Thursday, April 23, 2015


WASHINGTON – Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) released the following statement after the U.S. Senate confirmed Loretta Lynch, currently the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, to be the next U.S. Attorney General of the Department of Justice by 56 – 43 vote:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“Despite an unprecedented delay, I am relieved that Senate Republicans were able to resolve their differences and prioritize the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as our first female African American Attorney General.  Our outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder has done tremendous work during his extensive tenure and his tenacity will be missed.  I am confident Ms. Lynch will assume the role seamlessly and get right to work.  The Department of Justice will be in good hands under her sturdy leadership and I look forward to working with her on critical issues that are impacting the nation.”

Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) is the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee which has jurisdiction over protecting constitutional freedoms and civil liberties, oversight of the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, legal and regulatory reform, innovation, competition and anti-trust laws, terrorism, crime and immigration reform.

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Conyers and Cardin Bills To End Racial Profiling Forgot About The Children

U.S. Representative John Conyers, along with U.S. Senator Ben Cardin have reintroduced The End of Racial Profiling Act of 2015.

Great.  Now this is why it will go no where:  They forgot about child welfare!

Child welfare includes juvenile justice.

Child welfare was intentionally designed and funded for "Targeted Populations".
 Medicaid in child welfare specifically funds the administration of "Targeted Case Management".

The target, under various federal codes, is minorities and Child Protective Services, a pseudo law enforcement entity, targets minorities, or rather, "vulnerable populations" and will enter your home, remove children, and prosecute, without warrant, without charges, without facing the accuser, to be tried as guilty until proven innocent, based upon generations of teaching and training.

The targeting of vulnerable populations, more specifically "minorities", are taught in the pedagogy of the School of Social Work and is reinforced through policies of the States.

As child welfare is exempted from public scrutiny, no one will ever know in an individual case if there was racial profiling.  Records are sealed and States are immune to litigation in child welfare.

Targeted Case Management is racial profiling and the child welfare industry, being on the fast track to privatization, will never allow this Bill to survive because there is too much money involved, but at least it has started a dialogue,

What the dialogue is, is still in question because I am the only one speaking upon the fact that there are no civil rights in child welfare...for now.

And for now, racial disparities in foster care will continue and there is nothing this legislation will do about it because it forgot about the children, again.

If this is disturbing, contact the gentlemen who introduced this Bill and make sure to tell them Beverly Tran sent you.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015


WASHINGTON, D.C. -   Today, at a press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) announced he will reintroduce the End Racial Profiling Act of 2015 (H.R. 1933).  Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) has introduced the Senate companion.  Rep. Conyers was joined by House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), House Judiciary Committee Member, and Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CPAC), Hilary Shelton, NAACP Bureau Director and Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy, Jennifer Bellamy, Counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) andTamika Mallory and marchers from NY’s Justice League 250 mile March 2 Justice from New York City to Washington, D.C. 

“The killing of Walter Scott – arising from a traffic stop – along with the deaths of Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Sean Bell, Tamir Rice,  Oscar Grant and many more highlight the fact that racial profiling remains a divisive issue in communities across our nation. ” said Rep. John Conyers.  “We know a majority of police officers perform their duties professionally– but several recent incidents of police-involved violence have severely damaged the ties between community and law enforcement to the degree that federal action is needed to being addressing the core issue.  This is a systemic issue plaguing men of color in America, stigmatizing them from youth throughout adulthood.  The bill introduced by Sen. Cardin and I would make for the first time, use of racial profiling a federal offense.  By ending use of racial profiling in police tactics and prioritizing community relations, we can cultivate community focused; smart policing that rebuilds trust in law enforcement.”

The End Racial Profiling Act has a multi-pronged approach to healing the rift between community and law enforcement.  It will eliminate the well documented problem of racial profiling by establishing a prohibition on the practice and mandating retraining and data collection by federal law enforcement agencies.  The legislation also provides grants for the reinforcement and/or development of effective, positive policing practices.  For the first time, this bill will make federal cause of action for racial profiling, meaning victims will be able to seek redress in a court of law.

