December 23, 2014. 37th Session of the Legislative Duma of the 5th convocation
The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast held its closing session for 2014 on December 23. The session was broadcast online.
At the beginning of the session Tomsk Oblast Governor Sergey Zhvachkin awarded jubilee medals 70 years Tomsk Oblast to the deputies of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast of the 3rd and 4th convocations Nikolay Morozov and Vitaly Popov and the deputy of the current convocation Tatiana Solomatina.
Duma Speaker Oksana Kozlovskaya gave awards of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast For Enthusiasm in Promotion of Culture to the winners in the Year of Culture competition held by the Oblast Duma in 2014. A 100,000 rubles cash prize was given to Aleksander Postnikov, actor of the Tomsk Oblast Drama Theater, founder and artistic director of Siberia’s only drama school for actors with impaired hearing – his theater Indigo won many national awards.
Local historian, writer, librarian, author of the photo album Walking Around Old Tomsk Eduard Maidanyuk received an award for enthusiasm in the promotion of culture and a cash prize of 50,000 rubles. Among the winners in the competition was also professor and artistic director of the Choir of the Tomsk State University Vitaly Sotnikov.
A 50,000 rubles prize was given to Vladimir Ilyin, founder and military governor of the Semiluzhki Cossack fortress. Vladimir Ilyin expressed his gratitude to those who helped him in building the fortress and presented to the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast a commemorative medal from the NGO For Holy Russia.
MEDICINE BUDGET ADOPTED
The deputies passed in the second and final reading the law On the budget of the Tomsk Oblast Territorial Compulsory Health Insurance Fund for 2014 and the planning period of 2015 and 2016.
The bill was finalized before the second reading to include all recommendations. For 2015, the revenues and expenditures of the Tomsk Oblast Territorial Compulsory Health Insurance Fund were budgeted around 12.7bn rubles each. The revenues went down by 336.3m rubles versus the number in the first reading after receiving the updated number for the federal subvention. All revenues will be spent on the territorial compulsory health insurance program.
NEW YEAR 2015 WITH A NEW BUDGET
The deputies passed in the second reading the law On the Oblast budget for 2015 and the planning period of 2016 and 2017.
The 2015 budget items are:
– Revenues of 49.5bn rubles
– Expenditures of 53.5bn rubles
– Deficit of 3.9bn rubles (9.4% of the revenues net of non-repayable receipts)
Compared to the first reading, the revenues went up 6.3bn rubles and expenditures 6.1bn rubles. The increase in revenues comes mostly from the federal budget (including 2 bn rubles as undesignated financial aid) and from an increase in tax and non-tax revenues by 269m rubles. The deficit of the Oblast budget went down by 212.1m rubles.
2016 budget forecast:
– Revenues 50.3bn rubles
– Expenditures 54.4bn rubles
– Deficit 4.1bn rubles (9.4% of the revenues net of non-repayable receipts)
2017 budget forecast:
– Revenues 52bn rubles
– Expenditures 57.2bn rubles
– Deficit 5.1bn rubles (11.2% of the revenues net of non-repayable receipts)
The Duma deputies had a discussion on the most important financial document of the region, asked questions to the presenter and voted to adopt the document in the final second reading.
The deputies discussed and adopted final amendments to the current law on the Oblast budget.
The total amount of the Oblast budget revenues and expenditures in 2014 was raised by 821.5m rubles. The deficit remained unchanged. The revenues went up mostly through earmarked non-repayable receipts from the federal budget (819.1m rubles) and from the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation (2.3m rubles).
The funds provided by the Pension Fund will be distributed as follows:
– 2.3m rubles will be allocated to finance social programs to purchase equipment for social service institutions and finance initiatives to provide targeted social support for non-working pensioners
– 84,600 rubles will be spent on social support for Heroes of the Soviet Union, Heroes of the Russian Federation and Full Cavaliers of the Order of Glory
With the adopted amendments the Oblast budget revenues in 2014 total 51.7bn rubles; expenditures 55.5bn rubles; and deficit 3.7bn rubles or 9.32% of the revenues net of non-repayable receipts from the federal budget.
