John E. Burris, 74, of Greensburg passed away on Friday, January 27, 2017 at Arbor Grove Village in Greensburg. John was born on October 9, 1942 in Franklin County to John Riley and Lula Mae (Baker) Burris. John had many different jobs throughout his life, which included tree trimming, he had his own plumbing business, and he worked for Randall’s Textron, BCA, and Delta Faucet, all in Greensburg, and he most recently worked for Wal-Mart in the maintenance department. John was most known for his great love for coon hunting. He was a coon hunting fanatic, winning many contests and he was even featured in a story in the Coon Hunter Magazine. He was a veteran of the United States Army. On December 29, 1962, he married Eilene Venter and she survives.John is also survived by his son; Jeff Kraus, Greensburg, two daughters; Jennifer (Terry) Black, Greensburg, Michelle Ricke, Greensburg, 3 brothers; Phillip (Sarah) Burris, Connersville, Charles Burris, Connersville, James (Susette) Burris, Indianapolis, 3 sisters; Juanita Russel, Connersville, Lois Martin, Tennessee, Laura Lee Burris, Connersville, 4 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, and sister; Jeanette Stevens. Visitation will be at Porter-Oliger-Pearson Funeral Home on Tuesday, January 31 from 1-3pm followed by Funeral Services at 3 pm with Rev. John Meyer officiating. Burial and military graveside rites will follow at South Park Cemetery in Greensburg. Memorials can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.Online condolences can be made at www.popfuneralhome.com
Emotions run highBy Jarryl BryanSparks flew in the National Assembly on Friday as Finance Minister Winston Jordan’s decision to cut the budget proposals of a number of agencies for varying reasons, was put under the microscope by the parliamentary Opposition.PPP Chief Whip Gail TeixeiraUnder interrogation by the Opposition, Jordan’s refusal to provide detailed justifications or even a macro-economic outlook to justify cutting the constitutional agencies budgets prompted the parliamentary Opposition to move a motion to immediately vote on the Parliament office’s budget request.Leading the motion was People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, who argued that the Minister has been skirting the issue of the dismal economy. She referred to the Finance Ministry’s Mid-Year Report for 2017, which had recorded contractions in several major sectors.A division was eventually called in the House and after a roll call, 33 members of Parliament to 25 voted in favour of the cuts being retained.MP Priya ManickchandWhen they came to the Auditor General’s Office, Jordan repeated that the macro-economic outlook influenced this decision, as well as the absence of budget plans. His statement, however, did not sit well with the parliamentary Opposition.Opposition parliamentarian and former Attorney General Anil Nandlall noted that while the Auditor General’s Office is supposed to exercise oversight, Jordan said that his Ministry reviewed the procurement plans of the Audit office.“It is the Auditor General that has the constitutional responsibility to oversee the Ministry of Finance. The Minister of Finance gave us a lecture just now of reviewing the procurement plan of the Audit Office. One is left confused with which body is overseeing which. The Constitution says the Auditor General has oversight. Then we have the Minister of Finance contemplating oversight,” Nandlall added.IndependenceHowever, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in his rebuttal reminded the Assembly that the Government had moved the agencies under question from statutory to constitutional agencies. Nagamootoo stressed that the law provided for the Finance Minister to have oversight of budget proposals of these agencies.However, PPP parliamentarian Priya Manickchand stressed that the Opposition was indeed fighting for the independence of these agencies. Eventually, the cuts to the Audit Office were also allowed, with the Government side using its majority.Cuts to the Teaching Service Commission and the Guyana Elections Commission were also passed. Both of these entities did not submit a budget plan, the absence of which was used by Jordan to justify previous cuts. But while the Teaching Service Commission was granted its full sum, the budget of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) was cut.In the case of cuts to the Supreme Court, Nandlall argued that the infrastructure projects the Judiciary would have to carry out would be crippled by the cuts. This includes the construction of court houses on the East Bank and in the interior. But cuts to the Supreme Court were passed.The fact that the Government was cutting the requested capital sums of $19.9 million to $14 million from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chambers provoked a firestorm between the Government side and the Opposition. Referencing the recent revelations that Nagamootoo racked up some $19 million in travel expenses in one year, the Opposition vociferously argued for the cuts to be withdrawn. They were unsuccessful.In the same fashion, cuts to the Office of the Ombudsman; Indigenous People’s Commission; the Women and Gender Equality Commission and the Public Procurement Commission were also passed by the House.The sums for the Rights of the Child’s were approved, even though Government acknowledged that there was no commission. It was subsequently clarified that staff at the commission are being paid their salaries despite the absence of a commission.In this way, a total of $8 billion in estimates from 16 constitutional agencies were approved for the 2018 Budget. This includes Capital and Current Expenditure.The recent multimillion-dollar cuts by the Finance Ministry to the budget proposals put forward by these constitutional agencies had not gone down well with the parliamentary Opposition. The Opposition had for some time called for the autonomy of these agencies to be respected by the Government.According to the 2018 annual budget proposals of constitutional agencies which were tabled in Parliament last week, the Audit Office’s request of $844.4 million was slashed to a proposal of $783.8 million. In slashing the amount, it was noted that Budget 2018’s submission did not fulfil certain requirements set out in a budget circular.The need has been expressed for the Audit Office to be as strong as possible when it comes to its audit capacity. This is especially so as Guyana gets ready to enter oil production. In addition, Auditor General Deodat Sharma has already expressed intentions to audit Guyana’s environmental protection systems.Other agencies on the chopping block for 2018 were the Parliament Office, the GECOM, the Supreme Court of Judicature (request of $2.7 billion was reduced to $1.8 billion), the Director of Public Prosecutions chambers (request of $223.8 billion was reduced to $174.2 billion) and the Office of the Ombudsman.