INFORMATION

Site Map - Legislation

U.S. Federal Legislation: Border Security

- A bill (H.R. 3916) that would encourage the development of new border security technology—especially with regard to unmanned aerial vehicles, technology to detect tunnels, and an anticounterfeiting program—has been approved by the  House Science and Technology Committee. (The bill has also been approved by the Homeland Security Committee.) The House of Representatives must take up the measure for it to proceed.

Legal Report

- Rulings on security officer liability, the accuracy of the terrorist watch list, and school safety; plus legislation on genetic discrimination, national security, and intellectual property.

State Legislation: New Mexico: Whistleblowers

- A bill (S.B. 132) pending in the New Mexico legislature would make it illegal for a public employer to retaliate against an employee who discloses or threatens to disclose an unlawful act committed by that employer. The bill would also outlaw retaliation against any employee who testifies as part of an investigation or hearing or who refuses to participate in an unlawful or improper act. The bill would also allow employees to sue for civil damages in such cases.

State Legislation: West Virginia: Weapons

- A new West Virginia law (formerly S.B. 185) makes it illegal for people with certain mental conditions to possess firearms. Included in these mental conditions are alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and those who have voluntarily been committed to a mental institution. (Prior to the law, only those involuntarily committed to a mental institution were prohibited from possessing a firearm.)

U.S. Federal Legislation: Intellectual Property

- The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill (H.R. 4279) introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) that would increase penalties for theft of intellectual property. The bill would enhance criminal penalties for dealing in counterfeit labels or packaging. It would also enhance penalties for causing serious bodily harm or death while dealing in counterfeit goods or services.

U.S. Federal Legislation: National Security

- The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill (S. 2533) that would require the Executive Branch to obtain court approval from a federal court each time it invokes the state secrets privilege in a civil action as a way to prevent information from being released. Under the bill, the Executive Branch would also be required to provide a report to Congress on each item within 30 days of invoking the privilege. The full Senate has not announced whether it will take up the measure.

U.S. Federal Legislation: Genetic Discrimination

- A bill (H.R. 493) that would prohibit discrimination based on genetic information has been signed into law (P.L. 110-233) by the President. The law expands the prohibition against genetic discrimination by group health plans and health insurance providers.

Legal Report

- Rulings on whistleblowers' rights under Sarbanes-Oxley, retaliation, and background screening; plus legislation on infrastructure protection, rail safety, and terrorism.

U.S. Federal Legislation: Infrastructure Protection

- A bill (H.R. 1662) introduced by Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) that would provide funding for site security at some federal facilities has been approved by the House of Representatives and by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The full Senate has agreed to consider the measure.

State Legislation: Discrimination

- Lawmakers in the Wisconsin legislature are considering a bill (A.B. 260) that would make it legal to refuse to hire someone convicted of a sex crime regardless of whether the offense is related to the person’s job. Under existing state law, employers must show that a crime is substantially related to the job being sought before refusing to hire someone based on crimes uncovered in a background check.

U.S. Federal Legislation: Homeland Security

- A bill (H.R. 5552) introduced by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to issue reports to Congress on its efforts to improve homeland security by tightening U.S. borders.

U.S. Federal Legislation: Discrimination

- A bill (H.R. 1424) designed to require insurance companies to provide more comprehensive mental health coverage, includes a provision that would make it illegal for insurance providers to discriminate based on genetic information. The bill has been approved by the House of Representatives. The Senate has agreed to consider the measure.

Legal Report

- Rulings on discrimination, drug testing, and arbitration; plus legislation on border security, intellectual property, and identity theft.
 




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