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Budget cuts hurting state mental health services

State budget writers looking for cash to balance the books have stripped a cumulative $1.8 billion from mental health services over the last 2 1/2 years, putting the public at risk as the mentally ill crowd emergency rooms and prisons, according to the nation’s largest mental health advocacy group. The Washington-based National Alliance on Mental Illness tallied state budget cuts to mental health services between 2008 and today and found that 32 states and Washington, D.C., cut funding just as economic stressors such as layoffs and home foreclosures boosted demand for services. California slashed funding by more than $587 million,
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Senate sets votes on competing spending bills

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawmakers crafted another stopgap spending bill in the House of Representatives on Tuesday to keep the government running while the Senate set votes for Wednesday on two longer-term measures that appeared doomed to failure. Read the full story.
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Obama and Cameron weigh no-fly zone for Libya

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron discussed a potential no-fly zone for Libya on Tuesday, but both countries insisted that any intervention must have broad international support. Read the full story.
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Senate approves patent reform to end backlog

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to overhaul U.S. patent laws, approving a measure aimed at chipping away at a huge backlog of patent applications and offering alternatives to expensive litigation. Read the full story.
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Auto safety proposals to be revived in Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Safety legislation born out of the Toyota Motor Corp recall saga and opposed by automakers will be revived in the Senate this year, the chairman of the Commerce Committee said on Tuesday. Read the full story.
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Five Republicans woo Iowa voters ahead of 2012 race

DES MOINES (Reuters) – Five possible Republican White House hopefuls including Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty courted conservative voters on Monday in Iowa, the state that holds a critical early contest on the road to the party’s 2012 U.S. presidential nomination. Read the full story.
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