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May 23, 2017 GMT

Delaware lawmakers agree on cuts in drafting budget

DOVER, Del. — Members of the Delaware legislature’s budget-writing committee agreed on about $51 million in cuts Monday as they began drafting a spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

Using the current year’s budget as a template for fiscal 2018, members of the Joint Finance Committee waded through a list of cuts and spending changes proposed by Gov. John Carney’s administration.

Individual cuts ranged from a few million dollars, including $2.6 million by reducing the reimbursement rate for Medicaid dental services, to as little as $100 by reducing supplies and materials expenditures for the Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens.

Committee members also agreed to cap a state-funded annual property tax credit for senior citizens at $400, down from the current $500. The move, if it wins final approval, is expected to save the state $5 million annually.

Repairs to cause delays on SEPTA’s Wilmington line

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority says Amtrak repairs will cause delays along the Wilmington/Newark regional rail line.

The work to replace more than 14,000 rail tires and track began Monday and is scheduled to continue until July 2.

SEPTA says trains departing from Newark and Wilmington stations may operate up to 20 minutes later than regularly scheduled during the week and trains making stops at Wilmington, Churchmans Crossing and Newark stations may operate up to 20 minutes after departing from Claymont Station.

Beginning Saturday, DART buses will operate in place of trains between Claymont and Wilmington stations.

Students eligible to wipe out loans from defunct college

TRENTON, N.J. — State officials say thousands of New Jersey residents who attended schools operated by Corinthian Colleges can seek to have their federal student loans cancelled.

Attorney General Christopher Porrino made the announcement Monday. He says letters have been sent to residents who enrolled in Everest Institute, Everest College, Everest University, Heald College and Wyotech.

Porrino says about 2,200 New Jersey residents are eligible to have their loans cancelled. He added any canceled loans would include refunds on any payments made.

Corinthian Colleges abruptly ceased operations in 2015. Federal education officials then determined Corinthian misrepresented the job placement record of its graduates between 2010 and 2014.

— Compiled from The Associated Press

Lawmakers want review on train runs to Pittsburgh

The Pennsylvania Senate is poised to take the next step toward increasing Amtrak passenger train service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.

But the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation also is looking into the possibility of supplementing train service with bus service, something Amtrak has done in other regions.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to recommend a nine-month review of existing rail studies to determine what it would take to add two more trains on the Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg route.

The resolution would require the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to review existing studies within nine months. Another provision, added to appease Lawrence County officials, requires the committee to look separately over the next 12 months at the requirements to add service between Pittsburgh and Cleveland.