“Tragic events in Baltimore and New York, North Charleston and Ferguson, and elsewhere around the country have shown us that federal legislation finally ending racial profiling is essential.  While the vast majority of law enforcement work with professionalism and fidelity to the rule of law, we can never accept the outright targeting of individuals based on the way they look or dress,” said Senator Cardin.  “As a matter of practice, racial profiling just doesn’t work and it erodes the trust that is necessary between law enforcement and the very communities they protect.  I am proud to stand once again with Rep. Conyers in introducing this legislation.  We share the wish that it wasn’t necessary in America today.”

“It is difficult for our faith in the American judicial system not to be challenged when we cannot walk down the street, drive down an interstate highway, go through an airport, or even enter into our own homes without being stopped merely because of the color of our skin.  The End Racial Profiling Act will help stop this insidious practice and to begin to restore the confidence of communities of color throughout the United States in federal, state and local law enforcement and thus restore the necessary trust and integrity necessary to be effective,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.

Added Rep. Judy Chu, “The recent spate of unarmed civilians shot and killed by police is truly alarming.  But while more stories have made their way into national headlines in recent months, we know that these are not exceptions, but rather common experiences that communities of color face all too often.  And that will not end until law enforcement officials are trained to see minorities as people, not threats.  That is why I am proud to support the End Racial Profiling Act.  This important bill will grant protections to victims of profiling and mandate that federal law enforcement officials receive adequate training to finally put an end to this ineffective practice.  Through smart legislation like ERPA, we can end the mistrust bred by profiling and ensure that no one feels unsafe, unequal, or un-American because of the way they look or the faith they practice.”

"We carried the End Racial Profiling Act on a journey by foot from NYC to Washington, DC to send a message that change must come and police departments must engage in transparency and accountability.  The work begins today and we will continue to mobilize and organize communities to end police brutality, end racial profiling and demand government invest in our communities,” said Tamika Mallory, co-chair of the March2Justice and board member of The Gathering for Justice. 

“Biased profiling not only ruins the trust between law enforcement officers and the communities they are hired to protect and serve, but in too many cases, the practice of racial profiling has led to injury or death,” said Hilary Shelton, the Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and the Senior VP for Policy and Advocacy.

Rep. John Conyers, Jr. and former Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) originally introduced the End Racial Profiling Act in 2001 with bipartisan support.  Rep. Conyers has reintroduced the legislation every Congress since. 

This bill has the support of 82 original cosponsors, all House Democrats: Reps. Alma Adams [NC-12], Karen Bass [CA-37], Joyce Beatty [OH-3] Donald Beyer, Jr. [VA-8] Sanford Bishop, Jr. [GA-2], Earl Blumenauer [OR-3],  G.K. Butterfield [NC-1], Corinne Brown [FL-5], Andre Carson [IN-7], Matt Cartwright [PA-17], Judy Chu [CA-27], David Cicilline [RI-1], Yvette Clarke [NY-9], Wm. Lacy Clay [MO-1],   James Clyburn [SC-06],  Emanuel Cleaver [MO-05], Steve Cohen [TN-9],  Bonnie Coleman-Watson [NJ-12],  Elijah Cummings [MD-7], Danny Davis[IL-7],  Diana DeGette [CO-1],  John Delaney [MD-6], Suzan DelBene [WA-1] Ted Deutch [FL-21], Debbie Dingell [MI-12], Donna Edwards [MD-4], Keith Ellison [MN-5], Sam Farr [CA-20], Chaka Fattah [PA-02], Marcia Fudge [OH-11], Al Green [TX-09], Raul Grijalva [AZ-3], Luis Gutierrez [IL-4], Alcee Hastings [FL-20], Denny Heck [WA-10], Rueben Hinojosa [TX-15], Mike Honda [CA-17], Sheila Jackson Lee [TX-18], Hakeem Jeffries [NY-8], Eddie Bernice Johnson [TX-30], Henry C. "Hank" Johnson [GA-4], Kathy Castor [FL-14], Robin Kelly [IL-2], Joseph P. Kennedy III [MA-4], Brenda Lawernce [MI-14], Barbara Lee [CA-13], John Lewis [GA-5], Zoe Lofgren [CA-19], Carolyn B. Maloney [NY-12], Betty McCollum [MN-4],Jim McDermott [WA-7], James P. McGovern [MA-2], Gregory W. Meeks [NY-5], Gwen Moore [WI-4], Jerrold Nadler [NY-10], Grace F. Napolitano [CA-32], Eleanor Holmes Norton [DC], Beto O’Rouke [TX-16], Donald M. Payne, Jr. [NJ-10], Scott Peters [CA-52], Pedro R. Pierluisi [PR], Stacey Plaskett [VI], Mark Pocan [WI-2], Charles B. Rangel [NY-13], Cedric L. Richmond [LA-2], Lucille Roybal-Allard [CA-40], Bobby Rush [IL-01], Linda Sanchez [CA-38], John P. Sarbanes [MD-3], Janice D. Schakowsky [IL-9], David Scott [GA-13], Robert C. "Bobby" Scott [VA-3], Jose E. Serrano [NY-15], Terri A. Sewall [AL-7], Louise McIntosh Slaughter [NY-25], Adam Smith [WA-9], Eric Swalwell [CA-15], Bennie G. Thompson [MS-2], Chris Van Hollen [MD-8], Marc Veasey [TX-33], Maxine Waters [CA-43], Frederica S. Wilson [FL-24].
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Congress Needs To Listen To The Sane,Not Bachmann, When Discussing Improvements To Child Welfare

