February 13, 2014 |
Lending the authority of his office to an important and increasingly bipartisan cause, U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. this week called for states to do away with laws that prevent convicted felons from voting even after they have served their time. In a speech at Georgetown University, Holder noted that an estimated 5.8 million Americans are prohibited from voting because of felony convictions, and said that the impact of such exclusion on racial minorities was "disproportionate and unacceptable.
February 7, 2014 |
Utility workers struggled Friday to continue repairing downed power lines, but hundreds of thousands of people remained without electricity two days after a major storm swept through Pennsylvania and Maryland. More than a foot of snow fell in many areas of the Northeast in the second of two snowstorms this week. On Friday, biting cold moved through the mid-Atlantic region, complicating repair work. Utility companies reported more than 325,000 customers without power in Pennsylvania, along with about 50,000 in Maryland.
February 4, 2014 |
Two decades ago, Congress overwhelmingly approved and President Clinton enthusiastically signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But now that the 1993 law is being used to challenge the Obama administration's requirement that employer health plans include contraceptive services, some supporters of the law are having second thoughts, and several organizations want the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional. That would be a mistake. The law was a response to a 1990 Supreme Court decision involving two Oregon men who had been denied unemployment benefits after they were fired for using the hallucinogenic drug peyote during a Native American religious rite.
January 16, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers announced Thursday bipartisan legislation that would restore key protections of the Voting Rights Act that were thrown out by the Supreme Court last summer. The bill would also establish new criteria to determine whether states need to seek federal approval for proposed changes to voting rules. The legislation is a response to the high court's ruling in June that Southern states had been unfairly singled out by the long-standing formula used to determine which states must seek federal "pre-clearance" before changing their voting laws.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 |
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday that he would seek to restore overtime pay in the Los Angeles Police Department, saying it “will be a priority in the coming year.” “I do expect in the next few years to restore overtime, to what level I can't speak to today,” he said in a news conference with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck about the LAPD's crime rate. Garcetti said he also would seek to restore the LAPD to its authorized force of 10,000 officers. The department ended 2013 with 9,909 officers, which the mayor said was “nearly 100 lower than what is acceptable to me.” Garcetti said he and Beck have looked at ways to boost the number of officers, noting personnel officials have already expedited the background process for recruits in order to fill police academy classes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 2014 |
More than 37 years after the Korean Friendship Bell arrived on American soil, officials from Los Angeles and South Korea came together Friday to rededicate the gift and celebrate its restoration. Officials including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and South Korean Consul General Yeon-sung Shin spoke in front of about 100 people at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro before ringing the bell 14 times -- 13 for each of the original American colonies and one for good luck. “The coasts of Korea and … America aren't thousands of miles away, they are connected as one,” Garcetti said.