Archive for ‘Grants’

April 1, 2011

Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act

As of current financial conditioning continues to reform and restructure this nations economic balance what we are hearing often is the talk of spending cuts, continual downsizing, restoring stability, making a way to free up more federal dollars and so on. Never once have we hear the option of taking the remainder of unused money to settle and debt that may have amounted. Is this not freeing up federal dollars or cutting spending?

Effective on the date of the enactment of this Act, there are rescinded and permanently canceled all unobligated balances remaining available as of such date of enactment of the amounts made available by section 1496(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer
Protection Act making it easier to assess the full amount of fiscal money used by the sponsor to bring the bill to life and a functional action. Allowing the TREATMENT OF REMAINING FUNDS to Not withstand the repeal of any amounts made available under the provision specified be obligated before the date of the enactment of this Act shall continue to be governed by the provisions of law specified and in effect immediately before such repeal.

Is this not how a bill should act once appropriated and shifted into a law?

Although the bill is still in implementation preceding it’s a start toward a new beginning, lets stop raising unnecessary money on bills to be appropriated and finish one in its entirety. This could be the first step toward reducing the debt associated with bill proposals and texting options taking into consideration of the passing of a new bill.

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March 23, 2011

America and it’s Energy concern

Dear Mr. Shaw:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the current status of the energy bill. I appreciate hearing from you and would like to take this opportunity to respond to your concerns.

In the first session of the 110th Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed two markedly different versions of omnibus energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation. The Senate version of H.R. 6, the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007, passed the Senate by a vote of 65-27 on June 21, 2007. I voted against the Senate passed version of the energy bill because of it did not include any language for increased domestic energy production, debate was not allowed to discuss a possible repeal of the Brazilian ethanol tariff and Senate Democrats promised to reinsert the $32 billion tax title in conference. The House passed H.R. 3221, The New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act, on August 4, 2007.

There are several fundamental differences between these two pieces of legislation that have made it difficult for a conference committee to be arranged without further action from either chamber. The Senate passed bill includes both a raise in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards and a Renewable Fuels Standard, while the House passed version does not deal with either in any capacity. Furthermore, the House passed version included a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, which was not included in the Senate version, as well as a lengthy tax title that was not added to the Senate passed energy bill.

Appointing a conference committee for these bills has been a slow and laborious process. To date, Senate leadership has yet to name conferees which has delayed any further action on the Energy Bill. Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind as we continue working on these important bills. I am committed to working with my colleagues in the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the full Senate to promote America’s energy independence.

Again, thank you for contacting me. If you have any additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. In addition, for more information about issues and activities important to Florida, please sign up for my weekly newsletter at http://martinez.senate.gov.

Sincerely,

Mel Martinez
United States Senator

March 23, 2011

Regards toward a safe Marijuana Policy

Dear Mr. Shaw:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns about the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). I appreciate hearing from you and would like to respond to your concerns.

The production, sale, and consumption of illicit drugs pose a serious threat to the well being of our nation. In addition to causing significant social and health problems, drugs contribute directly to crime levels in our communities. For these reasons, the ONDCP must work efficiently and effectively to combat the flow of illegal drugs into our country and engage in preventative efforts to reduce illegal drug use among Americans.

ONDCP was created in 1988 to establish policies, priorities, and objectives for the Nation’s drug control program. This office is charged with creating and implementing these programs to reduce the prevalence of illicit drugs in our society. I appreciate you sharing your concerns about the Office of National Drug Control Policy with me. I believe that ONDCP is a critical component in our war on drugs; however, I will be sure to keep your concerns in mind as we proceed in the 110th Congress.

Again, thank you for sharing your views with me. If you have any additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. In addition, for more information about issues and activities important to Florida, please sign up for my weekly newsletter at http://martinez.senate.gov.

Sincerely,

Mel Martinez
United States Senator

March 23, 2011

Credit Card Crisis on America

Remember the credit Card crisis that this nation was facing? The following is a response from Senator Mel Martinez before he left office.

Dear Mr. Shaw:

Thank you for contacting me regarding credit cards. I appreciate hearing from you and would like to respond to your concerns.

Florida’s families are facing many challenges right now, including rising fuel costs, falling home values, and increasing levels of debt. Credit cards are powerful tools. When used properly, they allow Americans the flexibility to weather economic downturns and build credit history to support future financial goals like homeownership or financing a child’s education. Unfortunately, an increase in the use of credit cards has lead to instances of predatory practices and unfair rates and fees. I share your concerns, and I will continue to work with my colleagues on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to ensure that we maintain the availability of credit to American families and that the intended consumer protections are practiced.

Again, thank you for sharing your views with me. If you have further questions or comments, please contact me. For more information about issues and activities important to Florida, please sign up for my weekly newsletter at http://martinez.senate.gov.

Sincerely,

Mel Martinez
United States Senator

March 22, 2011

Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and the Florida Pre-Paid College Program

Dear Mr. Shaw:

Thank you for contacting me regarding higher education funding in Florida. I understand and share your concerns about recent proposals regarding the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and the Florida Pre-Paid College Program.

