June 18, 2013 |
Senate Bill 538 just might be one of the oddest pieces of legislation in the Harrisburg hopper this session. Republican leaders say: Move on, there's nothing to see here. Don't worry about it. It's not going anywhere. Democrats, on the other hand, are making noise and campaigning against S.B. 538 as if it were an imminent threat to freedom itself. The measure, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware), would split Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes proportionally in future presidential elections instead of awarding all of them to the winner.
June 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The House approved a measure Friday that would require all branches of the U.S. military to share the same camouflage uniforms - instead of the 10 different camouflage patterns in use today. The measure, written by freshman Rep. William Enyart (D., Ill.), was passed as part of the broader National Defense Authorization Act, which sets the Pentagon's budget. The measure passed by a vote of 315-108. That idea needs the approval of the Senate, which is crafting its own version of the defense authorization bill.
June 12, 2013 |
The U.S. Energy Department on Tuesday launched an online tool to promote electric vehicles by comparing the costs of fueling an EV vs. driving on gasoline. According to the state-by-state comparison, the eGallon price in Pennsylvania is about $1.21, meaning that a typical electric vehicle could travel as far on $1.21 of electricity as a similar vehicle could travel on a gallon of gas. In Delaware, an eGallon is $1.29 and in New Jersey, where electricity is more expensive, an eGallon is $1.51.
June 1, 2013 |
TRENTON - New Jersey has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, and they are likely to get tougher still. The state Senate on Thursday gave final passage to a bill banning the sale of .50-caliber rifles, high-powered weapons that are accurate to more than one mile and popular with some firearms enthusiasts. The measure was included in a package of gun measures crafted by Senate Democrats after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14. It passed largely along party lines.
June 1, 2013 |
Can America's banks be coaxed into adopting more consumer-friendly practices - and pushed if they don't change voluntarily? That's the hope of researchers at the Pew Charitable Trusts, who helped bring changes to the credit-card industry several years ago and have now turned attention to checking accounts. In a report issued Thursday, Pew's Safe Checking project measured 36 of the 50 largest U.S. banks against a set of 18 "best and good practices" that Pew developed from its research on consumers' financial risks.
May 28, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Over the last three weeks, Sen. Jeff Sessions tried everything he could to blow up a comprehensive immigration bill. The Alabama Republican offered 17 amendments, championed the concerns of border enforcement unions, and decried the cost to taxpayers. Ahead of a Senate Judiciary Committee vote, Sessions produced a letter denouncing the proposal signed by opinion makers such as Laura Ingraham and Michelle Malkin. Then he was on the losing end of a 13-5 rout. For hard-line foes of immigration reform, the lopsided outcome produced a moment of clarity about the challenges they face in repeating their 2007 feat in scuttling comprehensive border legislation.
May 24, 2013 |
Starting Tuesday, Cherry Hill parents will have to stop at the reception desk or main office in the district's schools to drop off homework, lunches, or musical instruments for their children. That restriction is one of several new measures going into effect as the result of a districtwide security assessment conducted in the wake of December's school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The rules, announced by Superintendent Maureen Reusche at a PTA meeting earlier this month, place limits on parents' presence in the district's 19 schools.
May 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Citing problems exposed by the Boston Marathon bombings, senators weighing amendments to a sweeping immigration bill agreed Tuesday to boost security provisions around student visas. The Senate Judiciary Committee agreed by voice vote to an amendment by Republican Sen. Charles F. Grassley of Iowa meant to ensure that border patrol agents at U.S. ports of entry have access to information on the status of student visas. The committee action follows recent revelations that a student from Kazakhstan accused of hiding evidence for one of the Boston bombing suspects was allowed to return to the United States in January without a valid student visa.
May 15, 2013 |
TRENTON - Gov. Christie will get his first chance to change state gun laws after the Senate granted final approval Monday to several bills. A handful of measures aimed at reducing gun violence passed both Democratic chambers with bipartisan support, including a bill that requires state authorities to report certain mental-health records to the federal background-check database. That bill passed the Senate, 36-1, Monday. State and federal laws already ban gun ownership for those who have been involuntarily committed for mental-health treatment.
May 5, 2013 |
The stock market is in a groove. The Standard & Poor's 500 has climbed six months in a row and finished the week at a record high. Sounds good, right? A qualified "yes" may be the best answer, considering that in the last three years, stocks began to tumble in May, and rallies turned to routs by midsummer. Recent history doesn't necessarily suggest another market decline, but some flash points that triggered the previous routs are still with us. The global economy can't seem to break out of slow-growth mode.