For years Congress has only allowed the voice of Michele Bachmann to speak on behalf of the foster
care system.

For years I have been showing how her voice is not only tainted, it is a demented voice.

Bachmann: Black Kids Better Off During Slavery

Both Bachmanns Can Cure Homosexuality In Teens

Michele Bachmann’s 23 foster kids

Not once has Bachmann spoken about the true and harsh realities of what goes on in foster care.

The Congressional Caucus on Foster youth has finally started work on addressing human trafficking in foster care.

Much more needs to be discussed about what goes on in foster care and it needs to come from those who are not suffering from a degenerating psychological condition.

Bachmann: The Rapture Is Coming

Bachmann said the end is near – and it’s all because of President Obama.
In the interview with End Times host Jan Markell, Bachmann warned of an impending rapture and pointed the finger of blame on Obama’s policies.
“We need to realize how close this clock is to getting towards the midnight hour,” she said. “We in our lifetimes potentially could see Jesus Christ returning to earth and the rapture of the church. We see the destruction, but this was a destruction that was foretold.”
Specifically, Bachmann cited Obama’s nuclear negotiations with Iran as a reason for the apocalypse. “We are literally watching, month by month, the speed move up to a level we’ve never seen before with these events,” she said. Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kansas Proves There Are No Civil Rights In Child Welfare

Once again, Kansas is stepping up to the plate to show the world that there are no civil rights in child welfare.

In a child welfare matter, there is no need for a warrant because you will never be allowed to face your accuser as all complaints are anonymous.

She will be tried as guilty until proven innocent.

Unfortunately, her parental rights will be terminated almost immediately because she has a chronic condition whereby she will not be able to care for her son without her alternative treatment.

Not only is this considered future neglect, of which Child Protective Services can look into its crystal ball and generate a report to the court for recommendation of termination of parental rights, she is also abusing her child by being an outspoken political activist.

Once her child is under the aegis of the state, she will no longer be allowed to speak in public.  If she does, her case for termination and putting her child up for adoption will be fast tracked.

Lest we not forget to mention her child will be subjected to extreme therapy and probably be put on psychotropic medication to dull the pain of knowing he will never see his mother again.

All billed to Medicaid.

Kansas medical marijuana activist loses custody of son

Last week we highlighted the case of Shona Banda, a Kansas medical marijuana advocate. She spent years suffering from Crohn's Disease, went through numerous surgeries and appeared to be in the latter phases of the disease when she discovered cannabis oil relieved her symptoms. After using cannabis regularly, she stayed healthy, managed the disease and after years of disability due to Crohn's Disease, was able to start working again. The treatment was so successful, she became an advocate to let others know the benefits of cannabis oil.

