September 25, 2014. 34th Session of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast of the 5th convocation
The 34th session of the Legislative Duma of the Tomsk Oblast of the 5th convocation took place on September 25. 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’s salutary address.
ALL SEATS OCCUPIED
The Oblast Duma Deputies accredited leader of the Tomsk Regional Office of the National Youth Organization Russian Student Work Brigades Igor Razzhivin as the deputy of the Duma. He secured a victory in the special elections in the Kirovsky single-member constituency No. 2. According to the Election Commission of Tomsk Oblast, he gained 74.3% of the votes. The mandate of Kirovsky District remained vacant for more than a year after Ivan Klyain vacated his seat and moved to the Tomsk Mayor office.
Speaker Oksana Kozlovskaya congratulated Igor Razzhivin on his victory, handed him over his deputy’s credentials and his pin, and wished him success in his work. The new deputy joined the Oblast faction of the United Russia party.
MATERIAL AID FOR THOSE EXPERIENCING HARDSHIP
A new Oblast law was passed On material aid in Tomsk Oblast. It systematizes earlier laws on material aid to individuals experiencing circumstances of hardship. The amounts have stayed the same for various types of hardship.
Eligible categories include individuals affected by fires, floods, and other emergency situations. Also, material aid shall be provided to people who cannot pay the cost of travel to a place of medical treatment or examination as prescribed by a physician, or those in need of housing renovation, medicines, treatment facilities, or sustenance.
The new law turns natural benefits such as food, sanitary items, child care products into cash payments.
The average amount of the cash benefit is 3,540 rubles. Assuming there are some 3,660 eligible individuals, the funding of the law in 2015 will total 12.9m rubles.
The funds will come from the budget of the regional program Social Support in Tomsk Oblast in 2015-2020.
SPENDING ON LABOR MARKET
The deputies reviewed in the first reading a new law On execution of authority in promoting employment in Tomsk Oblast. The new law specifies scopes of authority of the executive branches of power in Tomsk Oblast, related to the promotion of employment, and defines additional government initiatives in that area.
The additional initiatives are already part of the budget of Tomsk Oblast. In 2014, this spending will total 23.9m rubles. In 2015 and 2016, funds will be allocated from the budget of the national program Development of the Labor Market in Tomsk Oblast as part of the target program of the Tomsk Oblast Employment and Labor Department. Each year the spending will be 22m rubles.
Initiatives to promote employment of disabled people such as providing jobs with necessary facilities will be co-funded from the Oblast budget. In 2014, allocations will total 332,200 rubles; in 2015 – 213,700 rubles; in 2016 – 119,200 rubles.
SOCIAL TAXI AND PLANE TICKETS FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER
The deputies passed in the first reading amendments to the Oblast law On social support for physically challenged people in Tomsk Oblast. The amendments move from one law to another two important benefits – Social Taxi for physically challenged individuals and plane tickets for children with cancer and an accompanying person traveling to medical institutions in other regions for advanced medical assistance. Previously, this benefit was provided under the Oblast law On social services for citizens in Tomsk Oblast which will be revoked once the federal law On basic principles of social service in the Russian Federation takes effect on January 1, 2015.
The funding for the amended law will total 2.8m rubles in the 2015 budget of Tomsk Oblast (2.6m rubles for Social Taxi and 280,000 rubles for plane tickets).
ANOTHER BUDGET TRANSFER TO HELP REFUGEES
The deputies amended the Oblast law On provision of interbudgetary transfers by introducing a new transfer for providing temporary housing to the Ukrainian refugees in Tomsk Oblast. The amendments are necessary to comply with two decrees of the Russian Government passed in July of 2014.
The amended law requires spending on top of the Oblast budget through other interbudgetary transfers from the federal budget to the budget of Tomsk Oblast in accordance with the abovementioned decrees. The amendments were passed in two readings.
