Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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US Senator Bill NelsonU.S. Senator Bill Nelson - Update
June 14, 2011

Ensuring Consumers Are Not Forgotten in Swipe Fee Debate

Last week, Senator Nelson voted for legislation to postpone the implementation of new rules that limit the amount banks can charge retailers every time a customer uses a debit card.

Senator Nelson’s goal is to make sure consumers don’t have to pay more to use their debit cards and he thinks the Federal Reserve ought to take some time to study the measure more closely before making sweeping changes to these rules.

The legislation failed to pass the Senate.

Support for Housing Programs

For more information
Lynn Bannister: Director of Outreach
111 North Adams St
Tallahassee, FL  32301
850-942-8415 / 850-942-8450 (fax)

Senator Nelson signed onto a letter to the Appropriations Committee requesting funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 202 and 811 programs.

These two housing programs provide grant funding for the development of supportive housing and rental assistance for very low-income seniors and disabled individuals.

The letter requests that funding for these two programs in FY11 be maintained at FY10 enacted levels, which is consistent with the President’s 2012 budget at $757 million for Section 202 and $196 million for Section 811.

Senator Nelson also signed onto a letter requesting the “the highest possible funding” for the Community Development Block Grants (CDBGs).

The CDBG program helps fund a wide range of activities, including homeownership assistance, housing rehabilitation, public improvements, public services, and economic development projects.

The CDBG formula allocation is at its lowest funding level since 1992. Senator Nelson is a longtime supporter of the grants and this year introduced S. 887, which would increase the portion of CDBG funding that may be used to provide public services from 15% to 25% to give cities increased flexibility.

Title X Support

Senator Nelson cosigned a letter in support of funding Title X Programs at the President’s budget request.

Title X provides basic health care services to five million low-income women and men at more than 4,500 health centers each year.

In addition, the contraceptive services provided at Title X clinics help to prevent nearly one million unintended pregnancies each year.

Due to the lagging economy, clinics are experiencing significant increases in patients who have trouble affording care and more and more patients report struggling with the cost of prescription birth control.

Title X clinics saw an increase of over 130,000 patients in 2009, the largest increase in 10 years.

Reducing Lung Cancer Mortality

Senator Nelson is a cosponsor of S. 752, the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act.

According to statistics, 11,620 Floridians died of lung cancer in 2010, which accounts for over 25% of all cancer-related deaths.

Mortality rates for other cancers such as breast cancer have fallen significantly over the years, but there have been no such advances for lung cancer.

S. 752 authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services , Department of Defense, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to develop a comprehensive prevention, screening, education, and research plan for lung cancer, with the goal of reducing the mortality rate by 50% by 2020.

Miami International Airspace Show

Senator Nelson joined the Florida delegation in a letter to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley to express support for the proposed Miami International Aerospace Show (MIAS) at Homestead Air Reserve Base. The MIAS would be the only aerospace show of its kind in North America, combining commercial, civil, and military aircraft and aerospace technology.

STEM Master Teacher Corps Act

Senator Nelson cosponsored, S. 758, the STEM Master Teacher Corps Act, which focuses on teacher retention, career advancement, mentor opportunities, and higher pay for current science, technology, engineering and Math (STEM) teachers. The bill would provide specialized training to Corps members on leadership, mentorship, content, and pedagogical skills relevant to STEM.

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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