Wednesday, February 28, 2001
Senior group supports Bush tax proposals
A story released today over US Newswire reports that
President George W. Bush's speech to a joint session of Congress was praised by the head
of United Seniors Association (USA).
"President Bush has presented a budget of dynamic compassion with tax relief as the
centerpiece," said Charles W. Jarvis, president of the 550,000-member organization.
"Tax cuts could not come at a more critical time. The
engine of the economy is sputtering and more fuel is needed in it immediately. Whenever
the economy is hurting, seniors suffer the most."
Jarvis commended the President for his proposals to reduce tax rates for all citizens,
abolish the estate tax, eliminate the marriage penalty, and expand charitable deduction
for non-itemisers. He said these policies will help seniors and their children and
"Never have so few taken so much from so many for so long. The American people are
badly overcharged and deserve a tax refund right now," he said.
Jarvis announced that United Seniors Association will launch a $2 million advertising
campaign to educate and motivate citizens to support Bush's Tax Relief Plan.
"We intend to put our money where our mouth is. Our seniors will be sending a clear
message: If we send it, they will spend it," said Jarvis.
"Mr. Bush's promise not to divert Social Security into other programs certainly
resonates with our members. For the last 10 years, United Seniors Association has been the
leader in the crusade to end the raid of the Social Security Trust Fund. It is great to
hear the President say that Social Security surpluses should be saved, not spent.
"The President is right. We can protect retirees and those nearing retirement, while
providing a whole new set of retirement and investment options for the children and
grandchildren of our seniors," Jarvis said.
Saturday, February 24, 2001
Bill in Colorado would require one-year of
marriage counseling prior to divorce
A story published today by the Associated Press reports that
a bill pending in the Colorado Legislature would require couples to participate in one
year of marriage counseling before they could obtain a divorce.
One person who is unhappy with this scenario is Georgine, a
woman who left her husband of 10 years, she was 29 and bruised and battered from nine
years of abuse.
The story says that Georgine is one of hundreds of domestic abuse victims alarmed by a
proposed bill before the Colorado Legislature that would require them to undergo a year's
worth of marriage counseling before a divorce would be granted.
Although the bill would exempt victims of physical or serious psychological abuse, that
would not have applied in Georgine's case because there was no police record of abuse. She
said many women share her concern because they are afraid to come forward and confront
"Why should I have to wait a year to get a divorce? I don't want the state telling me
I have to stay in a relationship another year," she said.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Dave Schultheis, said the mandatory counseling would help parents
realize the impact of divorce on children.
The bill, which is scheduled for hearings this year before a House committee, is
considered likely to pass the Republican House but to have trouble in the
House Minority Leader Dan Grossman does not believe the state has the authority to
interfere in the personal lives of people in divorce.
"I'm not convinced it's helpful for the children if they are exposed to parents who
hate each other and no longer want to live together," Grossman added.
Thursday, February 22, 2001
Bill in Congress would help unmarried
domestic violence victims
A story released today by States via COMTEX reports that Sen.
Mike Crapo said Tuesday that he will push for legislation when Congress reconvenes next
week to secure legal assistance for battered girlfriends.
The legislation would expand last year's reauthorizaton of the $3 billion Violence Against
Women Act to give victims of dating violence access to a new legal assistance grant,
helping unmarried women seek damages in civil court.
"We need to ensure that those women who are not married are covered by this
legislation," said Crapo, R-Idaho, who helped gain support in the Senate last year
for VAWA's reauthorization. "Ultimately, we will succeed."
Under the legislation unanimously passed last year, the first legal definition of dating
violence was created and all existing VAWA programs - with the exception of the new legal
assistance fund -- were expanded to include battered girlfriends.
Crapo said he was moved to action on the issue by Nampa resident Barbara Dehl, who lobbied
for greater legal protection at the state and federal level for unmarried women in abusive
relationships after her 17-year-old daughter, Cassie, was murdered by her boyfriend in
Prior to her Cassie's death, Dehl made several attempts to obtain legal protection for her
daughter, but failed because Idaho's domestic violence laws did not apply to teenage
Dehl, who was honored Tuesday with Crapo's Spirit of Idaho Award, led a personal crusade
after Cassie's murder to gain greater protection for teenage girls who are in abusive
Her efforts on the state level were quickly successful, with the Idaho State Legislature
enacting "Cassie's Law" last year, extending the state's domestic abuse
protection to dating relationships.
"Barbara Dehl could have simply sat back and felt sorry for herself," Crapo
said. "But she got involved. Ultimately, she showed that one person can make a
Tuesday, February 20, 2001
Percent of births to unmarried parents
rose during the 1990s
The percent of births to unwed parents kept rising during the 1990s, according to ``The
Right Start,'' a report produced by Child Trends, a research firm, and Kids Count, a
project that produces an annual survey of child well-being.
The report examined trends from 1990 to 1998 in the 50 states and 50 largest cities.
The portion of babies born to unmarried mothers continued its
steady climb, reaching 33 percent in 1994 and staying there. It ranged from 17 percent in
Utah to 45 percent in Mississippi.
Out-of-wedlock births were significantly higher in cities: An average of 43 percent in
1998. The range was 24 percent in San Francisco to 78 percent in Hartford, Connecticut.