continue to help Nova Scotians with the rising cost of home energy through the Heating Assistance Rebate Program, $12.4 million, and Your Energy Rebate, $104 million increase the maximum property tax rebate by $200, bringing the total up to $800. About 15,000 seniors qualify for the rebate. Of those, 4,000 will benefit from the increase to help them stay in their homes exempt more of the province’s low-income seniors from paying provincial income tax, and return a greater portion of income tax to more seniors. In the last four years, many low-income seniors receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement benefited from not having to pay provincial income tax. This put an average of $450 back into the hands of 17,000 seniors who needed it most. Starting Jan. 1, 2014, that number will increase to 25,000. An additional 4,000 seniors will also have a portion of their income tax returned to them through a new provincial $1,000 non-refundable Age Amount tax credit. In total, 29,000 seniors will receive more income tax relief invest more in the Graduate Retention Rebate Program for new graduates, $6 million increase the personal allowance rates for income assistance beneficiaries by $17 per month, bringing the total increase over four years to $47 each month, a 22 per cent increase provide more Nova Scotians with safe, affordable housing options through the province’s first housing strategy PROVIDING BETTER CARE SOONER The province’s Better Care Sooner plan is working. Budget 2013-14 makes new investments to keep emergency rooms open, to better meet patients’ needs and to improve children’s health. Budget 2013-14 will: NOTE: A social media release is available at http://novascotia.ca/news/smr/2013-04-04-Budget-2013/ . High-res, downloadable photos, video and audio clips will be added after the event. For the complete budget address and other budget documents, visit www.novascotia.ca . MAKING LIFE MORE AFFORDABLE FOR NOVA SCOTIANS The province is committed to making life more affordable for families. Budget 2013-14 puts more money back into the hands of families, seniors, low-income Nova Scotians and students. Budget 2013-14 will: BACK TO BALANCE Nova Scotia’s fiscal plan is working. Spending restraint is the cornerstone of Back to Balance, even in light of better-than-expected revenues. Everyone shared in the challenge of getting Nova Scotia back to balance. Our fiscal discipline will allow the province to reduce the HST by one percentage point in 2014 and by another in 2015. Getting back to balance, and staying there, is critical to ensuring the services Nova Scotia’s families rely on are there when they need them, now and for generations to come. The province has: introduce single-window, streamlined access to current small-business programs, ensuring business owners can easily find and connect with the help they need to grow, hire and succeed reduce the rate of corporate income tax for small businesses to three per cent as of Jan. 1, 2014. Over four years, that is a drop of two percentage points in income tax and almost $78 million in savings for small business that can be reinvested to compete, grow and hire. The small business limit threshold will also be lowered to $350,000. The combined impact of these reductions mean that 93 per cent of small businesses will save $26 million in 2013–14, and more than $33 million per year when the changes are fully implemented. maintain a suite of innovation and learning programs to support small businesses that want to train employees, develop new products and improve productivity, $13.9 million help fund new equipment, clean technology, software and hardware for businesses, $14.5 million provide ongoing support for apprentices through in-class and online training opportunities, $4.5 million build and maintain roads and structures, $248.4 million open collaborative emergency centres in more Nova Scotian communities this year fund insulin pumps and supplies for youth to 19 and supplies for insulin pumps for people younger than 25, $5.3 million expand dental coverage for children by four years: starting in 2013–14, children 13 or younger will be able to receive universal dental coverage for check-ups and treatments, $2.1 million expand newborn screening to include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and eight additional conditions, $1.3 million partner with other provinces across Canada to reduce the price of six common generic drugs used by many Nova Scotians fund Nova Scotia’s first mental health and addictions strategy, Together We Can, $2.5 million FOCUS ON WOMEN Budget 2013-14 makes strategic investments in areas that benefit women’s health, protect the most vulnerable women in society, and continue to support the creation of good jobs throughout Nova Scotia. Budget 2013-14 will: PUTTING KIDS AND LEARNING FIRST Nova Scotia has a plan to help every student succeed. Together with teachers, parents, school boards, communities and children, the province’s Kids and Learning First plan is preparing our young people for success through a greater focus on the early years, the basics and safer, better schools. Budget 2013-14 will: establish children’s centres to make it easier for families to access support services for young children and help them make a successful transition to elementary school, $1.2 million continue to cap class sizes for grades primary to three at 25 students, ensuring that average class sizes remain the smallest in a generation enable school boards to hire 25 new program support staff, psychologists, and speech–language pathologists to help children with special needs, and provide funding for 15 teachers’ assistants, $3.7 million help students succeed in math by giving them more time to focus on fewer topics, in more depth, through curriculum improvements in grades primary to three, and double the time Grade 10 students learn math, $3 million support students in small and rural communities by tripling the number of students who can participate in courses through online virtual classrooms, $252,000 increase and stabilize funding for transition houses and women’s centres target groups under-represented in the workforce, as part of the province’s ongoing workforce strategy continue support for Techsploration, an