The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast


November 29, 2012. 14th Session of the Duma of the 5th convocation

14th Session of the Duma
The 14th session of the Legislative Duma of the Tomsk Oblast of the 5th convocation took place on November 29. The session was broadcast online. The agenda of the session and the draft wordings of the bills submitted for consideration by the deputies were published on the Duma website beforehand.

Duma Speaker Oksana Kozlovskaya opened the session with her traditional address to the deputies (The summary of the Speaker’s speech).

DEPUTIES’ STATEMENTS

After the approval of the agenda, the deputies made their statements.

Oleg Gromov drew the deputies’ attention to the problem of funding for culture. He said that culture must not be financed on the “residual” principle.

Aleksey Fedorov criticized the fiscal policy of the Oblast government and suggested that the deputies allocate funds to purchase a school bus for the suburban school for disabled children.

Sergey Guba touched on the subject of the growing transport tax and fuel excise duties, which entails increases in prices for other goods.

Anton Sharypov suggested expressing support for the protesters in custody.

Natalia Baryshnikova congratulated Egor Ligachev on his 92th birthday on behalf of the Communist Party faction. Duma Speaker Oksana Kozlovskaya suggested sending him a greetings telegram on behalf of the Duma deputies. The deputies agreed.

BUDGET MODIFICATIONS

The deputies approved another set of amendments to the 2012 budget. The total revenues of the 2012 Oblast budget have increased by almost 195 million rubles due to funds obtained from the federal budget.

Total expenditures have increased by 470 million rubles.

At the end of 2012 savings on expenditures in the Oblast budget totaled 190 million rubles.

The amended 2012 budget revenues are 41.7 billion rubles, expenditures 43.2 billion rubles and deficit 1.5 billion rubles.

Deputies also adopted changes to the law of Tomsk Oblast on spending on investment and innovation activity in 2012. The related spending was increased by 155 million rubles and now totals 4.5 billion rubles (including 1.5 billion rubles from the federal budget).

REDUCED PRICE MEDICATIONS FOR MORE PEOPLE
The deputies unanimously approved amendments to the Oblast law On provision of medications and medical accessories to specific categories of citizens in Tomsk Oblast. In accordance with the federal legislation, from January 1, 2013 the population of the region should be provided with medications for treatment of life-threatening diseases and rare advanced progressive illnesses leading to shorter life or disability. These are diseases which occur once in every 10,000 people. The deputies expanded the list of categories of patients eligible for free medications and medical accessories. Currently, there are 94 people with rare diseases in the region. The draft 2013 budget includes 21.9 million rubles for the provision of medications and medical accessories to those people.

SPECIAL DWELLING STOCK FOR ORPHANS
Tomsk Oblast will create special dwelling stock for the graduates of orphan homes. The deputies introduced amendments to six regional laws concerning the protection of orphans’ housing rights. The amended laws provide housing to those orphan children who do not own any accommodation and those who do but are not able to use it for valid reasons. Under the amended laws, housing will be provided to graduates of orphan homes under five-year specialized dwelling stock lease contracts. Another important change is an increase in standard social dwelling space – from 17 to 33 sq. m.

PUBLIC CHAMBER OBTAINED RIGHT OF LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVE

The deputies made relevant amendments to the Charter of Tomsk Oblast and the law On the Public Chamber of Tomsk Oblast.

Currently, the right of legislative initiative in Tomsk Oblast is granted to non-government institutions such as the Youth Parliament of Tomsk Oblast and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Tomsk Oblast. The amendments provide this right to the regional Public Chamber.

Today, Public Chambers in eight regions of Russia have the right of legislative initiative. In the Siberian Federal District Tomsk Oblast became the first region to have granted such a right to its Public Chamber.

STATEMENTS BY REPRESENTATIVES OF PARTIES WITHOUT SEATS IN DUMA
For the first time in the history of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast representatives of political parties that do not have seats in the Duma were granted permission to speak. In accordance with Article 171 of Tomsk Oblast Duma Regulations, once a year representatives of political parties without seats in the Duma are invited to attend the Duma session regardless whether those parties have regional offices in Tomsk Oblast. The date of the session to be attended by those parties is determined by the Duma Council.

Statements were made by the following people:

Nikolay Salangin, Chairman of the Tomsk Oblast Regional Office of the Right Cause Party

Andrey Krivosheyev, member of the Political Council of the Tomsk Oblast Regional Office of the Right Cause Party

Evgeny Krotov, Committee Chairman of the Tomsk Regional Office of the Patriots of Russia Party

MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL PARTNERSHIP
The deputies adopted a new version of the regional law On public-private partnership. Public-private partnership is widely recognized as an effective mechanism for the attraction of private investments in long-term infrastructure projects. The law defines the forms of participation in public-private partnerships, requirements to agreements, guarantees of private partner’s rights pertinent to the perfornace of the agreement and other important aspects. The law also provides an opportunity to participate in public-private partnerships of Tomsk Oblast as a public partner for not only the Oblast itself but also for municipal entities, other regions of Russia, municipal and state-run enterprises. Private partners can be legal entities, individuals, and their associations.

The law was developed based on the experience of the experimental regions – St. Petersburg and Moscow Oblast.

The deputies adopted the law in two readings.

RECALL THE GOVERNOR
A momentous document – a law regulating the recall of the head of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation – was adopted by the Tomsk Oblast Duma deputies. The bill was initiated by the Election Commission of Tomsk Oblast. This law is unprecedented in the history of Tomsk Oblast. Tomsk legislators have never established a process of law to recall the highest ranking executive official. The reasons to recall the governor as defined by the law are multiple failures to perform the governor’s duties and breach of legislation.

The reasons for recall should be confirmed in court. The right to file a suit in court is provided to political parties, their regional offices, public associations, and groups of individuals of no less than 100 people. In order to initiate the recall referendum the citizens of the region should gather an action group of at least 20 people. The action group should be able to collect at least 25% of signatures of the total number of voters. That is the minimum amount established by the federal legislation. In absolute numbers it is around 192,000 signatures. The period for collecting signatures is 30 days. The recall commission then verifies signatures. If enough signatures were collected, the commission has 15 days to make a decision.

According to the bill, the recall shall be deemed valid if more than 50% of the registered voters voted for the recall. In case of unsuccessful recall elections, repeat recall referendum cannot be held for the next two years.

The law on governor recall was adopted in two readings.









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