Gov. Jones Denies Wasting Gov’t Money Empowering Liberians

first_imgThe Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Dr. J. Mills Jones, has told his critics that he is not wasting Liberian government money by empowering Liberians in the informal business sector to improve their lives.On a three-day tour to the south eastern counties of Sinoe and Grand Gedeh, stopping first in Greenville City where he dedicated CBL’s fourth rural financial institution, he said the quest for financial inclusion of every Liberian bank under his stewardship is to provide loans to empower Liberian businesses.Speaking to hundreds at separate meetings in the two counties, the CBL boss denied claims that he is wasting government resources on Liberians, adding, “The money belongs to the citizens and therefore they need to get access to it.”He told them that for too long Liberians have been poor and it is about time that something is done about it. “We must do something for ourselves and get out of the valley of poverty and this can only be done through hard work,” Gov. Jones told his audiences.Poverty has been the plight of a majority of Liberians for so long that “we cannot see it anymore because we are so used to it. We must change this and if we have to move our country forward, you young people must learn the new tricks because as the saying goes, ‘you cannot teach old dog new tricks.”Gov. Jones said if Liberians continue to do things the same way, and things are not changing, then Liberians should do things the other way around for prompt transformation and results.Some Liberians are claiming that he is wasting the Liberian people’s money by giving out micro loans to empower Liberians. “Whose money am I wasting? The Liberian people own the money and building a strong private sector is not a waste of money,” asserted Gov. Jones.There is a need for Liberians in other parts of the country to have access to small money to build their lives and Monrovia is not Liberia, he said, adding, Liberians have to change the way they do things.He insisted that counties cannot develop without the involvement of every citizen and called on Liberians to put their differences aside and contribute their quota to the development of their counties. In a statement read on behalf of the group, Friends of J. Mills Jones, Secretary General Jerry Barshell called on Gov. Jones to continue the micro-loan scheme because poor parents who could not afford to pay their children’s school fees can now do so through the micro-loan scheme.Responding, Governor Jones thanked the citizens for turning out to welcome him and his entourage and urged those who are benefiting from the micro-loans to pay back the loans on time.Commenting on the Central Bank’s micro-loan scheme, he said that the idea is to help Liberians get out of poverty. “You say in your motto, ‘Where we go you shall go with us,’ but let me say that we are moving to fight poverty and provide economic empowerment for our people,” said Governor Jones amid thunderous applause.Governor Jones’ trip to Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County was based on an invitation from Friends of Dr. J. Mills Jones (FJMJ) organized under the motto “Where You Go, We Shall Go With You.”While in Zwedru, residents pleaded with him and the CBL staff to establish another bank under the micro-loan scheme in the county to enhance their banking services.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Four Things To Watch For In The 2019 Texas Legislature

first_imgStuart Seeger/FlickrTexas State Capitol, Austin TXThe 86th Texas Legislature opens today in Austin, and lawmakers have just 140 working days to tackle some of the state’s most pressing problems. Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Speaker-Presumptive Dennis Bonnen have yet to identify any “must pass” legislation. But there are at least four topics that will take up a lot of oxygen before the regular session ends on May 27:State budget: Passing a budget is the Legislature’s one constitutionally-mandated job. Like most states, Texas has a balanced budget requirement, which means by law, it can only spend what it collects in taxes and fees. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar estimates that will come to $119.1 billion over the next two-year budget cycle, which is an 8.1 percent increase compared to the cycle that ends August 31. Lawmakers have to decide how to divide up that money in order to cover healthcare, education, public safety, and a host of other responsibilities.School finance reform: Texas’ public school finance system requires property-wealthy school districts to share revenue with the state, which then reallocates the money to property-poor school districts. The system is known as “recapture” or “Robin Hood.” It’s a growing problem for some districts, including the Houston Independent School District, which are classed as wealthy but include many poor neighborhoods. At the same time, the state’s portion of funding for public education has been declining for years, forcing school districts to make up the balance through property taxes. Both Democrats and many Republican lawmakers are determined to overhaul the system this year, after failing to do so in 2017.Property tax reform: Governor Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Patrick made this issue a cornerstone of their reelection campaigns last year, both men arguing that rising property values are causing homeowners’ tax bills to skyrocket. Abbott wants to limit any increase in property taxes to 2.5 percent a year. Anything above that would have to be approved by two-thirds of the voters. Texas counties, cities, and school districts rely on property taxes as their sole source of revenue. Many, notably Harris County under former Judge Ed Emmett, staunchly opposed such revenue caps in past legislative sessions.Harvey relief/flood control: In the wake of Harvey, Congress allocated tens of billions of dollars to Texas for disaster relief, flood control infrastructure, and flood mitigation. Federal law requires local governments to come up with some of the money in order to unlock the rest. Houston, Harris County, and local governments along the Gulf Coast have been ponying up matching funds. Many of their lawmakers are demanding the state tap the Texas Economic Stabilization Fund, better known as the “Rainy Day Fund,” to help as well.Lieutenant Governor Patrick has reserved the first 30 Senate bill numbers for priority legislation yet to be released. The first 20 House bill numbers are also reserved for the same reason. And Governor Abbott is likely to identify a number of “emergency items” for the Legislature when he delivers his State of the State address in a few weeks.Note: You can find a list of all currently filed Texas House bills here, and a list of all currently filed Texas Senate bills here. Sharelast_img read more