The Senate voted Thursday to give tens of thousands of people more opportunities to mentor children, clean parks and help the poor, a sweeping call to national service in a time of need.
The legislation would triple the size of the Clinton-era AmeriCorps and broadly expand incentives for students and seniors to give back to their communities, at a cost of $5.7 billion over five years. It also would create five groups to help poor people, improve education, encourage energy efficiency, strengthen access to health care and assist veterans.
The vote was 79-19.
The legislation would increase AmeriCorps to 250,000 from its current 75,000 positions over eight years, its largest expansion since the program was launched in 1993.
The House, which passed a similar bill last week, plans to bring the Senate version to a vote as early as Monday.
La Habra, Calif.
More octuplets are sent home
Two more of the world’s longest surviving octuplets have been discharged from a Southern California hospital.
That makes 12 children now in Nadya Suleman’s La Habra home, with two babies still waiting to be released.
Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center says Makai and Jeremiah went home Thursday night, exactly two months after their historic births. They join their six older siblings and four infants at the family’s new home.
Makai weighs 5 pounds, 5 ounces, and Jeremiah weighs 5 pounds, 14 ounces.
Two babies remain in Kaiser’s neonatal intensive care unit. The octuplets were born nine weeks premature on Jan. 26.
The first pair to arrive home were greeted by a chaotic crush of reporters and photographers in the quiet suburban cul-de-sac on March 17.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Officials say nurse stole morphine
Prosecutors have charged a nurse with stealing morphine by using a syringe to siphon the narcotic painkiller from the bedside of a dying woman.
A warrant issued by Washtenaw County authorities said Esther Najer, 48, stole morphine four times on Sept. 6 from the room of meningitis patient LaKrisha Dobbins, who died later that day.
Najer entered Dobbins’ room at the University of Michigan hospital and appeared to be checking whether the patient’s intravenous drip was working.
Dobbins’ family said they were concerned that a lack of morphine may have caused suffering.
“It’s just devastating and compounds the grief,” said Dobbins’ mother, Janette Birton, who reported her suspicions to hospital officials.
From wire reports