Category Archives: sources

IT’S OUT! The Statewide Indigent Defense Bill Sponsored by Senator Dance is OUT! Senate Joint Resolution 51!

The Commonwealth is one small step closer to equal justice under law tonight with the introduction of Senate Joint Resolution 51, sponsored by Senator Rosalyn R. Dance and co-sponsored by Delegates Lashrecse D. Aird (newly elected) and Lamont Bagby.  (I expect one or more delegates to sign on to it; stay tuned.)  Here is the place to read the text of the bill and here is the blurb about it:

SJ 51 Comprehensive indigent defense system; State Crime Commission to study.

Introduced by: Rosalyn R. Dance | all patrons    …    notes | add to my profiles

SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:

Study; indigent defense; report. Directs the Virginia State Crime Commission to study the feasibility and costs of establishing a comprehensive indigent defense system in the Commonwealth.

Now here is the full text:

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 51 Offered January 13, 2016Prefiled January 6, 2016Directing the Virginia State Crime Commission to study the feasibility and costs of establishing a comprehensive indigent defense system in the Commonwealth. Report.

———-Patrons– Dance; Delegates: Aird and Bagby———-Referred to Committee on Rules———-

WHEREAS, in 1920, the Virginia General Assembly first determined the need for more adequate defense of indigents in the Commonwealth, but it was not until 1972 that the Virginia Public Defender Commission (now the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission) was established and the General Assembly established the first public defender offices; and

WHEREAS, public defender offices currently exist in some jurisdictions of the Commonwealth but not in others; and

WHEREAS, it is imperative to evaluate the disparity in services and resources between those jurisdictions that have public defender offices and those that do not; and

WHEREAS, in the past, the General Assembly has studied various issues associated with indigent defense but never the feasibility of a statewide public defender system with an appellate defender and post-conviction unit; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary to study the amount and sources of funds that the judicial branch brings into the state budget, as well as other sources of funds such as court costs and split recovery for punitive damages, as potential sources of funds to establish and maintain a statewide public defender system; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the Virginia State Crime Commission be directed to study the feasibility and costs of establishing a comprehensive indigent defense system in the Commonwealth and potential sources of funds for a statewide public defender system with an appellate defender and post-conviction unit. In conducting its study, the Virginia State Crime Commission shall focus on three broad areas: the feasibility of a statewide system and how best to establish and maintain such a system; the costs to establish and maintain a statewide system, including identification of potential sources of funds; and the disparities that exist as a result of the existing system, including whether those disparities warrant the establishment of a statewide public defender system.

All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Commission for this study, upon request.

The Commission shall complete its work in time to submit its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the 2017 Session of the General Assembly as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents.

It’s not too late for YOUR delegate and senator to sign on to this bill.  Let’s find out what it will take to have a statewide indigent defense system and why we should do it.

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Republicans and Obama Strike Deal to Bury What’s Left of America in Debt

CNN Reports that congressional leaders and the White House have struck a deal to bury Americans in irreparable debt.

“Bipartisan congressional leaders and the White House struck a major fiscal deal in principle Monday that would raise the debt ceiling and lift budget caps on both defense and domestic programs, according to congressional sources familiar with the deal. […]

The deal includes $80 billion in increased defense and domestic spending over two years‎, a senior House source told CNN.

It also includes more money for the Pentagon’s overseas contingency account.

That new spending would be offset by sales from the strategic petroleum oil reserve, use of public airwaves for telecommunications companies and changes to the crop insurance program — among other measures. Moreover, the deal would spread out increases in Medicare premiums over time so beneficiaries don’t feel them acutely. It would also aim to preserve the Social Security disability trust fund, sources said”.

This is astounding and if these kinds of debt and spending increases are the sort of bills we can expect from Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House, then I don’t care if he gives the Freedom Caucus everything they want or not. Paul Ryan is going to spend and spend and spend until the American Worker has nothing left to give him.

Representative Paul Ryan, Republican vice presidential candidate, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in Clinton, Iowa, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Ryan discussed presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax plan, fiscal policy and the outlook for his debate with Vice President Joe Biden. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This Republican Party baffles me. When the winds of sentiment are blowing in the direction of less spending and less debt and responsible fiscal management, the Republicans get together with their Democrat friends and do what? Increase spending and increase the debt. This will never end. As long as this Republican Leadership is in power, spending and debt will rise forever.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is everything you’ve been fighting against and they are going to ram it down your throats. It makes you wonder why we even have a Republican Party doesn’t it? If this is the kind of opposition they propose?

Ted Cruz is right. These Republican Leaders are the best thing to ever happen to the Democrat Party. They are able to advance the Democrat Agenda whilst the Democrats flap around “powerlessly” in the minority. I don’t know folks. What are you going to do about it?


Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker

Note to PM Tsipras and the Greek People: Do What’s Best for Greece and the Greek People – not the EU!

Only July 7, the Greek people will vote on whether to accept a bailout from international sources.  But it is really a vote on stay in the Euro or out.  And Greece should do what it thinks is right:  Restore its financial sovereignty and send a message that a nation can get out of the Euro and maybe the European Union as well.

The Reuters article has a balanced viewpoint and I like it:

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, elected in January on a promise to end years of austerity, urged people packing Syntagma square in central Athens to spurn the tough terms of an aid deal offered by international creditors to keep the country afloat.

***

Tsipras says they are bluffing, fearing the fallout for Europe and the global economy. A ‘Yes’ vote may bring him down, ushering in a new period of political instability for a country reeling from five days of shuttered banks and rationed cash withdrawals.

EU leaders aren’t bluffing:  They want to continue their dominance and bullying of Greece:

European policy makers, however, issued fresh warnings of the costs of a ‘No’ vote in a plebiscite called with just eight days’ notice after the breakdown of talks with the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble dismissed Tsipras’ argument that his government would be able to move smoothly to negotiate more favorable terms if Greeks backed his rejection.

“If the Greeks will vote ‘No’, the Greek position is dramatically weakened,” Juncker told a news conference.

 

These German leaders ought to be more diplomatic in light of the Second World War!  Here’s more threats:

The euro zone’s rescue fund, Greece’s largest creditor, said it was reserving the right to call in 130.9 billion euros of debt ahead of time after Athens defaulted on an IMF loan.

I do not expect this post to turn the tide (I can’t even impact a local race it seems) but I need to place this  on the record and the No forces can use it as they see fit.

Greece and its people must do what’s right for Greece and its people.  If that means no more bailouts, so be it.  If that means restoring the drachma, so be it.  Nations can work together and should do so.  But no bullying or threats.

The United States ought to help smaller nations be sovereign over these nascent superempires.  But instead the GOP leaders just gave the President power to seek to bind the USA to yet another trade agreement.

The No side in the future EU referendum ought to realize:  This fight will be nasty and evil.  The kitchen sink and then some will be thrown at the British people to get them to vote yes.  Lies and deceit and promises.  Don’t trust the politicians.  Vote NO on the EU.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders