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Federal Government
With Budget Down, Senate's Lame Duck Agenda Remains Full PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 15 December 2014 06:33

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - The $1.1 trillion spending bill is now in President Obama's hands after passage over the weekend by the Senate, 50 to 46. The bill funds the federal government through September 2015, the end of the fiscal year. The House approved the spending document 219-206.

But despite the media attention focused squarely on the budget, the Democratically controlled Senate continues to push for its agenda through the end of the lame duck session.

Items Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-NV) hopes to secure before Republicans take control in January:

-- Retroactive increase in federal employee transit benefit

-- Confirmation of nearly two dozen Obama nominees for high-level positions such as head of the Social Security Administration and deputy positions at the State Department.

Details of the budget bill now before the president can be found at http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=146&sid=3760564

USDA Seeks Comment On Conservation Program Rule PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 12 December 2014 05:56

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking input from farmers and rachers on a rule intended to simplify regulations regarding conservation practice scheduling, payment limitations and other administrative actions.

The rule outlines how the agency will improve the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), one of USDA's largest conservation programs. The interim final rule includes program changes authorized by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill.

USDA has established a 60-day comment period for the rule. The rule is expected to be available in the Federal Register and regulations.gov on Friday, Dec. 12. Beginning Friday, public comments can be submitted through regulations.gov or by mailing them.

Comments are due by Feb. 10, 2015. Full details are in the Federal Register notice.

According to the USDA, rule change highlights include:

Requires at least 5 percent of available EQIP funds be targeted for conservation practices that promote wildlife habitat;

Establishes EQIP as a contributing program for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program;

Increases the advanced payment from 30 percent to 50 percent for eligible historically underserved producers, including beginning farmers, to help purchase material or contract services;

Targets assistance to veteran farmers and ranchers including eligibility for the new 50 percent advance payment and up to 90 percent of the cost to implement EQIP conservation practices;

Increases the payment limitation for EQIP from $300,000 to a maximum of $450,000 for benefits received during 2014-2018 and removes the option for a waiver to exceed payment limitations;

Eliminates the requirement for a program contract to remain in place for one year after the last practice has been implemented, allowing practices to be scheduled through the tenth year of a contract;

Includes an option to waive the irrigation history requirement under certain conditions;

Survey: Federal Employee Morale Plummets PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 09 December 2014 07:57

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Federal employee work satisfaction has hit an 11-year low according to a newly released survey of the 2014 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government released by the Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte.

On a 100-point scale of employee satisfaction, the data came in at 56.9.

Federal News Radio reports that surveyers point to a number of reasons for the drop, but topping the list is a lack of faith in leadership.

Other data about employee views rates NASA as the best place to work among large agencies, wktih the Federal Deposit Insurance Corportation taking the top spot for mid-size agencies.

The entire story, and survey links, can be found at federalnewsradio.com.

Presidential Executive Order Gives Federal Workers 4-Day Christmas Weekend PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 08 December 2014 05:43

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Christmas came early for federal employees. President Obama has ordered all executive and agency offices to close their doors on Friday, December 26.

The decree came via Executive Order.

The gift means a four-day weekend for many federal workers.

The full Executive Order can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/06/executive-order-closing-executive-departments-and-agencies-federal-gover


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