Last week, her son spoke up to a "drug education" officer visiting his school and explained that cannabis had some medical benefits. That set off a shocking series of events—her 11-year-old son was detained and questioned by police without notifying his parents, police kept Shona Banda from her home for three hours while they obtained a search warrant (where they later found cannabis oil and two ounces of marijuana for personal use), and they took her son away, turning him over to to the Department of Child and Family Services.

Yesterday, on April 20th (an ironic date), a judge held a hearing to decide custody of her son:
A medical marijuana advocate has lost custody of her 11-year-old son at least temporarily and could face possible charges following comments the boy made during a drug education program at school.The case of Shona Banda, 37, was forwarded Monday to the Finney County district attorney’s office for a decision about charges, Garden City Police Capt. Randy Ralston said. Possible charges include possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment, the department said in a news release.
At this time, no charges have been filed against Shona Banda. Nonetheless, her son has been taken from her house. Garden City Police Captain Randy Ralston defended police actions:
“The most important thing here is the child’s well-being,” Ralston said. “That is why it is a priority for us, just because of the danger to the child.”
The Department of Child and Family Services also made a brief statement:
The Kansas Department of Children and Families also declined to talk about the case, citing confidentiality reasons. But its spokeswoman, Theresa Freed, said that generally the agency’s goal ultimately is to “keep families together when it is safe to do so.”
It's perplexing that police and DCF could take custody of a young boy who's mother uses medical marijuana to alleviate symptoms of a serious disease, especially when marijuana/cannabis oil are 100% legal a mere 70 miles away from their home.

The judge issued a gag order on the hearing, so Shona Banda is forbidden from discussing the hearing, but she's not backing down:
“That’s OK — I am not giving up,” Banda said. “I will, I will get him and I am not going to stop until I do.”
Shame on you, Kansas. It's hard to argue that you are acting in the best interest of her 11-year-old son. This entire case seems to be motivated by antiquated prohibition laws that the majority of Americans would like to do away with completely.

Shona Banda filmed the scene as she arrived home to find DCF representatives and multiple police officers blocking her from entering her home:

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Child Welfare in New York Gets Expensively Violent

There is a reason why a group of youth planned and executed a revolt of this level and that reason is probably due to the poor conditions and horrific treatment at the facility.

I shall even be so bold as to postulate that these youth were kept in this contained environment of Hillside Children's Center for unnecessary extended lengths of time for the purposes of higher billing of Medicaid.

The Center reported gross receipts for 2015 in the amount of $101,339,794, where not one penny is accountable to external audits or taxes.

I truly hope there is an investigation into what the reasons were behind this coop.

Unfortunately in child welfare, everything is a secret.

The perpetrators will be severely punished with chemical constraints in the form of increased psychotropic medications which will be billed to Medicaid at higher rates.

Always remember, there are no civil rights in child welfare.

Juveniles in Finger Lakes youth center riot, attack staff, police say

ROMULUS, N.Y. -- At least three staff members in a juvenile home in the Finger Lakes were injured in a riot Sunday, police said.

Juveniles at the Hillside Children's Center at 4887 State Route 96A in Romulus began rioting and attacking Seneca County Sheriff's Office staff around 9 p.m., police said in a news release.

Several of the juveniles tried to break into another unit on the campus, deputies said. Staff members who attempted to intervene were attacked, including one who was struck in the back of the head with a coffee cup, deputies said.

The 15-year-old responsible for that attack then picked up a shard of the broken cup and used it to attack other staff members, two of whom were injured by the sharp glass, police said.

The 15-year-old was charged with two counts of misdemeanor second-degree menacing. Police said his name would not be released due to his age. He will appear before probation officials to answer the charge.

Upon investigation, deputies determined 17-year-old Edwin I. Irizarry was the ringleader of the riot, they said. He led four or five others to act violently, deputies said.

Irizarry was charged with misdemeanor second-degree riot. He was arraigned in Varick town court and sent back into the sheriff's custody on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court again on April 29 at 7 p.m.

New York State Police, South Seneca Ambulance and the Varick Fire Department assisted Seneca County sheriff's deputies with the incident.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Peters, Conyers, Dingell Meet with Detroit Entrepreneurs at USPTO Patent and Innovation Forum

DETROIT, MI – On April 17, 2015, U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) and U.S. Reps. John Conyers (MI) and Debbie Dingell (MI) today met with local entrepreneurs and small business owners at a patent and innovation forum at the Elijah J. McCoy United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Detroit. They were joined by Michelle Lee, Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director, and A. Christal Sheppard, Director of the Elijah J. McCoy USPTO Office in Detroit.

U.S. Senator Gary Peters at
USPTO in Detroit
During the forum, the participants highlighted the need to reduce the patent backlog at the USPTO and discussed ways to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across Michigan so that start-ups have access to resources they need to succeed. As of February 2015, the USPTO had a backlog of more than 600,000 patent applications with an average review time of more than two years before applications were granted patent protection.

“Southeast Michigan has more engineers per capita than anywhere else in the country, and I was glad to highlight innovation and entrepreneurship at the first USPTO satellite office outside of Washington, D.C.,” said Senator Peters.“Michigan has the innovative tradition, strong colleges and universities, and entrepreneurial spirit to become the startup capital of the Midwest, and we must do all we can to help ensure small businesses and inventors can develop their ideas and get them to market. I will continue focusing on ways to reduce the USPTO backlog so that innovation is not stifled and small businesses and startups have greater opportunities to succeed.”

“The opening of the Elijah J. McCoy United States Patent and
Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives John Conyers with
Elijah McCoy (Grandson) and his wife at USPTO in Detroit
Trademark Office in Detroit nearly three years ago sent a strong signal to businesses, innovators, and educators all over the Nation and the world that Detroit is a top notch technology destination,” said Rep. John Conyers, Jr. “The USPTO plays a critical role in the continued success of innovation in America.  Locally, the Detroit USPTO satellite office is bringing a much-needed jolt to the economy and serves as a hub for innovation and inspiration for entrepreneurs to come and stay here.  I look forward to continuing to work with the USPTO to ensure that this office becomes the model satellite office and the hub of innovation in the country.”
“Innovation has always been at the heart of the Michigan economy, and it will continue to form the backbone of our success,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell. “Our state is home to outstanding and innovative companies, one of the best and highly-educated workforces in the country, and world-class research universities that continue to train our future leaders and innovators. We have what it takes to lead the country in entrepreneurship and innovation, and today’s forum was an excellent opportunity to discuss the importance of protecting intellectual property.”

The historic USPTO satellite office in Detroit opened in 2012 and was the first satellite office opened outside of Washington, DC, highlighting Michigan’s strength as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. The Detroit USPTO works to increase outreach, improve retention and recruitment of patent examiners, decrease the patent application backlog and improve the quality of examination, while serving and assisting entrepreneurs across the region.

Patent trolls are out of control. John Oliver explains why.

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Walking The Dog And Ratting Out Parents - Baby LK Report For April 19th 2015

Baby LK recaps the week in news for the child protection industry. Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Child Poverty in the U.S. is a Multi-Trillion Dollar Industry

For every SNAP benefit dollar cut, a child dies, a job is lost, a city loses local tax revenue and a christian child welfare organization makes millions.

Instead of providing much needed mental health services and social assistance to prevent poverty, the month of April is dedicated to promoting the propaganda that poverty is the crime of child abuse.

Child poverty is a multi-trillion dollar industrial complex and there is a strong push to make it even more secretive through religious privatization of services for the sole purpose of generating profit, not well-being of children.

The only services left are to send kids to foster care, which is a living hell hole of a program that has never made one single benchmark.  #FosterCare is an #EpicFail.

This is why we are #1.  You cannot audit God.

