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NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | April 21, 2013
In addition to having a hand on the nation's checkbook, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski is reaping a political reward from her new assignment as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee: a significant increase in campaign cash. The Maryland Democrat, who is not up for reelection until 2016, raised $191,000 in the first three months of this year - many times the $7,737 she collected over the same period last year, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
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NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | April 19, 2013
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Friday a plan to immediately evaluate and pay the oldest disability claims, a move that advocates expect will bring relief to Maryland servicemen and women who face one of the largest backlogs in the country. The agency will make provisional decisions on claims that are at least a year old and have not been acted upon. Based on a rating of the severity of the veteran's disability, benefits will range from about $125 to $3,000 a month, or more if a veteran requires extraordinary care.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | April 12, 2013
Farming advocates are pressing Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski to reverse a little-noticed measure approved by Congress last month that rescinded tough new rules on the poultry industry - a move that has strained the already rocky relationship between mom-and-pop chicken farmers on the Eastern Shore and Salisbury-based Perdue. Under lobbying from the poultry industry, Congress quietly rolled back U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations that required chicken companies to give contract farmers 90 days' notice before yanking their business, mandated independent testing of scales used to weigh certain birds, and prohibited unfair or discriminatory business practices.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2013
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski on Monday again urged the Internal Revenue Service to "get to the bottom of allegations" that AccuPay, a payroll servicer based in Harford County, failed to pass clients' tax payments on to state and federal collection agencies. "Business owners in Maryland who may have been harmed by Accu-Pay need a government on their side," Mikulski said in a letter to IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller. "They need timely resolutions to their cases, including the waiver of fees and penalties where appropriate.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | March 28, 2013
Food safety groups are ramping up pressure on Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski over language included in a government funding bill that would make it harder for courts to block the planting of genetically engineered crops. The language, tucked into appropriations legislation to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year, would strip courts of the power to halt the planting of such crops if a judge felt a review of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's approval was warranted over health or environmental concerns.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | March 27, 2013
The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence will receive a $1 million Department of Justice grant to expand a program that identifies women who are at high risk of domestic violence, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski said Wednesday. The statewide initiative trains police and hospital staff to assess the possibility of domestic violence homicides when they first confront victims and quickly direct those women to shelters or other services. Vice President Joe Biden mentioned the effort during an event in Montgomery County this month.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2013
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski urged the Internal Revenue Service to quickly investigate the potential fraud at a Harford County payroll company and called for the agency to protect "honest small businesses" that might have had their payroll tax payments misdirected or delayed. Police in Bel Air, where the company is based, are investigating whether AccuPay Inc. stole years of tax payments rather than sending them to tax collectors on behalf of clients. The company, with an estimated 500 to 600 clients, shut down last week after a Bel Air veterinary hospital filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that the company "repeatedly and regularly" failed to pay or made only partial payments of federal and state withholding and unemployment taxes over the past five years.
NEWS
February 25, 2013
After reading your recent article on efforts to reduce errors on disability claims by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, I find it sad but also somewhat amusing that Sen. Barbara Mikulski is making such a fuss about bringing better care to veterans in Baltimore ("The battle for Baltimore," Feb. 20). Senator Mikulski has been a career politician for more than 40 years, and she is now one of the most powerful members of Congress because of her seniority. Where was she all the time the VA was experiencing its nightmarish performance problems?
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | February 19, 2013
The Baltimore office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the nation's worst performer in processing disability claims, will receive more employee training, an influx of senior staff and a new digital processing system ahead of schedule, under a plan outlined Tuesday by VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki and Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. The infusion of resources is intended to reduce a 26.2 percent error rate and help reduce the backlog of outstanding claims by disabled veterans. "What we have found since the beginning of the war — and our war is now 10 years old — when our veterans return, though they face the nightmares of war, they often face a quagmire" with the claims process, Mikulski said.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | February 7, 2013
They came to pay off a wager, but they couldn't escape a little trash talk. California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer walked humbly to Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's Capitol Hill hideaway on Thursday to pay off their Super Bowl bet, showering Mikulski and Sen. Ben Cardin with cheese, wine and crab -- the West Coast variety. "This is real crab," Feinstein said as she handed a Dungeness crab to the Maryland senators. "It was caught a few days ago in a trap off of the Golden Gate Bridge...It comes with our deepest congratulations.
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