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Measure would help state attorneys, PDs with loans

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first_img Measure would help state attorneys, PDs with loans Associate Editor A few weeks ago, a young attorney came to Sen. Skip Campbell’s office and begged for a job. He made only $28,000 and had $135,000 in student loans hanging over his head.“Unfortunately, I didn’t have a job to offer him,” said Campbell, D-Tamarac.But what Campbell offered the Senate Committee on the Judiciary was SB 250, which would create a student loan repayment program for certain assistant state attorneys and assistant public defenders.Campbell called it a good bill that provides an incentive for young lawyers to stay in their jobs longer than three years. The bill passed out of the committee unanimously, even though Sen. Rod Smith, D-Gainesville, chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Article V Implementation and the Judiciary, predicted it will become a bill without funding because of the lean budget.The proposed legislation provides that once an assistant state attorney or assistant public defender serves in that job for three years, the Justice Administrative Commission would make yearly payments of $3,000 to the student loan lender on behalf of the attorney. When an attorney completes six years of continuous service, the payment amount would be increased to $5,000. Student loan assistance would end when the loan is paid off, when the attorney completes 12 years of continuous service, or when payments made on behalf of the attorney equal $44,000.According to Senate Judiciary staff, an in-state student at Florida State University College of Law pays $5,393 a year; an out-of-state student pays $19,624 a year. FSU students are allowed to borrow as much as $18,500 per academic year, or $55,000 for the three-year law school program, according to the FSU Financial Aid Office.Law school tuition takes a giant leap at private schools, such as Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad School of Law, where tuition is $22,500 each year for a full-time student.In the end, many law school graduates simply can’t afford to work for the state trial courts.“On behalf of the Florida Public Defender Association, we very much support this bill,” said Second Circuit Public Defender Nancy Daniels. “It is a very hard reality in our offices that we lose our attorneys.”Starting salaries for assistant public defenders and assistant state attorneys were increased to $37,566 beginning December 1, 2003.“We are able to recruit these days with the starting salaries,” Daniels said, “But at the two-year mark, when their loans build up and can’t be consolidated, we lose our attorneys very regularly. Both state attorneys and public defenders suffer with very severe turnover problems. We think this would help us with recruitment and turnover. Even if the bill is passed as a substantive bill this year would be helpful, and we could tell our recruits that it is there and maybe will be funded in the future.”Smith said: “The issue, as you know, is if we fund this and it takes $600,000, that is $600,000 out of your workload. Which would you choose?”“We’d rather have both,” Daniels said with smile.“Which one would you choose?” pressed the senator and former state attorney of the Eighth Judicial Circuit.“We understand the issue there,” Daniels answered.Campbell tried to put a positive spin on the economic forecast.“The economy is heating up, according to the papers. I know the Revenue Estimating Conference says we have $500,000 more than we thought. If we can make it an unfunded law, when we have the funds, we can kick it in. I feel strongly that the third branch of government is underfunded,” Campbell said.“I hope the legislature will wake up that there are three equal branches and they all need to be funded. Maybe the prediction of Sen. Smith will not come true, and we will have a few extra bucks to help these attorneys.”Campbell said he wanted to include trial staff attorneys in the bill, as well, but those positions (which pay an annual minimum salary of $44,328) are funded through a different source — the Office of State Courts Administrator.“To keep this bill as clean as we can, we have to remove them,” Campbell said. “I will tell staff attorneys and guardian ad litem attorneys that I will work to get them the same type of assistance, hopefully, later in the process. But we can’t do it in this bill.”Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, asked about including assistant attorneys general, too.“I probably got 500 e-mails from lawyers who want to be included,” Campbell said. “But AGs aren’t funded through the same source.”Smith said while he supports the bill, he knows the state can’t afford it.“As for putting in the AGs, it doesn’t matter, because we aren’t going to fund it anyway,” Smith said. January 15, 2004 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Measure would help state attorneys, PDs with loanslast_img read more