innovative program designed to introduce girls to career development opportunities in science, trades and technical and technology-related fields, $75,000 support Cybersafe Girl to keep girls safe online, $20,000 continue to support the domestic violence court, work on the province’s domestic violence plan and develop a sexual violence framework analyzed government and school board procurement to find savings, better prices and improved contracts for products and services, saving the province $14.8 million in 2013–2014 alone held salary increases below previous levels, generating nearly $200 million in annual savings for taxpayers ended March Madness and end-of-year spending reduced the size of the civil service by more than 600 reined in growing health-care spending; efforts such as merging district health authorities and IWK administrative services have held DHA budget increases, on average, to only 1.6 per cent a year since 2009–10 increased per-student funding to $10,762, the highest amount in a generation, and worked with school boards to reduce administrative costs Budget 2013-14 is balanced. This year, the government will continue to make strategic investments to create good jobs, grow the economy, and help make life better for families. Budget 2013-14 includes $9.5 billion in revenues, $9.5 billion in total spending, and a bottom-line surplus of $16.4 million. With the province’s finances now back to balance, Nova Scotia is poised to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead. CREATING GOOD JOBS AND GROWING THE ECONOMY Nova Scotia is beginning to turn the corner toward greater prosperity and game-changing opportunities. jobsHere is helping hundreds of small businesses get started, expand into new markets, make productivity upgrades and train employees now and for the future. Budget 2013-14 will:
OSU then-freshman Erik Evans (43) defends a Maryland player in a game on April 18 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State men’s lacrosse team is looking for payback from last year as it gets ready to square off against Detroit on Saturday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for the Buckeyes’ home opener.Saturday’s game marks the first time the two teams have faced each other since the last year’s regular-season opener. Although the Scarlet and Gray put up a late fight, Detroit came out on top in that game, 9-8.OSU coach Nick Myers said he realizes his team will be looking to harness its hunger for payback and use it for extra motivation against the Titans.“I’d be lying to you if I told you the kids weren’t excited to get the opportunity to play Detroit,” Myers said. “That’s the beauty of sports, when you get (that) opportunity.”Senior midfielder and co-captain Kacy Kapinos shared his coach’s sentiments, knowing this game will be a battle.“Last year, that game didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to,” Kapinos said. “We know that any team can beat any team, any week, so we play every game like it’s a championship.”OSU will face a Detroit team that has certainly improved over the last few years, thanks in large part to the efforts of coach Chris Kolon. In his first year with the team in 2015, Kolon led the Titans to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship semifinals and the program’s first-ever winning record of 8-6.Detroit returns four starters, including sophomore attacker and 2015 MAAC Rookie of the Year Mark Anstead and two-time All-MAAC junior goalie Jason Weber. Anstead was second on the team in points in 2015 with 38, and Weber led the country for the second straight year with 14.43 saves per game.The Buckeyes are hoping to start the regular-season home schedule off right with a win. Redshirt junior midfielder and co-captain Tyler Pfister said he knows how important this game is.“Playing in front of a home crowd is obviously huge for us,” Pfister said. “We not only want to make our fans proud, but prove to ourselves what we know we can do.”Myers acknowledged the importance of the first home game, but he said he doesn’t want the team to get too ahead of itself.“The fact that we’re at home, in front of a home crowd, is something that adds to it,” Myers said. “I think at the end of the day, you have to focus on the task at hand.”Momentum after win at FurmanThe Buckeyes will look to capture the same magic they were able to harness in their 8-7 win at Furman.Junior midfielder John Kelly scored with four seconds left in the game to give OSU the win in the regular-season opener. Kelly caught the pass from junior attacker Austin Shanks and threw it in the back of the net while falling to the ground to complete the game-winner.“We know what (Kelly) can do, so it wasn’t a surprise necessarily,” Pfister said. “We had drawn it up in the huddle and knew what was going to happen — we just didn’t know how it was going to happen.”Though OSU did get the win, Myers said he realizes his team could have played better and has focused in practice this week on getting the team to play more up-tempo.“One of the themes this week for us has been playing more between the lines and creating more transition goals,” Myers said. “I’m really happy with the way the men have responded to it, and I feel like we’ve made some improvements.”An up-tempo attack, coupled with the Buckeyes balanced offensive attack, could prove to be the right formula to exact their revenge against Detroit in their upcoming game.Big Ten Players of the WeekJunior Jake Withers and sophomore Brendan Barger were recognized as Big Ten Players of the Week after the Buckeyes’ win at Furman.Withers was honored as the Big Ten Specialist of the Week after winning 14 of his 19 faceoffs, including all nine in the second and third quarters of the game. He also picked up a team-high nine ground balls in the win. This is Withers’ first time receiving the award.Barger was awarded the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after causing three turnovers in the game at Furman. He played a major role in the Buckeye defense that only allowed seven goals on 19 attempted shots. This is also Barger’s first time receiving the honor.What’s nextAfter Detroit, OSU is scheduled to travel to Amherst on Feb. 20 to go up against Massachusetts. The game is set to begin at noon.