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NEWS
July 12, 2013
TODAY, THE CITY will unveil a new anti-poverty strategy, and since ours is one of the poorest big cities in the nation, it's not a moment too soon. Poverty is a complicated problem, but recent headway that the city has made on childhood obesity may provide optimism for our ability to grapple with this seemingly intractable problem. Like poverty, childhood obesity is complex: driven by poverty, policy and other cultural and social factors, all of which has, in the past 30 years, doubled the rate of obesity in children and tripled it in adolescents.
NEWS
July 11, 2013 | By John O'Connor, Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois became the last state in the nation to allow public possession of concealed guns as lawmakers rushed Tuesday to finalize a proposal ahead of a federal court's deadline. Both chambers of the Legislature voted to override changes Gov. Pat Quinn made to the bill they approved more than a month ago. Even some critics of the law argued it was better to approve something rather than risk the courts allowing virtually unregulated concealed weapons in Chicago, which has endured severe gun violence in recent months.
NEWS
July 11, 2013 | By Chris Tomlinson, Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas House began debating a bill on Tuesday that would impose tough new restrictions on abortions, as national activists on both sides of the issue descended on the state Capitol. Republican Rep. Jody Laubenberg, of Parker, outlined the bill that would require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, only allow abortions in surgical centers, dictate when abortion pills are taken and ban abortions after 20 weeks. Exceptions to the ban would only be allowed when the women's life was in imminent danger.
NEWS
July 5, 2013 | By Tom Johnson, NJ SPOTLIGHT
In a dispute about how best to protect hundreds of thousands of acres of state-owned forests, the environmental community remains deeply at odds over a bill that would allow commercial logging on woodlands in New Jersey. In a letter Monday to Gov. Christie, several of the most prominent environmental organizations urged him to veto a bill given final approval a week ago by the Assembly. The issue revolves around the most suitable way to preserve New Jersey's woodlands. Both critics and advocates of the bill agree this resource faces serious questions about its long-term viability.
NEWS
July 1, 2013 | By Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A day that began with a ray of promise for the Corbett administration's big policy initiatives ended with accusations, recriminations, and seemingly no resolution in sight. The state House of Representatives abruptly adjourned around 8 p.m. Saturday without getting to a widely expected debate on a bill that would raise billions of dollars for roads, bridges, and mass transit, including SEPTA. Soon after, the chamber announced it was taking the unusual step of scheduling voting sessions for Monday and Tuesday - after the midnight Sunday budget deadline.
NEWS
June 28, 2013 | By Chris Mondics and Matt Katz, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The state Senate gave final approval Thursday to a bill that calls for embedding firearms permit information in gun owners' New Jersey driver's licenses, the centerpiece of a gun control initiative crafted by Democrats after the Newtown, Conn., school shootings in December 2012. The bill also would require gun purchasers to complete a safety course, and would expand the use of mental health records in determining a person's eligibility to buy a gun. A companion bill that also won final passage seeks to stiffen penalties for those who illegally traffic in firearms, including straw purchasers of weapons.
NEWS
June 24, 2013 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Scrapping the city's broken property-tax system and passing Mayor Nutter's reformist Actual Value Initiative was an enormous political and practical undertaking for City Council that dominated the recently completed budget season. In the process, the uncertainty over AVI's impact created its own gravitational pull, inspiring at least a dozen other tax and fiscal initiatives, many of them long-standing issues given new urgency by the specter of exploding tax bills for some homeowners.
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.
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