As you may know, these programs are handled solely by the Florida Legislature and Florida Board of Education. I encourage you to express your opinions to your state representatives and education officials, and I will continue to work on the Federal level to ensure that all children have equal access to post-secondary education. I believe a college education is the passport to a bright and industrious future for our children.

I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me. Your communication enables me to serve you better in the Senate. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

http://billnelson.senate.gov/news/ebriefs.cfm

March 22, 2011

Wanting to legalize marijuana?

Dear Mr. Shaw:

Thank you for contacting me regarding proposals to legalize marijuana.

I oppose legalizing this dangerous drug. At this time, no legislation is pending in the Senate to decriminalize the possession or use of marijuana. If such a proposal is introduced I will keep your thoughts in mind.

Your communication is important and enables me to better serve you in the Senate. Please contact me again with any input or concerns you have.

March 22, 2011

Educational Funding cuts in Central Florida’s schools 2009

Dear Mr. Shaw:

Thank you for sharing your concerns about education funding cuts in Central Florida’s schools. Hearing from you helps me better represent Florida’s Eighth District.

As the father of five, I will be the first to tell you that nothing is more important than a child’s education. I share your frustrations regarding education funding cuts in the state of Florida. These cuts impact everything from the jobs of quality teachers and administrators, to after school activities and athletic programs. That is why I voted for H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included an important provision that would increase education funding nationwide, by approximately $47 billion. Initially, Florida was not eligible for Recovery education funding because the state legislature was not meeting funding obligations. However, myself and other members of the Florida Congressional delegation personally asked the U.S. Secretary of Education to grant Florida an emergency waiver, making our state eligible for increased education funds.

On May 12, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that Recovery funding of up to $1.8 billion was available to the state of Florida, with the opportunity to apply for another $891 million this fall. This money will benefit the children of Florida because it will help save the hundreds of thousands of teaching jobs that were at the risk of state and local budget cuts. Although this is just a first step, please know that as the 111th Congress debates issues related to education and federal funding, I will have the best interests of my constituents, like you, in mind.

March 21, 2011

Senator Bill Nelsons’ response towards Continuing Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2011

Dear Mr. Shaw:

Thank you for sharing your concerns about the spending plan set forth by the House of Representatives in H.R. 1, the Continuing Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2011. The Senate declined to take up this measure, and a Senate version of a continuing resolution also failed to gain enough votes to proceed to debate.

H.R. 1 blindly slashed programs without taking the time to examine the consequences. What we need instead are responsible solutions that can reduce the deficit and, at the same time, ensure economic opportunity for the middle class.

I have long been committed to getting Federal spending under control, going back to my support for a balanced budget in the 1980s. Last year I voted for an across-the-board cap on discretionary spending through 2014, and recently voted to ban earmarks for three years. Furthermore, I am a cosponsor to the Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act (S.102), which would establish a streamlined procedure for Congress to vote on discretionary spending cuts proposed by the President, much like a line-item veto.

Now Congress must work together on a new plan to keep the government funded past March 18. I assure you that I will look for common ground across the political divide, and admonish efforts to derail good-faith negotiations. I am committed to finding real solutions to our fiscal situation, and will work to ensure that appropriations bills and measures to reduce the deficit reflect the values and priorities of Floridians.

I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future

Sincerely,
Senator Bill Nelson

March 16, 2011

Marijuana Review

The population of the United States is 307,006,550. What is recorded here is the actual number of arrests that have been made in sake of marijuana possession. Reason enough under the assumption of current point and tie analysis is now under the influence of simply issuing a court summons and a fine of $50.

Currently there are several states within the nation that have already considered marijuana for what it is a social drug and have lessened the penalties that has been associated.

Marijuana Arrests For Year 2005 — 786,545 Tops Record High… Pot Smokers Arrested In America At A Rate Of One Every 40 Seconds with an estimated 15 million users averaged on a monthly basis.

Police arrested a record 829,625 persons for marijuana violations in 2006, approximately 89 percent some 738,915 Americans were charged with possession only.

872,721 Americans were arrested for marijuana in 2007, and of those arrests, 89% or 775,138 were arrests for simple possession

Police arrested 847,864 persons for marijuana violations in 2008. Marijuana arrests now comprised one-half (49.8 percent) of all drug arrests reported in the United States.

Police prosecuted 858,408 persons for marijuana violations in 2009. Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 88 percent (758,593 Americans) were charged with possession only.

Each year there is an increase to the number of arrests that are made to marijuana possessors with really is not necessary. It costs more money to continually arrest an incarcerate marijuana possessors which is costing tax payers big dollars. There is a solution to all this though, just allow there to be a passing of a bill that is written to handle the instances in which those in possession of marijuana at time of interaction with law enforcement be issued a court summons and fined a certain stated amount of money in lue of possession. It would make sense in the effort of reform and it sure would free up tax payers dollars.

March 15, 2011

William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund

I’m pretty sure that with the concern that is going on in Broward County in all with the acceptance of the parochial school advancement and all that a bit of information on another aspect of religious subjecting would be about the homeless situation that has transpired for some time now in what most could consider a metro Broward County. In 1992 Visionary Fla. Lawmakers enacted a landmark affordable housing law that earmarked revenues raised from the documentary stamp tax on real estate transactions to affordable housing.

