Site Map - Legal Report

Legal Report

- This wrap-up of state legislative activity looks at trends around the country on background checks, homeland security, identity theft, and other issues.

Iowa - Bullying

- A new law (formerly S.B. 61) requires that all public and private schools develop antibullying programs and take steps to eliminate bullying at schools and during all school functions regardless of location.

National Guard

- Two bills (S. 430 and H.R. 718) introduced by Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO) and Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) would require the military to identify gaps between federal and state capabilities to respond to emergencies that have been created by the deployment of National Guard troops to Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill would also make the Chief of the National Guard Bureau a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Genetic Discrimination

- The bill (H.R. 493) would prohibit discrimination based on genetic information has been approved by the House of Representatives. The Senate has agreed to consider the measure and has also released a report on the proposed legislation.

Courthouse Security

- The bill (S. 378) would increase courthouse security has been approved by the Senate. The House of Representatives has not announced whether it will take action on the bill, which would also require that the U.S. Marshals Service offer ongoing security advice to the judiciary.


- The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing to examine the privacy and civil liberties concerns surrounding the driver's license requirements mandated under the REAL ID Act. Witnesses also evaluated two new bills - S. 717 and H.R. 1117 - that would repeal REAL ID and require a new set of standards for driver's licenses. You can read the full testimony here.


- In a recent decision, the North Carolina Court of Appeals found a company guilty of malicious prosecution after it investigated an employee for wrongdoing, fired him, and then reported his alleged activities to the police despite the fact that the employee's innocence could have easily been ascertained, said the court.


- Washington Governor Christine Gergoire has signed a bill (S.B. 5087) into law that blocks the implementation of a federal driver's license program, known as REAL ID. Under the new state law, Washington would implement REAL ID if it is altered to include full funding and privacy protection for state residents. Right now, the law is an unfunded mandate, and critics say that privacy issues have not been addressed.

Agriculture Security

- A bill (S. 544) introduced by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) would provide tax credits for retailers who sell agricultural products to implement security provisions.

Public Transit

- A bill (H.R. 1401) that would enhance security requirements for public transit systems has been approved by the House of Representatives and has been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.


- A bill (H.R. 1680) that would regulate the sale and purchase of ammonium nitrate has been approved by the House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology. Ammonium nitrate is a critical ingredient used in making explosives.

Homeland Security

- A bill (S. 4) designed to implement the final recommendations of the 9-11 Commission has been approved by the Senate and has been received by the House of Representatives. [A companion bill (H.R. 1) has been approved by the House and is now pending in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.]


- Louis Cioffi worked as a part-time social studies teacher and athletic director for the Averill Park Central School District from 1981 to 1999. In June 1999, the school district promoted Cioffi to full-time athletic director. In his new position, Cioffi supervised Kevin Earl, the district's football coach. Over the three years Cioffi supervised Earl, he consistently complained about Earl's teaching methods. In early 2001, a parent complained about disturbing events that occurred in the boys football locker room, including the hazing and sexual assault of younger players by older students. The school district took steps to address the situation, including changing the policy of supervision in the locker room. However, the school failed to relate the hazing incidents to the other parents of the students who had been assaulted. The court noted that sexual assaults in a high school and the possible cover-up by school administrators are certainly within the scope of public interest. Further, while the school board planned to eliminate Cioffi's position before his press conference, the official decision was not made until after the press conference, making the retaliation claim valid. (Cioffi v. Averill Park Central School District, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, No. 04-5593-cv, 2006)

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