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Pitch telecommuting, law tells feds

By Star-Advertiser news services

LAST UPDATED: 1:46 a.m. HST, Dec 10, 2010

President Barack Obama signed legislation yesterday that instructs each federal agency to come up with policies to promote telecommuting.

The goal of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 is to significantly increase the 5 percent of the federal work force now engaged in some level of teleworking.

It closely tracks with another bill passed by the Senate in May and sponsored by Democratic U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii and Republican Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio.

In a statement, Akaka said the new law will reduce traffic and pollution, and reduce expenditures for office space, by allowing more federal employees to stay off the road.

» A military policy bill that would repeal the ban on gay and lesbian soldiers serving openly in the military stalled in the Senate yesterday, severely diminishing the chances of ending the Clinton-era policy this year. On a vote of 57-40, Sen. Harry Reid, the majority leader, found himself three votes short of the 60 needed to clear a procedural hurdle that would have opened the way for passage of the measure.

Obama urged the Senate to try again to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy before the end of the year.

» Republican senators blocked Democratic legislation yesterday that sought to provide medical care to rescue workers and others who became ill as a result of breathing in toxic fumes, dust and smoke at the site of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack.

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