The numbers are staggering: US is ‘world leader’ in child poverty

Hungry child eating bread (Shutterstock)
America’s wealth grew by 60 percent in the past six years, by over $30 trillion. In approximately the same time, the number of homeless children has also grown by 60 percent.
Financier and CEO Peter Schiff said, “People don’t go hungry in a capitalist economy.” The 16 million kids on food stamps know what it’s like to go hungry. Perhaps, some in Congress would say, those children should be working. “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” insisted Georgia Representative Jack Kingston, even for schoolkids, who should be required to “sweep the floor of the cafeteria” (as they actually do at acharter school in Texas).
The callousness of U.S. political and business leaders is disturbing, shocking. Hunger is just one of the problems of our children. Teacher Sonya Romero-Smith told about the two little homeless girls she adopted: “Getting rid of bedbugs, that took us a while. Night terrors, that took a little while. Hoarding food..”
America is a ‘Leader’ in Child Poverty
The U.S. has one of the highest relative child poverty rates in the developed world. AsUNICEF reports, “[Children's] material well-being is highest in the Netherlands and in the four Nordic countries and lowest in Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and the United States.”
Over half of public school students are poor enough to qualify for lunch subsidies, andalmost half of black children under the age of six are living in poverty.
$5 a Day for Food, But Congress Thought it was Too Much.
Nearly half of all food stamp recipients are children, and they averaged about $5 a dayfor their meals before the 2014 farm bill cut $8.6 billion (over the next ten years) from the food stamp program.
In 2007 about 12 of every 100 kids were on food stamps. Today it’s 20 of every 100.
For Every 2 Homeless Children in 2006, There Are Now 3
On a typical frigid night in January, 138,000 children, according to the U.S. Department of Housing, were without a place to call home.
That’s about the same number of households that have each increased their wealth by $10 million per year since the recession.
The US: Near the Bottom in Education, and Sinking
The U.S. ranks near the bottom of the developed world in the percentage of 4-year-olds in early childhood education. Early education should be a primary goal for the future, as numerous studies have shown that pre-school helps all children to achieve more and earn more through adulthood, with the most disadvantaged benefiting the most. But we’re going in the opposite direction. Head Start was recently hit with theworst cutbacks in its history.
Children’s Rights? Not in the U.S.
It’s hard to comprehend the thinking of people who cut funding for homeless and hungry children. It may be delusion about trickle-down, it may be indifference to poverty, it may be resentment toward people unable to “make it on their own.”
The indifference and resentment and disdain for society reach around the globe. Only two nations still refuse to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: South Sudan and the United States. When President Obama said, “I believe America is exceptional,” he was close to the truth, in a way he and his wealthy friends would never admit.
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Reps. John Conyers, Jr. and Debbie Dingell & Sen. Gary Peters to Meet with Detroit Entrepreneurs at USPTO Patent & Innovation Forum

DETROIT, MI –U.S. Reps. John Conyers (MI-13) and Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D - MI) will meet with entrepreneurs and local small business owners at a patent and innovation forum TOMORROW, April 17th, at 4:00 PM at the Elijah J. McCoy United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Detroit.  They will be joined by Michelle Lee, Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, USPTO, and A. Christal Sheppard, Director of the USPTO in Detroit.

WHAT:           Elected officials to meet with Detroit Entrepreneurs at USPTO Patent and Innovation Forum

WHO:             U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI)
                        U.S. Representative John Conyers (MI-13)
                        U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (MI- 12)
Michelle Lee, Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, USPTO
A.    Christal Sheppard, Director, USPTO in Detroit

WHEN:           TOMORROW, April 17, 2015  -  4:00 PM

WHERE:        The Stroh Atrium - Detroit USPTO Office
                        300 River Place, Detroit, MI (map)

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Burn the Social Worker! - Baby LK Report For April 12th 2015

Baby LK recaps the week in news for the child protection industry.
Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Michigan Proposal 1 Is Going To Fail at the Ballot: It is a Political Bait and Switch

Michigan's Proposal 1 is off and running.

MI 14th Democratic Congressional District Meeting 4.11.2015
Unfortunately, it does not look like it is going very far.

Yesterday, thee Policy and Resolution Committee held an extremely spirited discussion on the pros and cons of voting for Michigan Proposal 1, which is suppose to raise thee sales tax by 1%, the first time in many, many years.

Description and preliminary analysis of Senate and Bolger Proposals:

No bills have been introduced but the Bolger plan has been described in the press as a six-year phase-out of the sales tax on gasoline and a six-year phase-in of a six-percent tax collected on the wholesale price of gasoline.

