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OSHA

- A bill (H.R. 3165) introduced by Rep. Al Green (D-TX) would hold companies criminally liable for the deaths of contract employees that result from willful violations of safety standards set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. H.R. 3165 has 12 cosponsors and has been referred to the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

First responders

- Two Senate bills have been introduced to address communication issues that arose in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. One bill (S. 1554), introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), would establish a grant program to improve overall communications equipment for first responders. Collins, who is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, said that “This bill takes an important step toward improving emergency communications nationwide so no community experiences the communications failure we saw in parts of the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.” The bill has one cosponsor—ranking minority member on the committee Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)—and has been referred to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Another bill (S. 1762), introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), would also establish a grant program. However, it would be designed to establish an interoperable communications system for first responders.

Transit security

- Asked to give their opinions about mass transit security, witnesses from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), consultants, and transit operators for the United States and the United Kingdom gathered to testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. @ Visit Security Management Online to read the hearing testimony of Senator Susan Collins, Senator Joe Lieberman, DHS Assistant Secretary, Edmund Hawley, Chief Operating Office, of London Underground Michael Brown, Chief Metro Transit Police Department, Polly Hansen, President , New Age Security Solutions Rafi Ron.

Legal Report

- A highlight of the major legislation passed, and passed over, by the 109th Congress.

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.
 




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