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Off the News

For Thursday, June 23, 2011


Help for jobless homeowners

For those who qualify and act quickly, the state's new law ensuring more fairness in foreclosure isn't the only hope. They could get federal dollars to ward off the crisis altogether.

Congress put $1 billion in an Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program providing interest-free loans to those whose unemployment or underemployment may push them into foreclosure.

Deadline to apply is July 22. Since navigating Uncle Sam's maze can be confusing, better start now: www.FindEHLP.org, or toll free, 855-346-3345.

At least our lawmakers get paid

Hawaii legislators have kept a 5 percent decrease in their salaries through 2013. Still, they can feel relieved that they don't serve in California.

The Golden State controller has halted all paychecks to state lawmakers after determining they failed to approve a balanced budget on time.

California legislators are paid more than $100,000 a year, while Hawaii lawmakers are foregoing restoration of a 5 percent pay cut and an additional 7 percent raise over the past two years. Their pay would have jumped from $46,000 a year to $52,000 under a 2006 constitutional amendment — what has been called an "ingenious" political move by lawmakers to get the pay raise without having to vote on it.

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