INFORMATION

Site Map - Legislation

Whistleblower Protection Passes Senate

- Senate passage could lead to the first expansion of whistleblower rights since 1989.

Legal Report

- Rulings on concealed weapons and campus security; plus legislation on terrorism insurance, explosives, and food safety.

Legal Reporter

- Courts rule on premises liability and negligent hiring; aviation security hearings take place on Capitol Hill; and Congress considers legislation on maritime security and weapons of mass destruction.

Data Protection

- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a new law (formerly A.B. 779) that would have required retailers to increase security in an effort to prevent identity theft. The bill would have required that retailers implement security standards established for credit card information. In addition, retailers would have been responsible for notifying consumers that their credit card information had been compromised and for replacing the cards.

Retail Theft

- A new Arizona law (formerly S.B. 1547) establishes a state task force to investigate organized retail theft. Composed of law enforcement, public safety, and judicial professionals, the task force would investigate organized retail theft in the state and determine where the problem is most prevalent and how it can be combated.  

Rail Safety

- A bill (H.R. 2095) introduced by Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) that is designed to improve railroad safety has been approved by the House of Representatives and has been taken up by the Senate. The bill is currently pending in the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. 

Food Safety

- A bill (H.R. 3610) introduced by Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) contains several provisions designed to increase the safety of the food supply. Under the bill, all importers must meet U.S. food-safety standards and they must obtain certification before they are allowed to import food. The government would also be required to establish a program through which those companies importing food into the United States could agree to increase food safety and security in exchange for an expedited inspection process. In addition, the bill would mandate that the federal government conduct research on food testing and sampling methodologies.In the case of a food-safety issue that poses a health risk, the government would be required to issue an immediate recall notice.

Campus Security

- A bill (S. 2084) introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to help colleges and universities improve campus safety in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and is currently pending before the full Senate. The bill would establish a matching grant program to help schools purchase and install surveillance equipment and establish hotlines for reporting potentially dangerous students and situations. Grant money could also be used to secure school facilities.

Explosives

- A bill (H.R. 1680) that would regulate the sale and purchase of ammonium nitrate has been approved by the House of Representatives. The bill is now pending before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. Ammonium nitrate is a critical ingredient used in making explosives.

Terrorism Insurance

- A bill (H.R. 2761) that would reauthorize the government-based terrorism insurance program for ten more years has been approved by the House of Representatives. The Senate has agreed to consider the measure. It has been referred to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. 

Aviation security

- A Senate bill (S. 2060) introduced by Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-NV) would allow local law enforcement officers to carry weapons onto commercial aircraft. The officers would have to be full-time municipal, county, or state law enforcement officers. The officers would not have to be on duty to carry a weapon.

Legal Reporter

- Courts rule on a zero-tolerance policy and the duty of a substance abuse policy treatment center to protect its patients. New federal laws are proposed for critical infrastructures, airport screening, and terrorist hoaxes.

Copyright infringement

- The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property has approved H.R. 4077, introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). The bill would authorize a $15 million campaign to educate the public about the legal issues involved in duplicating copyrighted content. The bill would also lower the legal standards that prosecutors must meet to prove that computer users have violated copyright laws.
 




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