Local hearing seeks public input
on state budget         
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[FEB. 17, 2005]  DECATUR -- A bipartisan legislative hearing will provide area families, community leaders and others with information on the current status of state finances, as well as an opportunity to express concerns and offer suggestions as legislators begin work on a new state budget. State Rep. Bill Mitchell announced Monday that the Speaker's Bipartisan Summit on State Finances and the Budget is scheduled at Richland Community College from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 26.

"These hearings will give everyone an opportunity to participate in the state budget process," Mitchell said. "Local taxpayers are invited to come to get the latest information about the state's financial condition and to ask questions and offer suggestions to help us deal with our persistent budget deficit."

Mitchell said the hearing will address specific topics as follows:

  • A PowerPoint presentation to explain basic state finances, including revenue sources and current expenditures.
  • An open forum for individuals or groups to offer suggestions on how the state can reduce costs and operate more efficiently.
  • An opportunity for service providers who receive state funds to explain how they are affected by delayed payments, fees and taxes, and other factors that affect their services to local residents.
  • An open discussion of how new fees and taxes have affected individuals and businesses.

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So that everyone wishing to speak gets that chance, oral testimony will be limited to five minutes. The panel will also accept written testimony.

Richland Community College is located at 1 College Park in Decatur. The hearing will be in the Schilling Room, Salon 1 and 2.

For more information, contact Mitchell's office toll-free at 1 (866) 801-1968.

[News release from Rep. Bill Mitchell]

Life Sentence, No Parole

If we tried to invent the cruelest punishment for dogs, we probably couldn't come up with anything worse than "solitary confinement" on a chain or in a kennel.

Dogs are pack animals who crave the companionship of others.  Scratches behind the ears, games of fetch, or even just walks around the block mean the world to them.  Curling up at your feet while you watch TV is their idea of heaven.

Many dogs left to fend for themselves at the end of a chain fall prey to attacks by other animals or cruel people, and many others are injured or hanged or choke as a result of getting entangled or caught in their tether.

If you have a backyard dog, please, bring him or her inside.  They don't want much--just you.

A public service announcement from Lincoln Daily News and helpinganimals.com

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