel the pinch before we are truly motivated to act. So, unless the fix is a complete tax overhaul (flat or fair tax) and a massive reversal of entitlement spending including health care, I believe the best course is to make the country face reality. Thank you again for your service and I look forward to seeing you back in Beavercreek more often. I’ll buy you a cup of coffee at 4Starters!

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Republicans Need to Stand Strong and Educate

I don’t understand the way the Republicans are negotiating with the Administration over fixing our incredibly screwed up national finances. I also don’t understand how Harry Reid is getting a pass on nearly everything related to policy these days. Since it seems the talks are between the Republican controlled House of Representatives and the Administration, the Senate is nearly irrelevant. This needs to change and the Republicans have to lead the discussion on the proper working of our government, the role of each of the players and how the process is supposed to run its course.
So here is what I want to see. I want the Republicans to very publicly and very succinctly outline the bills they have already passed to address any number of issues from Obamacare to the budget. Then they should repeatedly state that they have executed their responsibility and it is up to the Senate to submit alternative bills to address those issues they want to take up. For the budget, they need to pass a budget through the Senate. Republicans should say they will not consider any solution, nor change any of their passed bills, until the Senate passes reciprocal bills and the two houses can do to conference to workout the differences. This is how the process is supposed to work in layman’s terms. The negotiation happens there, not with the Whitehouse. If the passed bill out of the House AND Senate is not signed into law by the President, then the Congress can try to override the veto or start again.
Bottomline, Republicans should force the process to work it’s self out. If the Senate refuses to play, they need to beat the drum that it is the Senate that is not fulfilling its responsibility. This will also remove the Administration from being in the lime light as they like and will require them to take action on anything that comes out of the Congress. If the House does it’s job, then it is up to the Senate to respond.

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