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Pence: Agency switch not mandate on volunteering

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Gov. Mike Pence said an executive order placing a formerly independent state agency that promotes volunteerism under the authority of the agency that administers unemployment benefits isn't a precursor to requiring out-of-work Indiana residents to volunteer to receive benefits.

Pence told The Times of Munster that the change was aimed at improving government operations by streamlining.

Pence noted in his April 7 order that unemployed workers who regularly volunteer increase their chances of finding a job by nearly 30 percent. Pence said the order renaming the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to Serve Indiana and placing it under the authority of the Department of Workforce Development "creates a comprehensive approach to workforce development through increased community investment in workforce training programs."

Pence said he believes a 2013 federal study looking at 10 years of data on the volunteer habits of the unemployed provides "real evidence" that volunteering is an excellent way for out-of-work Indiana residents to find a job.

"There's a very interesting correlation, and common sense would explain it, between getting people essentially from welfare back into the workplace, and also those individuals who will find opportunities to volunteer and participate in their community in various activities," Pence said.

Lawmakers in at least eight states, including Indiana in 2011, have considered legislation that would require volunteering as a condition of receiving unemployment benefits even though federal unemployment rules say benefits only can be denied for fraud or issues relating to an individual's job loss.

A 2011 proposal by state Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, that would have set a requirement for volunteering that would gradually increase the longer a person is unemployed, never advanced out of committee in the Republican-controlled House.

A 2012 effort by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., to allow states to condition unemployment payments on volunteering did not advance in the Democratic-controlled chamber.

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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