In brief: Hawaii likely to pass gay marriage bill
Honolulu – The head of Hawaii’s Senate judiciary committee said Saturday he expects an amended bill legalizing gay marriage to pass easily in the Senate next week, with no changes to the measure passed by the House Friday night after two grueling floor sessions and a lengthy public hearing.
Senate approval would send the bill to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his signature. He is expected to sign after calling the lawmakers into special session and saying he approved changes to the bill made by the House.
Hawaii state Sen. Clayton Hee told reporters during a news conference Saturday that he will recommend to Senate Democrats that they pass the bill during their Tuesday floor session.
A total of 14 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage, with a bill in Illinois awaiting only the governor’s signature.
Harvard budget has $34 million deficit
Boston – Harvard University finance officials are pledging to manage costs better and pursue innovative revenue strategies after its deficit soared to $34 million in the most recent fiscal year, compared to a $7.9 million shortfall the previous year.
A financial report released Friday says the school saw revenues jump 5 percent to $4.2 billion, due largely to the increased annual distribution from its hefty $32.7 billion endowment.
Operating expenses for the nation’s oldest school rose 6 percent to $4.2 billion. Benefits, wages and other compensation expenses accounted for about half of expenses.
Feds pursue big fine for Bank of America
New York – Federal prosecutors want Bank of America Corp. to pay about $864 million over losses incurred by the government after it bought thousands of home loans made by Countrywide Financial during the housing boom.
U.S. attorney Preet Bharara made the request in documents filed late Friday with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
A jury last month found Bank of America Corp., which acquired Countrywide in 2008, liable for knowingly selling thousands of bad home loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between August 2007 and May 2008.
The panel also returned the verdict against Countrywide and a former executive, Rebecca Mairone.
The trial related to mortgages the government said were sold at breakneck speed without regard to quality.