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Political Notes-

August 4, 2005 By:
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Sen. arlen specter
Hill Bill Seeks to Boost Agency Security
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) earned the praise of Jewish groups last month after the Senate passed the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2006.

The massive funding bill, which the Senate approved on July 14, contains $25 million earmarked for nonprofit agencies to improve their security.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Specter fought for the provision, which Jewish organizations said would help synagogues and federations protect themselves from terrorist attacks.

Among those thanking Specter was the Orthodox Union. In a statement, Nathan Diament, director of the union's public policy arm, lauded the senator for his "support for the security of our community's at-risk institutions."

Mothers Gain Support in Nursing Arena

State Sen. Connie Williams (D-District 17) had some things to say to those a tad queasy at the site of a mother breastfeeding in public: Get used to it!

At a press conference on Tuesday marking World Breastfeeding Week, the suburban legislator talked up three of her bills now pending in the General Assembly.

The legislation would strike down ordinances that prohibit breastfeeding in public, outlaw workplace discrimination against breastfeeding women, and offer tax breaks to businesses that establish lactation programs for their breastfeeding employees.

"Even though scientific research supports breastfeeding, and even though breastfeeding is the first method used to nourish newborns from the beginning of time," said Williams, "many moms who decide to breastfeed face obstacles when they return to work or school."

Dark Horse Gallops Towards Washington
Alan Sandals, the Philadelphia attorney and Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel board member who in April expressed interest in running for the seat of Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, now says that he's officially a candidate.

"The odds are against me," said the political newcomer. "I'm used to speaking truth to power."

Sandals faces state Treasurer Robert P. Casey in the 2006 Democratic primary.

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