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LABOR HIRING CALLED CRITICAL TO FEDERAL FUNDING

May 1, 2001 – Sen. Norma Pickard-Samuel, who chairs the Senate Labor and Veterans Affairs Committee, charged Monday that the Labor Department faces the prospect of losing federal funding because of problems that could easily be solved by the administration.
The problems are violations of federal mandates, she said in a release from the Legislature, but "Most of these matters simply require an executive order or a command from Government House."
Saying "absence of action" by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull will "cripple" the department, Pickard-Samuel specified three problem areas:
– She called on the governor immediately to authorize "numerous" Labor requests to "fill positions of director, auditor, fraud investigator and bank reconciler in the Division of Unemployment Compensation." These positions are federally mandated, with federal grants available to fund the salaries, she said.
– She said the Division of Occupational Safety is required to have an industrial hygienist and could be closed for non-compliance if one is not hired.
– She asked Turnbull to "please instruct and direct your Commissioner of Finance" to release what she described as $199,000 held by Finance "in trust for the Department of Labor."

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