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BUSINESS
November 6, 2015 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Critical of so-called "paid patriotism," Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Arizona Republicans, issued a 146-page report Wednesday that they said showed the Department of Defense was wrong to pay U.S. sports teams for onfield and other displays of appreciation for service members. By the Senators' math, the Pentagon misspent $6.8 million since fiscal year 2012 on such programs. One example cited was taxpayers paying $10,000 for an on-field swearing-in ceremony with the New York Mets.
NEWS
October 28, 2015 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The top Democrat in the state Senate - and a key ally of Gov. Wolf - said Monday that he does not believe a major tax increase will be part of a final budget deal, despite Wolf's insistence that the state needs a permanent source of new revenue to close its multibillion-dollar deficit. Speaking at a luncheon, Minority Leader Jay Costa (D., Allegheny) said Republicans who control the legislature have been steadfast in their calls to oppose new taxes, and he believes they are sincere when they say that won't change.
NEWS
October 25, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - In an unprecedented move, the state Senate has taken the first steps toward removing embattled Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane from office. Under the state constitution, the governor can remove a public official for "reasonable cause" after a two-thirds vote in the Senate. The chamber, controlled by Republicans, would first have to hold a hearing. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) said Friday that the chamber was forming a bipartisan committee as a precursor to such a hearing.
NEWS
October 24, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman and Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The New Jersey Senate voted Thursday to override Gov. Christie's veto of gun legislation, a stunning political development that has eluded Democrats for nearly six years. Three Republican senators joined the chamber's 24 Democrats in support of a bill that would make it more difficult for individuals with a history of mental illness to expunge that record in order to buy a firearm. The bill now heads to the 80-member Assembly, where a two-thirds majority would be needed to override the veto.
NEWS
October 16, 2015 | By Chris Palmer and Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - In a vote that largely followed party lines, the state Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would prohibit public-sector unions from using employee paycheck deductions to fund certain political activities. Sen. John Eichelberger Jr. (R., Blair), the sponsor of the so-called paycheck protection legislation, called it a "major victory" for union workers. "It protects members from being forced through the union to fund political candidates or causes they don't support," he said.
NEWS
October 7, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
A bipartisan group of senators has won enough support to advance a bill Frank Lautenberg long championed to tighten the oversight of chemicals in everyday products, moving toward a posthumous capstone for the New Jersey Democrat's long Senate career. His wife, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, joined 10 senators Tuesday outside the Capitol in Washington to highlight the backing and urge quick passage of the bill, now named the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. "Of course this bill is important to me personally, to see Frank's legacy move forward, a final achievement to an almost 30-year Senate career," she said at a news conference.
NEWS
October 3, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - New Jersey Sen. Cory A. Booker joined a bipartisan coalition Thursday to unveil a highly anticipated criminal justice bill - one that, if passed, would represent a landmark in his young Senate career. The package, with support across the political spectrum, has a chance to be one of the few significant new initiatives to become law in a bitter political atmosphere. It also represents a step toward Booker's prime goal since joining the Senate: easing mandatory minimum sentences and providing second chances for people after they leave prison, particularly juveniles.
BUSINESS
October 2, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved the appointment of Andrew Place, corporate director for energy and environmental policy at EQT Corp., to serve a five-year term on the Public Utility Commission. Place, 54, was a deputy in the Department of Environmental Protection. The Greene County resident was previously a research fellow at Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Engineering and Public Policy, with a primary focus on carbon capture and sequestration.
BUSINESS
September 25, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. Senate has introduced legislation that would make it easier for victims to sue foreign governments and private-sector financiers for support of terrorism. The bill, aimed largely at the government of Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf terrorism funders, has been pushed by victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. They have been fighting a seesaw legal battle to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for what they say is its support of Islamist terror groups.
NEWS
September 22, 2015 | By Chris Brennan, Inquirer Columnist
The first thing you notice about John Fetterman is the sheer size of the 6-foot-8 mayor from Braddock, a tiny borough just east of Pittsburgh. That makes you look. Then you can't help but notice that, among Fetterman's tattoos, are large numbers, 15104 on his left forearm and a series of nine dates on his right. The left arm tells us Braddock's zip code. The right lists the dates when people in the borough of 2,100 people were killed since Fetterman won his first election for mayor in 2005 by a single provisional ballot.
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