2014 BUDGET GROWS AGAIN
The deputies passed in two readings amendments to the 2014 budget. Revenues were increased by 47.9m rubles, expenditures by 162.1m rubles, deficit by 114.1m rubles.
Spending will be distributed in the following way:
– 75m rubles to finance initiatives to provide temporary accommodation to the refugees from the Ukraine
– 23.2m rubles to support agriculture under a supplemental agreement with the Russian Ministry of Agriculture on green box subsidies for crop producers
– 17.4m rubles for fighting forest fires, reforestation and purchasing forest fire control machinery and equipment
– 7.8m rubles to finance the national program Barrier Free Environment in 2011-2015 which is intended to improve accessibility of priority facilities and services for disabled people and people with limited mobility
– 7.3m rubles to provide pharmaceutical benefits to social security beneficiaries
With the adopted amendments the Oblast budget revenues in 2014 total 50.2bn rubles; expenditures 54.3bn rubles; and deficit 4.1bn rubles or 10.12% of the revenues without taking into account non-repayable receipts from the federal budget.
Given an increase in the 2014 budget deficit, the debt ceiling of Tomsk Oblast in 2014 will go up by 114.1m rubles and, as of January 1, 2015 will total 18.6bn rubles or 46% of the revenues net of non-repayable receipts.
FROM SOUTH OF UKRAINE TO WESTERN SIBERIA
This summer, almost 1,500 people came to Tomsk Oblast from the south-east Ukraine. Among them 886 people came in an organized way through borderline temporary accommodation facilities, others moved on their own. What actions did the regional government take to provide housing and employment to the refugees? What else should be done and what to expect? These questions were discussed by the deputies of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast as part of the agenda of the Governor’s Hour. Deputy Governor of Tomsk Oblast for Territorial Development and Local Government Relations Anatoly Rozhkov provided a report on the issue.
The deputies asked their questions. Oleg Gromov was interested whether many of those who had come to Tomsk Oblast would return to their country once peace comes to the Ukraine. The answer was, it all would depend on the situation in their home country and the individuals’ opportunities.
Natalia Baryshnikova asked if there were refugees from the west of the Ukraine, and if yes, whether they were getting assistance. Anatoly Rozhkov answered that those who had come on their own, including those from the Western Ukraine, get support from social security workers.
Speaker Oksana Kozlovskaya informed that just recently a group of deputies visited the temporary accommodation facilities and talked to families and individuals.
“A great deal of work has been done. Issues never stop coming in. Many are considering staying, mostly the working age individuals. We will get back to this subject soon,” she commented.
PILOT PROJECT IN FINANCIAL EDUCATION
For the first time, the Oblast Duma reviewed and passed a law on approving an agreement between the Oblast Administration and a federal agency on implementing a project to promote financial literacy and develop financial education in Russia. Tomsk Oblast won an IBRD’s grant for this project.
The deputies were not unanimous on the subject, but the majority voted for the initiative. As Oksana Kozlovskaya mentioned in her opening speech, “Tomsk is smart and new knowledge is undeniably a growth driver for the region”.
WILL DISTRICT LEADERS AND MAYORS BE ELECTED?
The deputies discussed in the first reading an Oblast law which defines the procedure for shaping the local governing bodies in municipal entities.
The law On specific issues in setting up local governing bodies of municipal entities of Tomsk Oblast establishes the procedure for building the representative body of a municipal entity by holding municipal elections by secret ballot on the basis of universal and equal suffrage. The leader of a municipal entity of Tomsk Oblast which has the status of a municipal area, city district, or a town, shall be elected in municipal elections by secret ballot on the basis of universal and equal suffrage.
The leader of the Seversk municipal entity shall be elected by and from the members of the representative body and act as the chairperson of the representative body.
The leader of a municipal entity of Tomsk Oblast which has the status of a village shall be the head of the local administration and act as the chairperson of the representative body of the municipal entity.
The law also contains a requirement to bring the charters of municipal entities of Tomsk Oblast in line with the provisions of the law.