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  1. HOW LAWMAKERS VOTED: Homeland Security budget, higher-ed savings plans

    By The Bakersfield Californian
    Sunday, Mar 01 2015 12:00 PM

    KEY VOTES AHEAD In the week of March 2, the Senate will conduct an override vote on President Obama's veto of a Keystone XL Pipeline bill, and it could take up the nomination of Loretta Lynch as attorney general. The House schedule was to be announced.

    VOTERAMA IN CONGRESS WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending Feb. 27.

    HOUSE HIGHER-EDUCATION SAVINGS PLANS: Voting 401 for and 20 against, the House on Feb. 25 passed a bill (HR 529) to expand the types of tax-free expenditures that can be made from earnings in so-called "Section 529" higher-education savings plans. The bill is projected to increase annual deficits by $51 million through fiscal 2025. Today, earnings in these plans can...

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    Proposed ammo ban boosts sales at local gun stores

    A federal proposal to ban a certain type of ammunition popular among local target shooters has sparked another run on bullets at Kern County gun shops. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recently began gathering...


    Fuller elected California Senate Republican leader

    California Senate Republicans unanimously elected Jean Fuller of Bakersfield their next leader Tuesday, the latest local lawmaker to nab a high-profile post. When Fuller assumes the Senate Republican leader post in November, she will be...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Politics are putting undocumented people in harm's way

    As they say in the real estate business, it's all about location, location, location. The same philosophy appears to be the case for undocumented immigrants who apply for a U visa. A bipartisan Congress created the U visa program in 2000...

  5. HOW OUR LAWMAKERS VOTED: Keystone XL Pipeline, charitable deductions, new defense secretary

    KEY VOTES AHEAD:  Congress is in recess this week. It returns Feb. 24 to face a deadline three days later for either funding the Department of Homeland of Security or allowing parts of it to shut down. WASHINGTON -- Here's how area...

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    Race to replace Rubio was state's priciest

    Senate races in the Central Valley and the south coast burned through almost $28 million during the 2013-14 election cycle, according to end-of-year spending reports that showed candidates and independent groups collectively spent more...


    McCarthy, Boxer trade blame over drought bill

    WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy are publicly blaming each other over who derailed congressional efforts last year to pass a drought relief bill for California. McCarthy, R-Bakersfield,...


    On immigration, Valadao and Denham zig where GOP zags

    WASHINGTON -- San Joaquin Valley Republican Congressmen Jeff Denham and David Valadao are now at the forefront of challenging party orthodoxy on immigration, a dissident position that brings both promise and peril. On Thursday, doubling...

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    House Republicans vote to block Obama's immigration actions -- but not Valadao

    WASHINGTON -- House Republicans -- though not two valley ones -- voted Wednesday to block President Barack Obama's immigration plans and end an existing program that has deferred deportation for 500,000 young immigrants called "dreamers."...

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    Supreme Court lets stand delta smelt protection, dealing blow to farmers

    The Supreme Court on Monday steered clear of a California whirlpool, letting stand a lower court's decision that upheld federal rules protecting the Delta smelt. The high court's decision not to hear the high-profile California water case...

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    Water regs, plastic bag ban among 2015's new laws

    California's historic drought prompted the Legislature into action in 2014, leading lawmakers to regulate groundwater for the first time and override homeowner associations that fine members for replacing lawns with more drought-tolerant...


    STATE AGENDA 2015: It's all about water -- and a few other things

    Our state legislators won't know exactly what's on their agenda until mid-January when committee chairs lay out their priorities, says state Sen. Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, but "we can see what freight trains are coming." And from...

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    Bakersfield 2015: City to tackle road projects, park additions and police response times

    In 2015, Bakersfield is taking its act on the road, literally, as crews forge ahead with a plethora of Thomas Roads Improvement Program major highway projects. Many, of course, are funded with $630 million in federal earmarks brought home...

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