Des Moines City Council backs bill allowing Water Works takeover

Days after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by the Des Moines Water Works against farm runoff, the City Council voted to support a bill in the Iowa House allowing regionalization of the water utility, said the Des Moines Register. The chief executive of the Water Works says the regionalization bill, sponsored by a legislator who is a hog farmer, is retaliation for the lawsuit, which wanted to apply water pollution laws to agricultural runoff.

Rural electric projects get $349 million in U.S. support

Fifteen projects to improve more than 1,844 miles of transmission and distribution lines in rural America will receive a total of $349 million in low-cost federal loans.

House to vote on CFTC bill under veto threat

The House could vote this evening on the Republican-backed bill to reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, overseer of the derivatives markets. The White House threatened a veto of the bill last week. Besides renewing the operating authority of CFTC, the bill creates new safeguards for customers' funds held by trading houses, relaxes regulations on so-called end users, and makes it more difficult for the five-member commission to write new regulations.

New York, Connecticut move to avoid food stamp losses

The governors of Connecticut and New York state say they will put more money into a program that helps poor people pay utility bills so they won't see a reduction in food stamp benefits.