April 14, 2013

Washington Notebook: The political calculus of gun control

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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The U.S. Capitol in Washington.

The Associated Press

She described the meeting as "extremely moving" and has pictures given to her by the family members on her desk.

MAINER'S BILL TO BE HEARD

The House Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on a bill inspired by a Maine woman who struggled for decades to get the military to recognize the sexual assault she suffered as a young Navy enlistee.

The Ruth Moore Act of 2013 would loosen the evidentiary requirements for military personnel and veterans seeking disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs for sexual assault incidents. Moore, who lives in Milbridge, didn't speak publicly of the attacks on her for decades but has since last year become a public face in the effort to help sexual assault survivors receive disability benefits.

The bill is sponsored by Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-District 1. Maine Rep. Mike Michaud, D-District 2, is the top-ranking Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

SAFER CHEMICALS BILL

King has joined an effort to rewrite federal chemical safety laws to strengthen protections for consumers, an issue that has largely fallen to the states.

Maine state lawmakers have passed some of the nation's most aggressive chemical safety laws, requiring manufacturers to phase out use of some flame retardants and plasticizing agents -- including BPA -- in products sold in the state. But groups want federal action.

A bill to rewrite aspects of the Toxics Substances Control Act passed a U.S. Senate committee last year but died with the end of the 112th Congress in January.

King is among more than two dozen senators to sign onto the 2013 version of that Senate bill. The "Safe Chemicals Act of 2013" would give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency more tools to identify and regulate potentially unsafe chemicals.  

Washington Bureau Chief Kevin Miller can be contacted at (207) 317-6256 or at:

kmiller@mainetoday.com

On Twitter: @KevinMillerDC

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