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NEWS
August 2, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The New Jersey Senate passed two proposals Thursday that would upend the state's bail system, hours after Gov. Christie delivered a special address imploring lawmakers to act. The Assembly did not act, but Speaker Vincent Prieto (D., Hudson) notified members in the early evening that he would call for a vote Monday. That is the last day lawmakers have to vote on one of the measures - a proposed constitutional amendment eliminating the right to bail for certain defendants - if they want to put it before voters in November.
NEWS
August 2, 2014 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The plan to rename 30th Street Station for former Philadelphia U.S. Rep. Bill Gray is heading to President Obama for his signature. The Senate, in one of its final acts before a five-week recess, late Thursday approved a bill to rename the station "William H. Gray III 30th Street Station. " The Senate approval, by unanimous consent, was confirmed by Senate Democrats' Twitter feed Thursday night, hours after the Senate had concluded its formal voting and left for its August break.
NEWS
July 18, 2014 | Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - A Dish Network Corp. executive told lawmakers Wednesday that Comcast Corp.'s deal for Time Warner Cable Inc. should be flatly rejected because the combined cable-TV giant would serve half of the residential Internet customers in America and could thwart new streaming companies that compete with traditional TV. The Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal and a related proposed merger of AT&T Inc. and DirecTV "will determine whether a few large...
NEWS
July 10, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
LIKE A SLOW, grueling tennis volley, the state Senate bounced the proposed Philadelphia cigarette tax intended to aid city schools back to the House yesterday, holding up millions of dollars for the distressed district indefinitely. The state Senate voted 43-5 in favor of House Bill 1177, which contains the Philly-only cigarette tax, but not before making major changes to other parts of the bill, which will require it to go before the House again. Senate lawmakers further complicated the cigarette tax by adding a sunset provision, which would require lawmakers to reassess it in five years.
NEWS
July 10, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A bill allowing Philadelphia to impose a new cigarette tax to help fund the city's cash-strapped schools is again up in the air. The Republicans who control the state Senate made changes to the legislation in the eleventh hour early Tuesday evening, delaying implementation of the $2-per-pack tax and setting the stage for Philadelphia public schools to possibly not open on time. "This is terrible for schoolchildren, for teachers, for parents, and for the taxpayers in the city of Philadelphia," said Mayor Nutter.
NEWS
July 3, 2014 | By Amy Worden and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The Senate went home. The governor was largely silent. And as the first day of a new fiscal year without a state budget neared an end, House members met behind closed doors Tuesday, trying to find consensus on changes to the pension system - but refusing to move on a proposed a cigarette tax that could fund Philadelphia schools. Almost a day after legislators handed him a $29.1 billion budget on time and with no tax increases, Gov. Corbett still had not signed it, or signaled if or when he would.
NEWS
July 3, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
As her criminal trial approaches and a civil lawsuit begins, State Sen. LeAnna Washington is getting a little help from her friends, in the form of a legal-defense fund. Washington, a Democrat representing parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County, is due in court Thursday for a pretrial conference on charges that she used taxpayer-funded staff and resources to plan her annual campaign fund-raisers. Last month, the man who blew the whistle on Washington's alleged misconduct filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination and defamation.
NEWS
June 29, 2014 | By Erin McCarthy, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - A state Senate committee unanimously approved a bill Friday that would legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes for patients with certain medical conditions. Sens. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) and Mike Folmer (R., Lebanon), who cosponsored the bill, said they anticipated its reaching the Senate floor for a vote before the legislature breaks for summer recess. But, while proponents of medical marijuana celebrated, the future of the bill was uncertain. Most GOP leaders in the House oppose it. "Obviously some members support it, but the vast majority of members in our caucus believe the states should not be in the business of deciding what is or is not medicine.
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