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VA Lawmakers Agree On $70 Billion Spending Plan

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By Jonathan Wilson

In Virginia, negotiations toward a bare-bones state budget have ended with a final vote on the two-year spending plan, scheduled at 5 p.m. Sunday.

The two sides shook hands on a $70 billion two-year spending plan around 1 a.m Sunday morning. It includes the most dramatic cuts to state services and programs in modern Virginia.

The new budget is without the unpaid days off that were initially part of the budget initially in December. It provides state workers no pay raise but gives them 3 percent bonus in 2011 contingent on revenue growth.

It retains substantial reductions in state support to local school districts, but not as severe as the cuts the House had sought in its version of the budget a few weeks ago.

The full House and Senate are expected to take the final budget vote Sunday afternoon, bringing the session to a close a day later than scheduled.

WAMU 88.5

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NPR

U.S. To Ship Peanuts To Feed Haitian Kids; Aid Groups Say 'This Is Wrong'

On paper, the USDA's plan to send surplus peanuts to feed 140,000 malnourished Haitian schoolchildren sounds heroic. But aid groups say it could devastate Haiti's peanut farmers.
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U.S. Army Captain Is Suing Obama Over Legality Of The War Against ISIS

Capt. Nathan Michael Smith, who is currently on active duty in Kuwait, says he is concerned that an "illegal" war "forces him to violate his oath to 'preserve, protect and defend' the Constitution."
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