He also proposed converting the current 19-cents-per-gallon gas tax to a percentage-based tax at the wholesale level of 7 percent, the 6 percent tax could be added on over six years. That would raise the overall fuel tax to 13 percent and raise an estimated $1 billion more annually for roads. It is not clear what if any changes would be made to the diesel tax.

The Senate plan, HB 5477 (S-13) and HB 5493 (S-1), would change the current 19 cent per gallon gas tax and the current 15 cents per gallon diesel tax to a single rate that would change annually. The rate would be determined by MI Department of Treasury by multiplying the average wholesale price as defined in the bill by the applicable percentage as defined in the bill.

The applicable percentage would be 9.5% beginning 5/1/2015; 11.5% beginning 1/1/2016; 13.5% beginning 1/1/ 2017; and 15.5% beginning 1/1/2018 and thereafter. The average wholesale price would vary within limits established in the Bill.

The additional transportation revenue generated is estimated to be $182.8 million in 2015 and increase each year, and be an additional $1,768.6 million by 2023.

In addition, HB 4630 (S-3) would make numerous changes to ad valorem registration taxes. These changes would increase transportation revenue by $14.6 million in 2016 and increase revenues each year until additional revenue reached $103.7 million by 2020.

The Senate proposal does not affect SAF, GF, or constitutional revenue sharing, whereas the Bolger proposal reduces available revenue for all three.

A 10-year analysis of the Bolger plan: Indicates that if the plan had taken effect in 2004, the growth in the School Aid Fund (SAF) would have been only 0.8% from 2004 to 2013. This compares with actual growth of 6.2%. (See attached table)

The General Fund (GF) growth rate would have been reduced from 6.6% to 5.6%. The change in constitutional revenue sharing revenue would have been reduced from a 7% increase to a 4.5% decline.

In 2013, the total loss to the SAF, GF and constitutional revenue sharing would have been $849 million. The additional gas tax revenue would have been about the same amount, $846 million.

It should be noted that the results would be much worse if the program started during a recession. For example, if the plan had started in 2008, the SAF loss would have increased from a decline of 2.1% to a decline of 7.6%, and the total revenue loss would have been about $1 billion compared with an $846 million increase in the gas tax.

The loss to the SAF would have been $739 million (or about $500 per pupil) in 2013 (10-year analysis), which is a significant enough loss, but even more so in light of recent history. From 2000 to 2013, SAF revenue declined by 15.5% adjusted for inflation.

As a consequence many school districts have serious financial problems. In 2013, more than 50 districts ran budget deficits.

A 10-year projection of the Bolger plan, based on 2015-2024, estimates a SAF revenue loss of about $800 million per year when the proposal is fully phased-in in 2020. A loss of $800 million equates to a per-pupil loss of about $500 per pupil by 2020 and thereafter.

The analysis assumes a 1% annual decline in gasoline consumption, a 5.0% annual increase in gas prices, and a 3.5% annual increase in SAF revenue. The Bolger plan would reduce the growth rate of SAF revenues from 2015 to 2024 by about 10%.

Growth Comparisons

From 1995 to 2013, the sales (and use) tax increased at an annual rate of 2.15%.

From 2000 to 2013, the sales and use tax increased at an annual rate of 0.8%. Over the same period the sales tax on gas increased at an annual rate of 6.96%. This rapid increase was due to a 129% increase in gas prices. Gas consumption fell about 10%. The sales and use tax excluding gas increased at a rate of 0.26% from 2000 to 2013.

A 1.0 % increase in the sales tax (excl. gas) would raise $1.24B (based upon 2013 data).  The sales tax on gas (and diesel) generated $1.01 Billion in 2013.

Stability of the Bolger proposal:
The overall sales tax is more stable than the sales tax on gasoline. The gas tax tends to be volatile. For example the sales tax on gasoline increased 10.6% in 2005 and fell 29% in 2009, and increased18.9% in 2010. In comparison sales tax collections less gas increased 1.7% in 2008, fell 6.9% in 2009, and increased 3.7% in 2010.

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