The debt ceiling of Tomsk Oblast was increased by 17m rubles. On January 1, 2015 it will total 18bn rubles or 45.3% of the revenues net of non-repayable receipts.
The deputies also voted for the amendments which give a broader definition to and increase the amount of spending on the investment and innovation activity in Tomsk Oblast in 2014. Spending in that area was increased by 552.2m rubles and totaled 7.2bn rubles (including 2bn rubles from the federal budget).
SPENDING ON EDUCATION
The Oblast Duma deputies adopted calculation methodologies for education subsidies to local budgets based on new standards (per student; per classroom).
They adopted the calculation methodology for subsidies to local budgets for free education in municipal general education institutions.
The methodology is based on the national standard for various types of educational programs and takes into account educational programs for children with disabilities. The amount of spending under the law in 2015 is 5.7bn rubles. There are more than 106,000 students in the schools of Tomsk Oblast, among them 149 students with special needs. More than 7,600 pre-school students go to municipal general education institutions.
The deputies also adjusted the calculation methodology for subsidies to local budgets for free pre-school general education in municipal nursery schools. The subsidy provides funds on education for children with special needs in disability compensation groups which take into account individual child’s abilities. The deputies resolved to allocate 2.3m rubles from the Oblast budget to finance this law in 2015.
Another law adopted at the session provides additional spending standards for school meals for children with disabilities – five meals a day for children in boarding schools and two meals a day for those who go to regular schools. The first standard applies to children with health issues who live in the pre-school educational institution. The other standard applies to preschool students with disabilities who do not live in the nursery school. For both categories school meals will be provided free of charge. The law covers 2,171 pre-school students of Tomsk Oblast. There are 12,208 pre-school students with special needs in Tomsk Oblast, including 325 students who study in boarding schools. In 2015, funds to support the implementation of the law will total 242.9m rubles.
The deputies also passed a law on calculation of subsidies to local budgets for pre-school, primary and secondary general education in nationally accredited private educational organizations. Such organizations are eligible for government subsidies to compensate for the cost of labor, schoolbooks, educational materials, games, and toys in accordance with regional standards. Duma Speaker Oksana Kozlovskaya made a point that numbers of private school students grow every year, which should be taken into account while planning for the next year.
PREPARATIONS FOR ELECTIONS
The deputies passed amendments to the law On municipal elections in Tomsk Oblast in the first reading. The new law gives electoral associations taking part in municipal elections a right to determine the number of their territorial groups. The amendments prescribe that the number of territorial groups be no less than 50% and no more than 100% of the total number of territories. Before amendments, the number of territorial groups in the candidate lists needed to be no less than 1/3 of the total number of territories, which means that previously an electoral association had to cover with territorial groups at least 1/3 of all territories and now they will work with at least 1/2 of all territories. This change will stimulate the activity of local electoral associations and political parties.
RECOGNITION FOR SCHOOL STUDENTS
The Duma established a new medal for school graduates for special achievements in areas other than learning and made amendments to the Oblast law On education in Tomsk Oblast. Today, the federal law prescribes giving straight A school graduates a medal For Special Achievements in Education. The Oblast deputies decided to establish a regional medal in additional to the federal one. It will be given to non-straight A students who excelled in areas other than learning such as sports, creative work or research.
LAW ON THE FUTURE OF THE REGION
The deputies passed the law On strategic planning in Tomsk Oblast in the first reading. The bill was presented by Deputy Governor for Economy Andrey Antonov. The new law defines the system of strategic planning documents for Tomsk Oblast, governs scopes of authority and relations of participants in the strategic planning process, and describes the process of tracking and control over the implementation of the documents.
The law On strategic planning in Tomsk Oblast was adopted to ensure compliance with the new federal law. Many experts took part in developing the scope of the document.
