The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast

April 23, 2013. 19th Session of the Duma of the 5th convocation

19th Session of the DumaThe 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).

Deputies discussed increasing healthcare salaries
Pursuant to the Presidential Decree On actions to implement the national social policy the deputies of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast considered amendments to the relevant regional law.

The amendments update the methodology for calculation and distribution of subventions to municipal entities, in the law which provides local governing bodies with specific public authorities to organize provision of medical services. The salary increase initiative will be financed from two sources: the national health insurance system and the regional budget. Required funds were estimated based on the average headcount data from budget-financed medical institutions and the structure of the healthcare payroll as at the end of 2012. The initiative requires incremental funds of 71.9m rubles and totals over 614m rubles.

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

Public services to be provided in accordance with regulations
The local governing bodies have been vested with specific public authorities in providing public services. The procedure for providing public services should be regulated by administrative procedures in compliance with the federal law.

The local governing bodies will be able to independently approve administrative procedures related to the implementation of the public authorities delegated to them. The scope of those authorities covers social assistance for orphans; registration and keeping track of the people who have a right for housing allowance provided for those moving from Far North; provision, re-legalization and seizure of mining block allotments; organization of child welfare activities.

The deputies voted to pass the amendments.

Major changes in the regional budget
The Oblast deputies made changes to the laws on the regional budget and on spending on investment and innovation activity. Total budget revenues in 2103 were increased by more than 1.4bn rubles; expenditures by 2.5bn rubles and deficit by almost 1bn rubles.

Non-repayable receipts from the federal budget are 964.4m rubles and from the Fund of Assistance to Housing and Public Utilities Reform 444.6m rubles. Those funds along with additional allocations from the regional budget will be used to finance actions to relocate people from condemned housing and carry out major overhaul work on apartment blocks.

The revenues of the amended 2013 budget are 43.8bn rubles, including tax and non-tax revenues 36.7bn rubles, non-repayable receipts 7.2bn rubles; expenditures 47.8bn rubles; deficit 3.9bn rubles (10.7%).

The deputies adopted amendments to the budget in two readings.

The deputies also adopted in two readings changes to the Oblast law On Oblast budget spending on investment and innovation activity in 2013 to increase total spending on investment and innovation activity this year by 1.3bn rubles to total 4bn rubles, including 0.6m rubles provided from the federal budget.

Legal services for people
The deputies suggested increasing the coverage of free legal services to people. The 2012 performance report of Public Legal Office in Tomsk Oblast showed that the Public Legal Office is an important and efficient organization.

Tomsk Oblast is taking part in an experiment to implement in Russia the Finnish practice of providing free legal services to low-income citizens. The Public Legal Office in Tomsk Oblast is a federal public institution created in 2006 with a headcount of 15 people and the size of funding of only 10m rubles.

The services provided by the Legal Office have been very popular among the citizens of the region. In the period from January 2006 to December 31, 2012 the Office provided free legal services to 26,596 people. The majority of applications are about civil legislation and inheritance law issues (12,756); then follow applications related to housing (4,520), family (2,837), and miscellaneous (2,410) laws; social security (1,708), labor (1,097), land (523), executive (465) and administrative (280) law.

The applicants are, for the most part, pensioners and disabled people (17,001 people or 64%). Over the two months of work in a new status the organization provided free legal services to 594 people, out of them 322 pensioners and disabled people (54%).

The Legal Office provided 17,589 verbal and 134 written recommendations; developed 4,749 legal documents; took part in 751 court hearings with more than 80% efficiency.

The deputies resolved to consider amending the law of Tomsk Oblast On providing free legal services to the citizens of the Russian Federation in Tomsk Oblast in order to expand the list of categories of citizens eligible for free legal support.

Governor’s Hour: more pre-school educational institutions needed
Lack of places in nursery schools has been a serious problem for several years now. During the traditional Governor’s Hour the deputies discussed actions by the Oblast Administration to provide accessible and affordable pre-school education.

Tomsk Oblast already has developed a long-term target program for 2013-2017 which includes creation of more than 4,000 places by means of building new nursery schools and expanding the existing ones. Also, 1,200 places can be created by means of conversion of buildings currently misused. Another 1,450 places can be obtained through private pre-school education development initiatives. Required funding is almost 5bn rubles.

Early termination of Ombudsman’s office
The deputies backed the resolution of the Duma Committee on Legislation, State Structure and Safety on early termination of office of the Ombudsman of Tomsk Oblast.

The deputies introduced amendments to the law On the Ombudsman of Tomsk Oblast on the work of the Ombudsman’s office. Pending the appointment of a new Ombudsman this duty will be performed by the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast.

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