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NEWS
June 22, 2013 | By Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The House rejected a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill Thursday that would have cut $2 billion annually from food stamps and let states impose broad new work requirements on those who receive them. Those cuts weren't deep enough for many Republicans who objected to the cost of the nearly $80 billion-a-year food stamp program, which has doubled in the last five years. The vote was 234-195 against the bill, with 62 Republicans voting against it. The bill also lacked the Democratic support necessary for the traditionally bipartisan farm bill to pass.
NEWS
June 19, 2013 | By David Espo and Erica Werner, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Sweeping immigration legislation moving toward a vote in the Senate would boost the economy and reduce federal deficits, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, at the same time it would bestow legal status on an estimated eight million immigrants living in the United States unlawfully. In an assessment that drew cheers from the White House and other backers of the bill, Congress' scorekeeping agency said the measure would reduce federal red ink by $197 billion across a decade, and $700 billion in the following 10 years as increased taxes paid to the government offset the cost of government benefits for newly legal residents.
NEWS
June 18, 2013 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
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.
NEWS
June 15, 2013 | By David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post
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.
BUSINESS
June 12, 2013 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
June 1, 2013 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
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.
BUSINESS
June 1, 2013 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
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.
NEWS
May 28, 2013 | By David Nakamura, Washington Post
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.
NEWS
May 24, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
May 16, 2013 | By Erica Werner, Associated Press
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.
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