The federal law On strategic planning in the Russian Federation was adopted this summer. The process of reviewing and approving this important document took more than two years. This law is a comprehensive document which establishes a regulatory framework for strategic planning efforts at all levels of government in the Russian Federation. It defines participants and necessary documents for each level of government – federal, regional, and municipal.
The list of strategic planning documents at the regional level includes the socioeconomic development strategy, forecasts, the strategic action plan, government programs and territorial planning schemes. The list is exhaustive. At the same time, the Oblast Administration proposed to include in the regional law a possibility to adopt a strategy for priority development areas of Tomsk Oblast.
The law defines the following participants in the strategic planning process – Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast, Administration of Tomsk Oblast, executive government agencies of Tomsk Oblast, Chamber of Audit and Accounts of Tomsk Oblast, local governing bodies, public organizations and associations, business community, educational organizations.
The scope of authority of the Oblast Duma includes control over the implementation of the documents, review and approval of the socioeconomic development strategy, review of the long-term budget forecast, review of the mid-term socioeconomic development forecast as part of the budget law reviews, review of draft government programs, setting the procedure for the development of territorial planning schemes, review of the Tomsk Oblast Governor’s report on the performance of the executive government of Tomsk Oblast, review of the annual summary report on the progress of government programs.
TOMSK OBLAST – TERRITORY OF INNOVATIONS
The deputies adopted in the first reading the new law On innovation activity in Tomsk Oblast. The law defines the economic, legal and organizational framework for the development of innovation activity in Tomsk Oblast. It facilitates innovation activity in the region taking into account the socioeconomic development factors of Tomsk Oblast.
The law of Tomsk Oblast is based on the master document developed by the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia. The master document had been presented and reviewed at the highest level of national government – by the work group on legislative initiatives in innovation policy presided by the Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin, and by the State Duma Expert Council. It had also been reviewed and approved by all relevant ministries and the legal group of the Russian State Duma.
The new law contains definitions for all terms related to the innovation activity. Also, experts say that it provides more opportunities for obtaining government support.
The new law allows to:
– Clearly define the subject of regulation through a transparent classification of types, subjects and objects of innovation activity
– Delineate scopes of authority of government agencies in areas related to innovation activity
– Ensure compliance of the regional law with the federal legislation
– Improve the innovation policy implementation mechanism with respect to legal, economic and organizational aspects of innovation activity
– Adopt best regional regulatory practices
DUMA'S PLANS FOR 2015
The deputies passed a resolution on the Duma’s legislation plan for 2015. The plan was developed in accordance with the Procedure for the development of the legislation plan of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast taking into account recommendations by holders of legislative initiative.
The legislation plan describes Duma’s priority areas of work in 2015, contains a draft list of bills and other regulatory acts to support the Duma’s priorities, and includes information on reviews at Duma sessions within the scope of the Duma’s controlling authority.
EXTRA AUTHORITY FOR THE DUMA
The deputies passed a resolution On the procedure for the participation of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast in the process to review proposals on reconstruction, modernization, change of purpose, or liquidation of social facilities for children; reorganization or liquidation of organizations making part of the social infrastructure for children, and educational organizations.
The new regulations reflect the recent changes to the law of Tomsk Oblast On basic guarantees of children’s rights in Tomsk Oblast.
The new procedure prescribes that:
– A representative of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast sit on the committee for the review of proposals on reconstruction, modernization, change of purpose, or liquidation of public social facilities for children; reorganization or liquidation of organizations making part of the social infrastructure for children
– The committee take into account the reasoned opinion by the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast when preparing recommendations
Before amendments the scope of authority of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast included only participation in the review of proposals on reorganization and liquidation of regional public educational organizations.
The new resolution will:
– Expand the scope of authority of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast
– Improve the procedure to develop the Duma’s reasoned opinion to make sure that all standing groups of the Labor and Social Policy Committee take part in the effort.
The Office of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast is responsible for the preparation of items for review by the Labor and Social Policy Committee.