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The Malakoff News
Malakoff, Texas
February 18, 2011     The Malakoff News
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February 18, 2011

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I, ~illi~i'~:'m~im'iq~.,~,, it,-,,I V ...... Page 6A - The MalakoffNews - Friday, February 18, 2011 lichols (Continued from Page 1A) Four different federal judges have ruled on that legislation, two saying it was constitu- tional and two saying it isn't. The lat- Nichols est, a federal judge in Florida, ruled the whole law needed to be thrown out. : Nichols said that uncertain- ty leads to an uncertainty about funding and makes it hard for state's to budget. . "That's one of the main rea- sons 26 states have asked for expedited hearing before the Supreme Court, so they can know what their funding Will be." he said. "We don't have control." .. Some agencies have said the Medicaid cuts could be ~ven deeper. The Texas Health Care Association (THCA) estimates the cuts to Medicaid-funding for nursing and rehab to reach 33 percent. l,ocally, Cedar t,ake Nurs- ing Home administrator Dou- .Flumble III said, "In my opmton, lawmakers are hrowing out unrealistic pro- posals to prepare us for some ,sort of deep cuts, but any ,@eep cuts will be devastat- 5~Nichols said he has heard Oom nursing home operators By Michael V. Hannigan lT~e,News StaR" dents The results have been positive for local consumer advocates; TAMER, the has organization customers saw a judge grant interim rates for the first.time ever last Septem. bet. Despite the success, ad- vocates say the system is in his district. "They are very Medicaid sensitive," he said. "We're not going to push people out of nursing homes," he added. Two areas he is looking at include easing the adminis- trative load at nursing homes and just this week he filed legislation to fight Medicaid fraud. "Medicaid fraud is a crime against every Texan who pays into the system." he said. "This bill gives prosecutors Computers • Parts Accessories Upgrades & Kepairs Available for ServiCe Calls Monday thru Friday • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 815'1 E. Royall Blvd. ° Malakoff 903,489-1807 www.˘ will: - prohibit utilities from tools needed to better pursue violators." The bill would increase the statute of limitations on Med- icaid fraud from 3 to 7 years, allow Medicaid fraud to be prosecuted as organized crime, and increase penalties for those convicted. Nichols said the bill in- cludes suggestions from the Attorney General's Office. "Last year, the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit identified $71 million in Medicaid overpay- 206 E. Royali E. Hwy 31 Malakoff (903)489-0532 ments. By giving the division even better legal avenues to prevent fraud. I believe our state will save even more," he said. While not a member of the education committee, Nichols said he is very con- cerned with edudation issues as well. "We have to strive to have good, quality, education," he said. Early this month, State Sen. Florence Shapiro, chair of the Senate Education Committee, a water utility added. We do not ha e filed legislation she said would "return control over personnel matters, opera- tions, and resource allocation to school districts." The change would in part allow districts to consider giving teachers pay cuts and unpaid furloughs to help deal with the state's budget crunch. Estimates have ranged between 80.000 and lO0,O00 possible jobs lost statewide if preliminary budget cuts remain un- changed, and Shapiro said her bill offers school districts "greater autonomy in making decisions" and could save teacher jobs. Nichols agrees, at least in theory. He said he spoke with most of the 84 ISDs in his district before the Legislative Ses- sion began. "What I kept hearing was if the state was going to cut, at least give local district's more flexibility,," he said. Nichols said Shapiro's bill would change existing law in order to give school districts more choices. "That is a good idea if you believe in local control, and I do," he said. Malakoff ISD Superinten- dent Dr. John Spies believes in local control, but he does- n't like the idea of teacher pay cuts or furloughs. "This would be a step back for the education communi- ty." he said. "Our future will be determined by the quality of instruction that takes place in public schools. It would send the wrong message to teachers and the community to reduce teacher pay and re- duce the number of days in which they work. More and more expectations are being placed on our educators. We need the best and brightest teaching our students. We cannot do this by reducing their salary." Concealed Handgun License at VFW Post 7103 Athens March 6, 2011 noon - 4 p.m. Utah license most popular in U.S. withno zhooL no test, four hour lecture. Utah good .... inTexas and 29 other states.,: Total Cost $215.00 Includes passport photos, fingerprints, notary. $50.00 deposit (NR) holds your seat. Contact Dixon CHL Classes 940-507-1563 for more inf0. t i:" The following businesses help support Malakoff area nonprofit organizations and events. Communi . Minded, Customer Focused. A 24 HOUR SERVICE 1417 E. Tyler St • Athens e It is time to get the Junk out of your Trunk and bring it to the Cain Center for a County Wide and Beyond Garage Sale. Set up will be Friday, Feb. 18. The sale will be on Saturday. Booth fees will be $30 per 10x8 foot booth and will include one table and two chairs. Additional tables and chairs will be available on a first come first serve basis during the set up time on Friday. A limit of two booths per family has been established. Initial set up will be in the MPH / Multi-Purpose Hall. Overflow booth space may be allotted in adjacent rooms. All set up will be on Friday t om 12 noon until 8 pm. Early entry for booth holders only will be at 7 a.m. on Saturday. You must have your assigned wrist band to get in early. Food, beverages or baked goods may not be sold. There will be a concession stand in operation. Flea market will not be permitted. We have reserved a few spaces for small businesses. So get everything togeth- er and make your plans to be a part of this first ever De Junque de Trunk Garage Sale. Applications are avail- able for pick up or via email Do not delay! These booth spaces will go last! Call 903-677-2001. As this is a fund raiser tbr the Cain Center, if you do not have enough items for a booth, just bring them by on that Friday and drop them off at the Cain Center booth. We are located at 915 S. Palestine Street in Athens, TX 75751 BERRY LUMBER "Your Hometown, Home Owned Company" 206 E. Royall- E. Hwy 31 South Terry St. • 3-489-0512 [] . Athens o Gun Barrel City . Malakoff