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New England News
8:24 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Mass. Gov. Patrick's tax plan meets mixed reviews

Credit Rappaport Center

BOSTON (AP) — Lawmakers are giving mixed reviews to Gov. Deval Patrick's call to hike the state's income tax while also cutting the sales tax.

Senate President Therese Murray said she applauded Patrick's ambition but added the "the devil's in the details."

Fellow Democrat, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, said Patrick's proposal gives lawmakers a lot of food for thought, but said he didn't think the proposal could pass or fail based just on what Patrick said.

Republicans lawmakers were more critical.

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New England News
9:54 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Mass. Gov. Patrick's tax plan meets mixed reviews

The Massachusetts State-house in Boston, Massachusetts

BOSTON (AP) — Lawmakers are giving mixed reviews to Gov. Deval Patrick's call to hike the state's income tax while also cutting the sales tax.

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New England News
7:56 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Massachusetts Governor Patrick calls for income tax hike in State of the Commonwealth Address

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick
Credit Dwight Sipler

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has asked the Legislature for a $1.9 billion in new taxes to support major new spending on transportation and education.

In his annual state of the state address to a joint session of the Legislature, Patrick called for hiking the state income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, while doubling the personal exemption for all taxpayers and eliminating dozens of itemized deductions.

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New England News
1:55 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Mass. Gov. Patrick plans to file gun control bill

Credit REUTERS/Eric Thayer

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick is planning to file a gun control bill as Massachusetts lawmakers continue weighing ways to reduce gun violence.

Patrick has previously pushed for a series of measures including restricting gun owners to purchasing one firearm a month.

He's also proposed clamping down on "straw purchasers" who buy guns legally and then resell them to convicted felons and others barred from owning guns.

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New York News
7:48 am
Wed January 16, 2013

NY freezes pension investments in gun makers

Credit Joseph Spector - Politics on the Hudson

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is freezing investment by the public workers' pension fund in firearms companies following recent shooting tragedies.

DiNapoli says he has directed that the massive pension fund not buy any new stock in firearms manufacturers following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The Democrat says the tragedy makes it clear that firearms makers face legal hurdles and damage to their reputations that could hurt the state's investment. New York passed tough new gun control laws Tuesday.

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New York News
7:31 am
Wed January 16, 2013

NY health officials say flu vaccine available

Credit TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State health officials say flu vaccine is still available for New Yorkers who want to get a flu shot, though there may be some localized shortages because of late season demand.

According to the Health Department, providers have been vaccinating since September, and those needing more vaccine should use the national Influenza Vaccine Availability Tracking System to help in ordering more.

The department says it is also surveying pharmacists and hospitals to determine their vaccine availability.

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New England News
11:52 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Shumlin to roll health report into budget

A law passed in 2011 set Tuesday, Jan. 15, as the day the administration was to give lawmakers answers to the often asked question of how the Green Mountain Care single-payer health plan will be paid for.

Administration officials say they now want a bit more time — until Jan. 24, when Shumlin is scheduled to deliver his annual budget address to lawmakers — to outline the plan's possible financing.

Mark Larson, commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access, says such requests for extensions are not uncommon.

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New England News
10:51 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Anti-gun activists protest Wal-Mart gun sales

Credit Huffington Post Web Staff

DANBURY, Conn. (AP) — Activists say they will protest at a Wal-Mart in Danbury demanding the nation's largest retailer to halt gun sales in its stores.

Protesters, including survivors of gun violence, say they will gather Tuesday at the Danbury Wal-Mart near Newtown where 20 children and six educators were fatally shot at an elementary school last month.

The protest, scheduled for 11 a.m., is organized by SumOfUs.org, a watchdog group.

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New York News
8:04 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Good start lets NY crops ward off drought in 2012

Credit USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says rain in late summer and early fall of 2012 helped save crops in most of the state.

The USDA says production of grain corn, soybeans, wheat and oat crops all increased from the previous year. Soybeans were estimated at a record high 14.4 million bushels, 20 percent more than was harvested in 2011.

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New England News
10:00 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Newtown superintendent on Washington, DC panel

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Newtown Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson is traveling to Washington, D.C., to discuss gun violence prevention.

Robinson is scheduled to be part of a panel discussion on Wednesday. It's being organized by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro co-chairs.

The hearing is titled "Gun Violence Prevention: A Call to Action." The event is expected to focus on what can be done to prevent future gun violence based on the experience of the panelists.

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