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Flurry of Federal-Employee Bills in Congress

Make Your FEEA Donation Count-
Four Times!

There’s no better time to give to the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA).

As part of FEEA’s annual May fundraiser, donations made this week will be quadrupled. Your money will go farther to help your colleagues needing emergency financial assistance.

Donate now!

The federal workforce is getting more attention on Capitol Hill, but not all of it is flattering. Here are some bills that NTEU is watching–and you should, too:

1. A Fair Pay Raise. Bills in the Senate and the House would give federal employees a 5.3 percent pay raise next year, which NTEU supports. Act now

2. More Affordable Health Insurance. H.R. 2175 requires more transparency and oversight over prescription drug costs in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, lowering overall costs and premiums.

3. Paid Parental Leave. NTEU-backed legislation (H.R. 532) extends 6 weeks of paid parental leave to federal workers. Act now

4. Federal Workforce Cuts. H.R. 417, which NTEU slammed, cuts the federal workforce by 10 percent over two years, and institutes a general hiring restriction for agencies that requires three employees to depart an agency in order to fill one position.

5. Cuts to Federal Retirement. NTEU opposes a bill (H.R. 1230) that would reduce federal pensions by basing annuity calculations on high-5 versus the current high-3 formula.

Learn more about the bills that matter to federal employees.

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Sprucing Up Your Home

It can be possible to make home improvements without paying for a professional. The information shared below will help you make any repairs or improvements you may need or want. Adhering to these guidelines will bring you one step closer to the home of your dreams.

Throwing out an old sofa can be very tempting when it no longer looks new and clean. However, with the same effort it takes you to throw it out, you can buy some nice slipcovers and throw it on your sofa. Slipcovers are available in a myriad of designs and can spice up an old sofa very easily.

To avoid costly mistakes when painting a room, make a small investment in the paint samples that many retailers offer. You can get 8 ounce sample sizes in any available color. For a small cost, you can apply paint to a big enough area to really get a feel for how the paint will look, much more accurately than with paint chips alone.

Displaying books in your living area can be a great sign of intelligence as well as a nice decorating accessory. Make sure when you’re displaying your books to arrange them according to height and color. Not arranging books according to height will make your collection appear messy and unorganized. Arranging your books by color will make your area seem sophisticated.

If you have tiles in your bathroom, make sure to use bath rugs in front of your toilet and bathtub. Adding bath rugs not only adds a touch of personality to your bathroom, but also keeps you from slipping and falling; try rugs with different patterns and designs for a look that is uniquely your own.

Have a backup plan for getting water or using the toilet if your home improvement project involves plumbing. It is impossible to predict how long it will take to install a new sink or complete a number of other plumbing projects. Even if you anticipate that you will be finished by the end of the day, have a backup plan in place just in case. You don’t want to leave your family without these necessities.

A good home improvement tip is to make sure the repair company your working with has liability insurance. If they don’t have liability insurance, you could be at risk of losing a lot of money if the job isn’t done well. A quick step of verifying their insurance is all it takes.

If you are unable to pick a paint color because you are not sure how the colors will look in your desired room, purchase a small amount of paint in different colors to test out on the wall. Having a larger color swatch to look at and evaluate in your room’s lighting can help you to make a decision.

If you need fencing that is both affordable and versatile, opt for a wooden fence. You can choose from a variety of wood types to find the most appropriate material for your particular climate and moisture levels. Wooden fencing is very diverse and can easily be stained to one of many natural-looking colors.

If the area you live in is dry and prone to fires, fencing material is probably big concern. You should look into fences made from white or red cedar. Cedar wood is well-loved for its durability and distinctive fragrance; it is also rated highly for safety in areas that are potentially threatened by wildfires.

To create a modern focal point in your living room or study, consider installing a new stone, brick, or wood mantel for the area above your fireplace. If your fireplace already has a mantel, you can have it sanded and refinished to change its look. You could also update it by staining the brick or concrete with a rich color.

Updating an outdated kitchen could be as easy as replacing the cabinetry. This can be done on your own, but remember to make sure to check for all of the screws that are holding your existing cabinets in place. Cut the caulk that is sealing it to the wall prior to removing them, and you will have a nice smooth surface to install the new ones.

To quickly enhance your overall landscaping, look to plant mature plants instead of seedlings. Mature flowers and plants add a quick pop of color and texture to the exterior of your home and boost curb appeal instantly. Seedlings might not mature quickly to give you the enhancement that you need. Home buyers should feel as if they don’t need to do anything to maintain the yard.

Do not get too personal. When you over-personalize your home to fit the way you want it to look, it is very doubtful that you will be able to recover your investments once you attempt to sell your home. Opt instead for a timeless look that you still enjoy, and you will quickly make your money back if you have to sell.

Always shut off the water if working near pipes. Home improvement projects in the kitchen or bathroom may not always involve pipes, but shutting off the water can prevent any mishaps from becoming catastrophes. Know where your main water shut-off valve is, and use it any time you are working in these areas.

Have space available for the trash. Renovation projects always involve lots of debris and if you do not have a special place for it, it will add up quickly. Planning in advance, by getting a dumpster or other debris storage area, will help to prevent any headaches that may come with removal.

When you are making improvements to your home, don’t be afraid to ask for help as soon as you can. The sooner you ask for help, the sooner you can get assistance with your home renovation project. If you wait too long and ask for assistance in the middle of a home renovation project, you may not get the help you need when you need it.

Hopefully, these idea are informative and will help you in your life. If you looked this over, most likely you are interested in doing some home improvements. Many projects can be completed easily by a novice and the results will look professional.

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