Governor Wolf Urges Meehan and Kelly to Vote No on Disastrous GOP Tax Plan

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first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Economy,  Education,  National Issues,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf sent a letter to Representatives Meehan and Kelly, both members of the House Ways and Means Committee, urging them to vote ‘no’ on the Republican tax plan and asked that Washington work on a bipartisan tax reform plan that would benefit middle-class Pennsylvanians. Governor Wolf denounced the Republican attempt to eliminate important federal deductions for Pennsylvania workers and families being used to fund tax cuts for the richest Americans.“Hardworking Pennsylvanians, seniors, and students should not be forced to fund tax breaks for the rich,” Governor Wolf said. “Instead of prioritizing the middle class, the bill drafted by House Republicans behind closed doors caters to the wealthy and large corporations. Even worse, small businesses and working-class homeowners will pay more under the Republican plan. Tax reform is an opportunity to help grow our economy and strengthen the middle class and this bill does nothing to further those goals. Instead, this bill puts the interests of the wealthiest one percent ahead of the interests of hard-working Pennsylvania families.”According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, nearly half of the tax cuts contained in the bill go to the top 1% of households. Worse yet, down the road many of the modest cuts going to the average Pennsylvanian will disappear and they will end up paying more than they are today.Among the tax deduction changes affect key breaks for middle-class families and seniors, which Governor Wolf opposes. These include:Ending the medical expense deduction will hurt over 300,000 Pennsylvanians, mostly seniors with high medical expenses.Eliminating the student loan interest deduction used by over 650,000 Pennsylvanians, which will make it costlier and add an additional barrier to higher education for current and future students.Eliminating the educator expense deduction means 150,000 of the commonwealth’s teachers will not be able to deduct classroom supplies they purchase out of their own pocket.Families adopting a child will no longer have the adoption tax credit available to them.Read full text of the letter below. You can also view the letter on Scribd and as a PDF.Dear Congressman Meehan:As the House Ways and Means Committee considers H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act this week, I write to you to share my concerns over this bill’s misplaced priorities.Tax reform is an opportunity to demonstrate our values, helping our constituents that need it the most. Instead of prioritizing the middle class, the bill drafted by House Republicans behind closed doors and without a single hearing or chance for public input, caters to the wealthy and large corporations. Small businesses and working-class homeowners are largely forgotten.The tax credits and deductions that are eliminated in this bill are ones that are overwhelmingly used by middle class Pennsylvanians. The student loan interest deduction is used by over 650,000 Pennsylvanians. Eliminating this deduction will make it costlier and add an additional barrier to higher education for current and future students. Eliminating the educator expense deduction means 150,000 of the commonwealth’s teachers will not be able to deduct classroom supplies they purchase out of their own pocket. Families adopting a child will no longer have the adoption tax credit available to them. Ending the medical expense deduction will hurt over 300,000 Pennsylvanians, mostly seniors with high medical expenses.According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, nearly half of the tax cuts contained in the bill go to the top 1% of households. Worse yet, down the road many of the modest cuts going to the average Pennsylvanian will disappear and they will end up paying more than they are today.This bill is not what middle class Pennsylvanians need. I do not believe your constituents elected you to represent the interests of the wealthiest 1% at the expense of hard-working Pennsylvania families.I urge you to vote no on this bill and instead work on an open and bipartisan tax reform plan that will benefit the Pennsylvanians that need it the most. Thank you for your consideration.Sincerely,TOM WOLFGovernor11.8.17 Governor Wolf’s Letter on H.R. 1 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by Governor Tom Wolf on Scribd Governor Wolf Urges Meehan and Kelly to Vote No on Disastrous GOP Tax Plancenter_img November 09, 2017last_img read more

