The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast


Address by Oksana Kozlovskaya at the 11th Session
of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast (July 26, 2012)

Oksana Kozlovskaya
Oksana Kozlovskaya delivered a salutary address to the Governor, deputies, community leaders, and journalists attending the 11th Duma session.

“The 11th session is to a certain extent a milestone, a dividing line between what has been done over the first half-year and what lies ahead.”

The Speaker reminded of the tragic events that took place in Krymsk which claimed lives of 170 people and destroyed thousands of houses. People in Tomsk Oblast collected almost 6 tons of humanitarian supplies. Many companies and individuals transferred money. Most people preferred to stay nameless because they believe it is their duty and they do not seek recognition.

“Nature is also testing to the limit the people in Siberia. Siberian forests are on fire. There are more than 30 live forest fires in Tomsk Oblast on the area of 8,000 hectares. People are breathing smoke. Strezhevoy, Aleksandrovsky, Verkhneketsky, and Kargasoksky Districts are in the most difficult situation. The forests are in state of emergency. Over the last few days the region received strong support from other regions which provided people and equipment. There is, however, no significant improvement partially due to the fact that there are people who continue going to the forest in spite of the ban. So, the current situation and forest fire fighting actions top the Duma’s agenda.

We have already realized the irreversible effect of the unprecedented summer heat. We have to spend 50 million rubles from the Oblast budget to fight forest fires. It is, however, the responsibility of the federal government. But in the current circumstances it is the only practical solution.”

The damage caused by the heat has already amounted to hundreds of millions of rubles. The weather forecasts remain unfavorable. The Oblast government will have to keep providing financial support to rural areas.

Results of the first half-year

In this political season the executive and legislative branches of power in Tomsk Oblast have undergone major replacements.

“As I see it, we are building a united hard-working team. And this is our key achievement in the first half-year,” the Speaker said.

Over the first six months of 2012 the Duma adopted 433 documents, out of them 45 new laws.

The Duma of the fifth convocation passed new legislative initiatives.

– On July 1 the Oblast Law on the regional maternity capital came into effect. The Tomsk Oblast Duma outpaced its federal counterpart having allowed to use the maternity capital not only to buy housing but also to renovate the existing homes, connect houses to gas supply networks, and pay off mortgage loans.
– An additional social security measure was introduced to support low-income families which have their third and subsequent children
– Oblast budget allocations to provide housing for orphans were increased
– This year more than 470 million rubles was additionally invested in the educational system. Out of that amount 163 million rubles was spent on building schools in Kozhevnikovsky and Verkhneketsky Districts.

Before the end of this year the average teacher’s salary will amount to 24,273 rubles. Additional budget money has been allocated for that purpose.

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The Duma had timely adopted the law on aid payment to citizens who lost their homes in emergency situations. Now people can rely on guaranteed help from the government in case of an emergency.

The Oblast parliament adopted a new format of work – visiting sessions of the Duma Council. It already held two visiting sessions in Kolpashevsky and Asinovsky Districts. It provides the Oblast and local deputies with opportunities to share views on the current situation and the outlook for the future, better understand the way the laws work in practice and identify room for improvement. Amendments to three Oblast Laws were developed by the Oblast Duma in cooperation with the Oblast Administration as a result of these trips.

When the Duma of the fifth convocation started its work, it had a clear goal of becoming a transparent and open ground for discussions and various opinions. The discussions of bills which affect the interests of most people in the Oblast are turning into independent comprehensive public hearings. Parliamentary hearings illustrate this very well. Two important subjects already passed public hearings. They are the draft Social Code of Tomsk Oblast and the so-called “anti-alcohol” initiatives. The feedback and the civic-mindedness of the audience were impressive. People offer solutions and demonstrate preparedness to be responsible for the results. A similar trend is being observed in the work of the Public Initiatives Council.

What else new?

The Governor of Tomsk Oblast started a series of meetings with the Duma party factions. Two meetings took place already: with the factions of the Communist Party and the United Russia Party. One of the key areas of work is the law on the Oblast budget.

It is very important that the region has been delivering on all its public commitments since the beginning of the year. Over the first half-year 2012 the revenues and expenditures of the Oblast budget grew by 3.8bn rubles. Almost half of this amount is own revenues (1.7bn rubles).

The agenda of the 11th session contains 41 items. Forest fires and the Oblast budget top the agenda. What are the key spending priorities today?

The Speaker outlines the key subjects for discussion:

First and foremost: fighting forest fires!

Second. Development of the design specifications and cost estimates for the implementation of the gas supply program in six districts of the Oblast. This is a joint project by Tomsk Oblast and OAO Gazprom under which Gazprom will invest in the gas supply systems of the region 7.5bn rubles during three years.

Third. Development of town planning schemes so that they are ready before January 1, 2013 and municipal entities can commence construction with approved town planning schemes.

Fourth. For the first time allocations from the Oblast budget are provided to private educational institutions with national accreditation to support the educational standard.
The allocated amount exceeds 5m rubles.

Fifth. Another pressing issue is the so-called ‘deceived’ investors in participatory construction. In the first half-year 100m rubles was allocated to handle the problem. We plan to allocate 300m rubles more to complete ‘problem construction-in-progress’. This money will be used to complete construction of 14 houses for 1,600 investors in Tomsk and Seversk.

And last. Today the Duma is going to review a document which is the result of a very focused effort of the last few months. This document describes major transformations of the Regulations on the Duma which concern the Duma Council, Duma Committees, Commissions, and deputy groups.”









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