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  • Chris Christie to help turn around the city's troubled finances was paid about $70,000 for just over three months of work. The state attorney general's office told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Kevyn Orr, who returned last week to his private-sector law firm Jones Day, was paid $950 an hour. Orr helped shepherd Detroit through its municipal bankruptcy...

  • Lawyers for the charity argued in U.S. District Court in Boston on Wednesday that the Securities and Exchange Commission has unlawfully withheld rules required by Congress in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law. Oxfam America argued that the SEC has repeatedly delayed its timeline for the regulations. "The SEC continues to ignore the deadline set by Congress and has...

  • TOPEKA, Kan.— Kansas lawmakers considered a proposal to increase the state sales tax Wednesday as the Legislature gathers ideas to close a looming budget deficit. Taxation Committee Chairman Marvin Kleeb, a Republican from Overland Park, said he expects the Legislature will begin building consensus on the combination of tax increases needed to close the gap...

  • Illinois House rejects major piece of governor's budget Wednesday, 6 May 2015 | 4:56 PM ET

    CHICAGO, May 6- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's plan to slash healthcare spending in the upcoming state budget failed to attract a single affirmative vote in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday. The bill amendment was the first major piece of the Republican governor's $32 billion, fiscal 2016 general funds budget, which relies...

  • INDIANAPOLIS— Local boards will no longer set minimum wages for public construction projects in Indiana under a law signed Wednesday by Republican Gov. The GOP- backed bill marks a victory for the governor, who has campaigned hard for the measure this session, including through television ads and touts on social media from his campaign committee.

  • BOSTON, May 6- Puerto Rico's troubled electric utility on Wednesday asked a U.S. appeals court for an alternative to restructure some $9 billion in debt, saying it would otherwise be at the mercy of U.S. bond funds. The legal battle moved on Wednesday to Boston where lawyers for both sides argued for more than an hour before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First...

  • WASHINGTON— Nearly 1,600 IRS workers were found to have willfully evaded taxes over a 10- year period, including some who were responsible for enforcing the nation's tax laws, a government watchdog said Wednesday. A new report by the agency's inspector general said most were not fired, even though a 1998 law calls for terminations when IRS workers willfully...

  • WASHINGTON, May 6- The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee is pushing ahead with a bill to ease rules across sections of the financial industry after the first round of efforts to work with his Democratic counterpart failed. The bill could also seek to ease regulations on regional banks such as Comerica Inc and insurers such as Allstate Corp and curb the...

  • HARRISBURG, Pa.— Republican senators want to end Pennsylvania's debt-ridden pension plans for state and public school employees and require concessions from many current workers to provide immediate taxpayer savings, according to details released Wednesday. Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R- Centre, said the proposed overhaul will protect taxpayers...

  • Gov. Deal signs bills regulating ride-hailing in Georgia Wednesday, 6 May 2015 | 12:37 PM ET

    ATLANTA— Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, which connect riders with drivers by means of a smartphone app, will soon have to comply with some Georgia regulations under legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Alan Powell, R- Hartwell, and House Bill 190, by Rep. Georgia lawmakers approved the bills in the recent session but sponsors didn't get all they...

  • Feds urge US Supreme Court to reject Maine Medicaid case Wednesday, 6 May 2015 | 11:17 AM ET

    Paul LePage's request to decide whether Maine can eliminate Medicaid coverage for thousands of low-income young adults. In a court filing this week, the federal government said a Supreme Court review isn't necessary because the state's arguments for why it should be allowed to trim the Medicaid rolls lack merit and because there's no disagreement between...

  • Wisconsin Senate approves 70 mph speed limit Wednesday, 6 May 2015 | 5:01 AM ET

    MADISON, Wis.— Wisconsin transportation officials would be allowed to raise the speed limit to 70 mph on some roads under a bill that the state Senate approved Wednesday. The Senate approved the amendment and the bill on voice votes Wednesday with no debate. Dave Hansen, D- Green Bay, made the only comment about the bill on the Senate floor, saying it shows both parties...

  • CONCORD, N.H.— The New Hampshire House voted Wednesday to restrict the sale and possession of synthetic drugs, a move aimed at curbing New Hampshire's growing drug addiction problems. The Senate has already passed the bill. The House slightly changed the language in the bill, and the Senate will need to approve it again before sending it to Gov.

  • COLUMBUS, Ohio— A series of proposed gun laws would expand concealed weapons in Ohio by potentially allowing them in places like churches or daycares and letting certain gun owners carry concealed weapons without a permit. The House State Government Committee heard initial testimony on several proposals Wednesday afternoon. A bill introduced by Committee...

  • Role of government powers at issue in pension case Wednesday, 6 May 2015 | 1:55 AM ET

    TRENTON, N.J.— New Jersey's top court weighed the budget repercussions of ruling on a pension dispute between Gov. Chris Christie and public workers' unions on Wednesday while one justice wondered if the state had engaged in a "bait and switch." The state Supreme Court probed whether the state has a contractual obligation to pay what it agreed to in a 2011 pension...

  • May 5- Ride-hailing service Uber on Tuesday said it ceased operations in Kansas after the state legislature decided to override Governor Sam Brownback's veto of a bill that will impose stricter regulations on ride-hailing services. The Kansas Senate on Tuesday voted 96-25 to override Brownback's veto of the Kansas Transportation Network Company...

  • WASHINGTON— The Senate on Tuesday sustained President Barack Obama's veto of a bill that would have scrapped a new government rule on union elections. The Senate fell short earlier in overriding Obama's veto of legislation calling for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The vote in the Senate was 96-3, and did not reflect Republican support for the...

  • WASHINGTON, May 5- The U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly passed a Republican budget plan that prescribes deep domestic spending cuts to eliminate deficits by 2024 and aids the party's goal of trying to dismantle President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law. The first combined House-Senate budget in six years passed 51-48 with all Senate Democrats and two...

  • NEW YORK, May 5- The $3.7 trillion U.S. municipal bond market has been punishing New Jersey's debt, largely because of the state's underfunded pension system and growing retirement costs. On Wednesday, the state's supreme court will hear arguments about whether it was legal for Governor Chris Christie to slash $1.6 billion from New Jersey's 2015 pension...

  • In Texas, which leads the nation in oil and natural gas production, a measure to limit local regulations to those deemed "commercially reasonable" has passed the Legislature and is expected to be signed into law by Republican Gov. In Pennsylvania, after fracking in the Marcellus Shale deposit began booming in 2008, the Legislature imposed a 2012 law restricting...