The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast


March 28, 2013. 18th Session of the Duma of the 5th convocation

18th Session of the DumaThe 18th session of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast of the 5th convocation took place on March 28. The session was broadcast online. The agenda of the session and the bills submitted for consideration by the deputies were published on the Duma website beforehand.
Oksana Kozlovskaya, Duma Speaker opened the session with her traditional address to the deputies (summary of the Speaker’s speech).

At the session the deputies considered allocating 10.9 million rubles from the Oblast budget to finance implementation of the Oblast law on stray animals control. Stray dogs will be collected, kept, neutered and disposed of in the Oblast center Tomsk, in Tomsk, Asino and Kolpashevo Districts, and in Seversk.

OBLAST BUDGET NOVELTIES
The law on the Oblast budget 2013 was amended to provide an equal increase in the Oblast budget revenues and expenditures by 353 million rubles by means of a federal subsidy for a modernization of the regional general education systems.

The money will be used to purchase school transport equipment and school buses; books for school libraries; minor and major repairs of school buildings; finance distance learning programs for school students, etc.

The amended 2013 budget revenues are 42.4 billion rubles, expenditures 45.2 billion rubles, deficit 2.8 billion rubles (7.8%).

Earmarked commitments to finance a government program to purchase ambulance trucks for Tomsk Oblast in 2013-2015 were reduced by 6.5 million rubles under the New Ambulance project which implies outsourcing of some of the services to deliver ambulance patients to hospitals.

After a prolonged discussion the deputies unanimously voted for the amended law.

HIGHER SALARIES SECURED FOR TEACHERS
The deputies considered amendments to four Oblast laws on payroll at once as a follow-up to the Presidential Decrees issued in May 2012 on increasing teachers’ salaries. The amendments increase payroll spending financing rates.

There is a plan to provide a phased increase in salaries for several categories of teachers in 2013.

The average salary of school teachers will be increased to the average salary target based on the 2013 forecast for Tomsk Oblast, which is around 30,020 rubles. The average teacher’s salary is expected to grow 133% vs the actual levels in 2012.

The average salary of preschool teachers in Tomsk Oblast will be brought to the current average levels in general education (25,008 rubles). It is expected to grow 161% vs the actual levels in 2012.

Salaries of school doctors and nurses will also be increased in accordance with the approved schedule.

Implementation of all four amended laws in 2013 requires additional funding of 848.5 million rubles. The required funds are provided under the law On the Oblast budget for 2013 and the planning period of 2014 and 2015.

The deputies unanimously voted to pass the amendments in two readings at once.

RIGHT TO CHILDHOOD
Ludmila Eftimovich, Oblast Ombudsman for Children delivered her annual performance report to the deputies.

She identified the most frequently asked questions on violation of children’s rights in 2012. She also named top priority issues such as maternal, newborn and child health; training for foster parents; summer vacations for children from the north of the region; safety of sports and play grounds; appropriate furniture for schools; preventing child abandonment; creating an alimentary obligations fund; and children’s information security.

FOCUS ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Nelly Krechetova, Tomsk Oblast Ombudsman for Human Rights delivered her performance report for 2012. The report drew a mixed response from the deputies.

She reported that in 2012 she had received and processed almost 1,500 applications. Every day people called or visited the human right counseling office in Tomsk. 57% of all applications were submitted by Tomsk citizens; 9% by Seversk citizens; 7% were received from Asino District; 8% from Kolpashevo District; and 5% from Tomsk District.

The deputies discussed the results of the Ombudsman’s work and suggested creating a special commission to provide unbiased evaluation of the Ombudsman’s performance. The commission will also be able to decide on the reliability of the grounds to recall the Ombudsman ahead of time.

GEOGRAPHICAL NAMING PROCEDURE APPROVED
The Oblast deputies considered amendments to the Oblast law On the administrative and territorial division of Tomsk Oblast. The bill was developed as a follow-up to the letter of the Prosecutor of Tomsk Oblast on the need to improve the regulatory procedures for geographical naming and renaming.

The amendments bring the regional law in line with the respective federal law. It is proposed to include in the current Oblast law Article 22.1 which defines a procedure for consideration by the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast of proposals on naming or renaming newly created administrative and territorial units; a list of documents containing the proposal; a procedure for canvassing public opinion on those proposals in the territory in question. All necessary approvals have been obtained.

The deputies adopted the bill in the second reading.

REQUEST TO RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT
Oksana Kozlovskaya proposed and the deputies agreed to submit a request to the Russian Government to reduce insurance contributions by sole proprietors to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation. The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast is proposing to make the increases in insurance contributions phased and differentiated depending on the sole proprietorship’s annual turniover.









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