Domestic Vet Bills on Student Loans and the Death Penalty

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– The National Student Loans Bill, introduced by Rep. Gray, is designed to help students pay for their post-secondary education and associated costs, such as tuition, books and supplies, as well as other education-related expenses.

The House of Representatives has begun considering a bill that would allow the state to loan out undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help defray the costs of higher education at a college or vocational school.

The bill, which was sent to a joint committee room, is designed to help students pay for their post-secondary education and related costs, such as tuition, books and supplies and other school-related expenses. ‘education.

The National Student Loan Scheme would be granted with a very low interest rate and the repayment schedule could be postponed while the student is still in school. Recipients will repay the loan after graduation, plus interest, through salaries if employed.

The education, public administration and justice committees, including ways, means, finance and development planning, are currently reviewing the bill and will report back in a few weeks. The joint committee’s review will take into account the funding conditions, application process, disbursements and repayment requirements associated with the loans.

The bill’s sponsor, Montserrado County District No. 8 Rep. Acarous M. Gray, reminded colleagues that the approved Education Act of 2011 calls for two cardinal executions: significant sector funding of the country’s education and, at the same time, a student loan. program.

“Section 9.1 of the act provides for the creation of a national student loan program, which will be funded by government budget appropriations, private donations and contributions,” Rep. Gray said. “In the event of a new substantial market failure or other serious external intervention, which negatively affects the ministry’s budget, the government should give priority consideration to increasing the ministry’s budget to offset the negative impact on the budget.”

“On this issue of the 60% sign-on fee,” Rep. Gray added, “the Education Act also calls for concession agreements in the mining and other non-renewable resource sectors, as well than in the agricultural sector and in the main privatization contracts. [to] include a negotiated fixed annual amount as a social responsibility for education which, when paid, will be made available as a transfer and/or grant to the annual cost of education in Liberia. »

The House, in another development, has begun considering a request by President George Weah for the country to eliminate the death penalty. The President has introduced an “An Act to Amend Title 26 of the Revised Liberian Legal Codes, Chapters 11, 14, 15 and 50 of the Criminal Law Relating to Sentencing and Death Penalty” to abolish the death penalty.

Liberia has been under a de facto moratorium on executions since 2000. The death penalty remains in the Liberian Penal Code of 1976 (amended July 2008) and crimes punishable by death (only when they result in dead). It is estimated that there were 14 people on death row in Liberia at the end of 2019.

In a statement to the House of Representatives, President Weah said Liberia is a signatory to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which, among other things, calls for the abolition of “capital punishment” in as state practice. -to party.

“In consideration of this, I request that you please enact this important legislation to abolish the death penalty,” President Weah said. “Liberia has practiced a de facto abolitionist position for a considerable period of time, particularly during the period of instability and state fragility. However, during the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Liberia finally accepted the UPR’s recommendation to abolish the death penalty as a capital punishment.

The UN Human Rights Council, Amnesty International and other international organizations have declared the death penalty to be the ultimate, cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. They indicated that the death penalty violates human rights, in particular the right to life and the right to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. These two rights are protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN in 1948.

Although international law stipulates that the use of the death penalty should be limited to the most serious crimes, ie intentional homicide, Amnesty believes that the death penalty is never the solution.

Meanwhile, following the first reading of the President’s request, the House of Representatives voted unanimously to forward the “Conviction and Death Penalty Act” to the Judiciary Committees, Governance and National Security, to report back within two weeks.

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