Lakers get close but that’s it in loss to Grizzlies

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first_imgThough Bryant nearly collected his second triple-double of the week with 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting, nine rebounds and eight assists in 33 minutes, the Lakers’ star showed a mixed result in late-game baskets. He missed a 13-foot jumper as the Lakers trailed 102-100 left with 1:47 left. Yet, Bryant also hit a 26-foot 3-pointer that cut the deficit to 106-105 with 24 seconds.Lakers coach Byron Scott has admired the Memphis Grizzlies from afar on how they have become an elite defensive team predicated on gritty play. But as they have done all season, the Lakers (10-23) hardly came close in showing that identity.After holding Memphis (24-8) to a 37.5-percent clip in the first quarter, the Lakers yielded double-digit performances to Mike Conley (19 points), Marc Gasol (18 points), Beno Udrih (16 points), Courtney Lee (14 points) and Prince (12). The Grizzlies also posted 48 points in the paint and outrebounded the Lakers 46-38.“I don’t necessarily think you need five great individual defenders,” Scott said beforehand. “You just need five great guys who are understanding the principles and do it on a consistent night to night basis.”How do the Lakers do that? The drama and unexpected twists traveled with the Lakers in nearly every step they took.But no matter what sort of identity the Lakers showed, they still found a way to lose.The Lakers’ 109-106 defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday at Staples Center became official once Kobe Bryant’s turnaround 3-point shot hit off the back rim with 0.6 seconds left. But so many other sequences set up that ending.Lakers forward Ed Davis came through with a season-high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting and eight rebounds despite wearing a plastic mask to protect his broken nose. But Davis failed to tie the score on a pair of free throws. He made one of two attempts, his second one rimming out as the Grizzlies enjoyed a 102-101 edge with 2.1 seconds left. Moments earlier, plenty of fans at Staples Center expressed disappointment that Tayshaun Prince’s above-the-shoulder foul on Davis wasn’t called as a flagrant foul type 2. “Finding guys that have killer instincts,” Scott said. “That’s another conversation.”That negated some otherwise positive developments.Lakers guard Jeremy Lin posted 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting, five assists and three steals after spending all season mired in inconsistency and discomfort. Lakers forward Carlos Boozer helped anchor the second unit with 14 points before fouling out with 5:10 remaining. Nick Young complemented his new afro with 14 points, including a 3-pointer and a layup that put the Lakers up 97-96 with 4:17 left.But then the Lakers allowed Memphis to score 13 points in that final stretch, exposing a defensive weakness that becomes more problematic than of the Lakers’ offensive growth they have enjoyed in recent days.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Teenager Emily to defend English stroke play title

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first_img Tags: Emily Price Teenager Emily Price will defend her title when the English women’s open stroke play championship is played next week at Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, from 22-24 August.The 17-year-old (pictured) won by two shots last year and has recently helped England to regain their crown as Girls’ Home Internationals champions.Price, from Cleobury Mortimer in Worcestershire, is part of a top-class field which includes Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe, Lancashire) who was the low amateur at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.Lamb, the British stroke play champion, is one of four players in the championship who were in the England side which recently became European team champions.The others are Welsh stroke play champion Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest, Cheshire); Lianna Bailey (Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire); and Rochelle Morris (Woodsome Hall, Yorkshire) who went on to become England’s top scorer at the women’s Home Internationals with a perfect score of six wins.There’s also a strong contingent of girl internationals, including English girls’ champion Bel Wardle (Prestbury, Cheshire) and English U16 girls’ winner, Annabell Fuller (Roehampton, Surrey).The host club will be represented by Billie-Jo Smith, while a number of players come from much further afield, travelling from countries such as the Czech Republic, Finland, Italy and Germany.The 72-hole championship will be played on the world-renowned Hotchkin course, with the full field playing a round on Tuesday and Wednesday, 22 and 23 August. The leading 40 competitors and ties will play the final 36 holes on Thursday, 24 August.Click here for more information, including tee times.Image copyright Leaderboard Photography 18 Aug 2017 Teenager Emily to defend English stroke play title last_img read more

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