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U.S. News Archive
February 21 - February 28, 2001

 

 

 
This page contains news for the period February 21, 2001 through February 28, 2001.  

<< February 2001  >>

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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 grandchildren.

"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 their attacker.

"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 Democrat-controlled Senate.

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 December 1999.

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 dating relationships.

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 relationships.

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 difference."

 

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.

 

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