“Gov. Bush initially opposed reauthorizing the funds. He claimed that recent dramatic increases in home prices and the resulting increase in property tax revenue funneled too much money into the affordable housing trust funds, and he believed more of it should be spent on other worthy state programs. SB 2514, A separate bill that the governor favored, would have limited the total amount of money in the trust funds to their 2003 levels; but that failed to pass the Florida Legislature, making it unclear whether Gov. Bush would sign the reauthorization bills without his requested spending limit guarantee. Lawmakers continued the tradition of providing for affordable housing for Florida families by passing legislation to reauthorize the state’s two housing trust funds. This includes the William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund in which this program has helped more than 130,000 families buy a home. (Florida Association of Realtors)

HB 1375, this session’s ‘comprehensive’ affordable housing bill included $15 million for extremely low income housing development. This is a 50 percent decrease from the current funding set a-side.

Florida lawmakers refused to remove the cap on the Sadowski Trust Fund. The House did workshop a bill to remove the cap in its Policy and Budget Council; however that is where it ended. The Senate did not address the cap in any committee. (No bill heard in committees). The Legislature did appropriate $391,400,000 of the Sadowski fund towards Housing initiatives some of the money appropriated was from last year’s unappropriated dollars.

ENROLLED 2004 Legislature SB 1000;

An act relating to trust funds; re-creating:

Local Government Housing Trust Fund within the Department of Community Affairs without modification; carrying forward current balances and continuing current sources and uses thereof; providing an effective date.

WHEREAS, the Legislature wishes to extend the life of the Local Government Housing Trust Fund within the Department of Community Affairs, which is otherwise scheduled to be terminated pursuant to constitutional mandate, and WHEREAS, the Legislature has reviewed the trust fund before its scheduled termination date and has found that it continues to meet an important public purpose, an WHEREAS, the Legislature has found that existing public policy concerning the trust fund sets adequate parameters for its use, NOW, THEREFORE, Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida. Evidence that there [(a state acted involvement concern)] was a suspected consideration to take an effective approach to what seemed to be a prospecting public funded program. This act shall take effect November 4, 2004.

ENROLLED 2004 Legislature SB 1002:

An act relating to trust funds; re-creating the State Housing Trust Fund within the Department of Community Affairs without modification; carrying forward current balances and continuing current sources and uses thereof; providing an effective date.

WHEREAS, the Legislature wishes to extend the life of the State Housing Trust Fund within the Department of Community Affairs, which is otherwise scheduled to be terminated pursuant to constitutional mandate, and WHEREAS, the Legislature has reviewed the trust fund before its scheduled termination date and has found that it continues to meet an important public purpose, and WHEREAS, the Legislature has found that existing public policy concerning the trust fund sets adequate parameters for its use, NOW, THEREFORE,

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

This act shall take effect November 4, 2004.

“The next step is for the subcommittee to mark up a THUD bill that divvies up the $50.7 billion in allocated subcommittee funding among all of the federal programs under its jurisdiction, including funding for all HUD programs. The THUD subcommittee, chaired by Representative John Olver (D-MA), will hold its mark-up for the FY08 spending bill…” and this was back in June so what has come of the approach that has been taken by those of concern? (http://www.flshc.net/documents/FLSHCworkgroup.pdf)

“Right now, we’re on the defensive,” she says. “We’re not even asking for increased funding. We just want lawmakers to get rid of the cap.”

Jaimie Ross, [left,] affordable housing director for 1,000 Friends of Florida, a Tallahassee-based watchdog group, says unless the cap is repealed, affordable housing programs will lose up to $1 billion in unallocated funds.

It’s now 2007 and no word has come of this program as of yet! Is there still any-one out there that has anything to do with the concern of what is at hand? We must feel proud that we can over look the fact that this program has been hailed and yet there is no economic response of any more success or even improvement coming from this network of private peoples that have expressed their own personal consideration for the homeless as a mass. I’m taken the approach that the big fuss is supposed to be about the HUD McKinney-Vento act that is also being put but for more money considerations, how bout that!

When it comes to me, consider the state as it sees the views and opinions of those involved with this act as a trust fund also.

As it was responded to me from you Representative Mica, you were or are a co-founder of the HUD Vento-McKinney Act that as a response to the lack of housing situation that are allotted to the homeless made sure that there can continue to be an option of available funds to allow such a consideration. However with some research there has brought another fund that seems to be state drive but more of a private funded act in the Sadowski Trust fund. For some time back in 2004 and 2005 there seemed to be a lack in approval taken in by the state that made this fund become to a state of remorse and lacking the funding that it needed to maintain a dependable resolve for those that are out on the street. As a matter of concern, what made this a fund that does not receive such attention as the Vento-McKinney Act? Is it that there is a difference in the fact that one is a national matter as opposed to the Sadowski fund which is mainly a local effort keeping all the attention focused on the Metro Broward area?

As the Vento-McKinney Act receives that attention that it needs to becoming restructured questions about other funds and acts that are structured in the same manner as such will become more and more attentive and demanding the same attention, will this happen and under what means?