INFORMATION

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Data Protection

- Under the measure, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would have developed a strategic plan to coordinate information regarding the implementation of standards for transmitting, coding, and protecting consumer health information.

Data Security.

- The bill would also have required that information brokers set up reasonable procedures to verify the accuracy of information they collect, assemble, or maintain. H.R. 4127 would have prohibited information brokers from obtaining or attempting to obtain personal information through false pretenses

OSHA.

- The bill would allow employees to exceed that 15-day time limit if the failure to contest results from “mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.” H.R. 739 would also have allowed employers with 100 or fewer employees and a net worth of $7 million or less to collect attorney’s fees if they prevailed in a dispute with OSHA.

First Responders

- The bill would have required that the government dole out first-responder funds based on risk. This differed from the current funding scheme which follows an equal-distribution approach, with all jurisdictions receiving funding even if those funds are not needed. The bill was designed to provide more funding for metropolitan areas that face greater risks of terrorist attack and less for rural areas.

Whistleblowers

- The bill would have prevented reprisals against government workers who publicly released information regarding waste, abuse, or gross mismanagement in the federal government.

Spyware

- The bill would have prohibited intentionally copying a program onto a computer to commit a crime or to obtain or transmit personal information with the intent to defraud or injure another person or to cause damage to another’s computer.

Seaport Security

- The bill would have made it a crime to enter a secure area of a seaport under false pretenses, forcibly interfere with an authorized law enforcement action, provide false information during a boarding, or willfully disable a passenger vehicle.

Genetic Discrimination

- The bill would have made it illegal for health insurance providers or group health plans to use genetic information as a factor in providing service or establishing premiums.

Insurance

- The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA), which authorized a government program that kept business insurance for terrorist attacks affordable, would have expired in 2005.

Mine Safety

- The law requires that mine operators adopt and maintain an accident response plan for when miners are trapped. Under the law, the plan must include redundant local communications systems, emergency air supplies, escapeways, emergency training, and wireless communications systems to allow contact between trapped miners and officials on the surface.

Port security

- A port security bill (H.R. 4954) was signed into law by President Bush becoming P.L. 109-347. The law requires that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) develop and implement a strategic plan to enhance maritime security.

Legal Report

- Judicial opinions on negligent hiring and premises liability, and Congress considers bills on bioterror, security guards, and emergency management.

Communications

- A bill (A.B. 1848) in California would require that state officials provide an annual report to lawmakers on the state’s interoperable public safety communications network. Existing law says that such as system must be established using federally specified frequencies to ensure that first responders can communicate during an emergency.
 




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