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NEWS
February 19, 2014 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
Delaware County Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle began his candidacy for state Senate on Monday with a promise to focus on bringing more jobs to the region. "I'm running because I want to work for job creation like I did in Delaware County," McGarrigle said after announcing his campaign at the auto center he owns in Springfield Township. McGarrigle, a Republican who also lives in Springfield, is running for the 26th District seat left open by Republican Sen. Edwin "Ted" Erickson.
NEWS
February 18, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Maria Quiñones Sánchez has never been beloved by Philadelphia's political power structure - she has twice won her seat on City Council despite opposition from the Democratic Party and with some of the biggest donors supporting her opponent. She's unlikely to gain much popularity with her latest move - backing a slate of four upstart candidates in races for the state House and Senate seats that overlap her Council district. She has strong ties to the candidates. One is her husband, Tomas, and the others have been aides in her Council office.
NEWS
February 13, 2014 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Inquirer Staff Writer
TRENTON - Housing advocates hammered away at the Christie Administration for its handling of the distribution of resettlement and home rebuilding funding for Superstorm Sandy victims during a hearing Tuesday of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee. The hearing was the latest in a series of legislative inquiries about how funding is, or isn't, making its way to storm victims. Since last summer, residents of shore communities and their advocates have been testifying about how difficult it is to collect on homeowners insurance policies and obtain federal aid. Thousands of applications for disaster aid have been rejected - but without explanation to homeowners as to why. Meanwhile, some state officials including Gov. Christie have touted the funding distribution as a successful effort that's returned thousands of people displaced by the storm to their homes.
NEWS
February 8, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
President Obama's pick to lead the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division easily cleared his first hurdle toward confirmation Thursday, despite mounting criticism of his work in an appeal of the death sentence of Philadelphia cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. In a 10-8 vote along party lines, the Senate Judiciary Committee backed the nomination of 46-year-old civil rights attorney Debo Adegbile. The decision set the stage for a Senate showdown this year that is all but sure to rip scabs off three decades of hard feelings surrounding the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
NEWS
February 5, 2014 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
THE STATE Senate will vote today on the nominations of City Councilman Bill Green IV and nonprofit executive Farah Jimenez to the School Reform Commission, according to a spokesman for Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi. The Senate is expected to confirm both nominations, which Gov. Corbett announced in Philadelphia three weeks ago. If confirmed, Green, a Democrat, will replace former chairman Pedro Ramos. Jimenez, a Republican, is president of the People's Emergency Center.
NEWS
February 4, 2014
THE $8 billion in cuts to the food-stamp program over the next 10 years approved last week by the House in a new Farm Bill is being described as "small. " Compared with the total Farm Bill - $950 billion over 10 years - "small" is an accurate term. But to someone trying to feed a family who may now see food stamps slashed by up to $90 a month, those "small" cuts mean more days of gnawing hunger, of going without the basics, of hungry children. And in the America we thought we lived in, the fact that millions of our own citizens are going hungry should be no small matter at all. But somehow, that America - one of the richest and supposedly most morally advanced in the world - has turned mean and suspicious of its own citizens.
NEWS
February 1, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Should SEPTA and PATCO combine their commuter rail operations? Would North Jersey commuters be better served if PATH trains were run by NJ Transit or New York City's MTA? A plan to consider such mergers cleared a New Jersey Senate panel this week. The proposal, by two North Jersey Republican lawmakers, would create a six-member passenger rail study commission to find ways to save money and expand rail service "through the unification, consolidation, merging, sharing, and coordination of transit services among the various transportation agencies in the region.
NEWS
January 31, 2014 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
A GROUP OF state Senate Democrats proposed a budget yesterday that would boost education funding by $300 million for 2014-15 without a tax increase. The funding was part of an overall budget proposal that offered $1.1 billion in additional revenue and savings, said state Sen. Vincent Hughes, chairman of the Appropriations Committee. The Democrats' proposed increase comes as Gov. Corbett is expected to present his budget next week. It is a "down payment of a billion-dollar increase that we need to have over the next three years," said Hughes, surrounded by members of the Philadelphia Senate delegation inside district headquarters in North Philadelphia.
NEWS
January 30, 2014 | By Amy Worden and Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG Doctors and the broader public may be split on the prospect of legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. But the mothers who lined up at a Senate hearing Tuesday to testify about their children's severe chronic illnesses and a lack of treatment were not. Christine Brann's 3-year-old son, Garrett, has Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy. She said that doctors had tried 10 medications to control his seizures, but none worked. "Medical marijuana is the only course of treatment we have left," said Brann, of Hummelstown, Dauphin County.
NEWS
January 19, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Two Republican New Jersey legislators said Friday that they would not run for the U.S. Senate, leaving unclear who might challenge Democratic Sen. Cory Booker this year. Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R., Union) said he "looked seriously" at running but did not want to leave his leadership post in the Legislature. "I just did not think I could continue to be the Republican leader and run for Senate," Bramnick said. "I had to choose between those two. " Bramnick, a moderate, was widely considered among Republicans as their best chance to unseat Booker, who took office in November after defeating tea-party favorite Steve Lonegan in a special election to finish the term of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg.
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