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President Clinton last week signed a spending bill for fiscal 1994 that includes $28.8 billion for Education Department programs. The action came after the Senate gave final approval to the measure.

Senators voted 80 to 15 to pass the $261.2 billion measure that will fund the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education departments. The House approved the conference report earlier in the month.

House and Senate conferees agreed to grant $24.3 billion for discretionary education programs, roughly $667 million more than in 1993. Of that amount, $250 million will help defray a $1.2 billion shortfall in the Pell Grant program.

The House had approved a measure calling for $28.6 billion for Education Department programs, compared with $28.8 billion under the Senate version of HR 2518. The Administration requested $30.9 billion. (See Education Week, Oct. 13, 1993.)

Because fiscal 1994 began on Oct. 1, in late September Congress passed a continuing resolution to provide stopgap funding through Oct. 21. Congress last week passed a second stopgap measure, providing funding for the federal government through Oct. 28.


Attorney General Janet Reno last week told a Congressional panel that legislation to restrict violence on television could pass constitutional muster.

Ms. Reno said Senate legislation--three separate bills that are being weighed by the Commerce Committee--could earn the approval of the Clinton Administration. Justice Department officials did not review four additional bills pending in the House.

But the Attorney General said she would first like to see the entertainment industry voluntarily limit the number of violent acts aired on television during family-viewing hours. She endorsed a suggestion by Sen. Paul Simon, D-Ill., that the industry be allowed to make changes by Jan. 1 to stave off federal intervention.

Some senators, however, said the industry has had years of grace time, and called for immediate action.

Cable, network, and film officials explained what they have done in the past few years to limit violence on television, and pleaded for time to make additional changes.


The Clinton Administration last week released a "blueprint'' for a new drug-control strategy stressing treatment and education.

Lee P. Brown, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in a statement that the policy "is designed to chart a new, realistic course,'' looking at drug use within a greater social context. A more detailed strategy is due in February.

Citing a study that found a rise in drug use among 8th graders, the report calls on schools to "strengthen their efforts to insure that our youngsters are able to learn in a drug-free environment.''

In addition to calling for expanded drug education, the report lauds "comprehensive, community-based drug-prevention programs.''

The report says the Administration also plans to "promote certainty of punishment'' by punishing first-time offenders, especially younger users, as well as hard-core users.


The U.S. Supreme Court last week declined to review a ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court that said a teacher's pension is not marital property under state law.

In Waggoner v. Waggoner (Case No. 93-328), the husband of a teacher sought to claim a portion of her benefits during a divorce. The state court ruled that the benefits belonged only to the teacher.

Separately, the High Court declined to hear an appeal by a California property owner seeking interest on money the Los Angeles school district set aside to pay for a parking lot it had taken for public use.

The property owner in Goldflam v. Los Angeles Unified School District (No. 93-331), said he was entitled to interest that accrued from the time the district filed condemnation papers until it took possession of the lot about six months later. California courts ruled against him.


President Clinton last week endorsed a bill that would bar handgun ownership by minors.

In an interview with radio reporters, Mr. Clinton said he supports a proposal to allow minors to own guns only if a parent or guardian shares ownership. Most gun sales to those under 21 are prohibited, but minors may acquire guns from other people.

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