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Heidi Heitkamp
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:56pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Senate Votes Down Amendment To Reform 'Outdated' Sugar Program In Farm Bill

Reforming the sugar program in the nation's farm bill would make U.S. manufacturers more competitive and reduce prices for consumers, said U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), co-sponsor of an amendment to revamp the system.

The amendment, S. 345, did not seek to eliminate the program. Instead, it aimed to reform restrictions on imports as well as subsidies for sugar growers, along with other changes. But the Senate rejected the amendment by a 45-54 vote Wednesday.

“We’ve been hearing a lot of talk about the need to protect America’s sugar farmers, but what we haven’t heard is that sugar remains the most tightly controlled commodity market in this country,” Shaheen said during floor discussion in the Senate Wednesday. “We currently have an outdated ... program that offers a sweet deal to a small group of sugar growers and processors at the expense of too many other American businesses and at the expense of American consumers.”

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
1:11pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Online Retailers May Soon Lose 'Unfair Advantage' As Marketplace Fairness Act Heads To House, Proponents Say

The U.S. Senate voted to approve the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would require online retailers to comply with sales tax laws of states where they sell and ship goods. According to proponents of the measure, Internet shoppers are one step closer to losing the “unfair advantage” over consumers who choose to support local merchants. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the bill and what it could mean for the Prairie State.