Finance Committee approves state budget

If the budget is not passed by the end of the month, the Knesset will automatically be dissolved. According to the proposal, the state budget for 2013 will stand at NIS 395 billion ($110 billion) and will increase to NIS 405 billion ($112.5 billion) in 2014. The committee approved cuts to the budgets of the Defense, the Education, and the Transportation ministries. The budget looks set to pass without a glitch in the Knesset, in light of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus comments on Monday that the government would advance a bill making it mandatory to hold a national referendum before handing over any Israeli-controlled lands in a future peace agreement with the Palestinians. Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett, earlier on Monday, had made government support of such a bill a condition for his partys support of the proposed budget .

Hensarling Housing Finance Plan: A Welcome Step Toward Solving the Fannie and Freddie Mess

financial markets. Market-Based Housing Finance Reform Congressional leaders made the mistake of creating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and subsidizing their activity in these markets through special access to federal funds and an implicit federal backing prior to federal conservatorship in 2008. It is time that these same leaders wind down these enterprises and establish a U.S. housing finance market free of the distortions that this institutional arrangement creates.

Saugus Finance Committee approves transfers

Papaconstantinou served as finance minister from October 2009 to June 2011, and was finance minister when Greece negotiated its first international bailout. Because he is a lawmaker, Parliament has to approve the lifting of immunity before any prosecution can proceed. In a secret ballot late Monday, 220 deputies in the 300-seat Parliament voted in favor of the former minister being prosecuted for at least one charge, and 166 for all three. Seventeen deputies were absent. Addressing lawmakers before the vote, Papaconstantinou denied wrongdoing and said he was being targeted “for one simple reason, being the finance minister who put the country in the bailout process.” A council of judges will convene, probably later this week, to decide whether Papaconstantinou should face the criminal charges outlined in Parliament.

Greece’s former finance minister should be prosecuted, lawmakers say

Former socialist Finance minister George Papaconstantinou at the Greek Parliament in Athens on January 17, 2013.

The Finance Committee unanimously approved $59,270 in municipal relief transfer requests to offset deficits in four line items for fiscal 2013. Town Manager Scott Crabtree recommended transferring $59,270 from the Police Department ($24,000 in holiday pay, $20,000 in witness fees and $15,270 in night differential) to plug the deficits. The funding will be allocated as follows: $5,000 to professional services, $8,764 for litigation costs, $40,000 for snow-and-ice removal and $5,506 for charter school tuition. Crabtree said under municipal law the town needs to end the fiscal year in the black and the transfers achieve that goal. This will keep us in compliance, Crabtree said.

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