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City Councilman Ryan Dorsey has proposed legislation that would require Baltimore’s elected leaders to disclose their private business clients and customers.
Dorsey, a Democrat, said the bill "closes the loophole” in city financial disclosure law that allowed then-Mayor Catherine Pugh to sell her...
| Cache ||SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Pharmacists in California will be able to dispense HIV prevention pills to patients without a doctor’s prescription after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Monday that supporters say will greatly reduce the spread of infection. Advocates of Senate Bill 159 say that California is the first state to authorize pre-exposure prophylaxis, also called PrEP, and post-exposure prophylaxis, known as PEP, without prescriptions. California is already considered a leader in HIV/AIDS prevention, they say. PrEP is a once-daily […]|
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After speaking out against harmful diet products for years, Jameela Jamil has successfully advocated for more regulation and is now closer to her goal of eradication. A bit of backstory: the star of The Good Place recently played a big role in getting Instagram to enforce restrictions that prevent minors from seeing sponsored content about cosmetic surgery procedures, detox teas, and the like. In an appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Jameela said she's just getting started.
"This is just the start of what I'm doing. Next I'm moving on to legislation because we need to get this stuff off the market and away from children," she said. Speaking to her own experience with eating disorders as a teenager, Jameela added, "I'm someone who took these products, and I will never get my full health back, and so I'm damned if this is going to happen again 20 years later."
"This is just the start of what I'm doing."
Though she has been considered a leader in body positivity since launching her I Weigh movement in 2018, Jameela feels more comfortable using the terms "body liberation" and "body neutrality." She said, "I believe in just not thinking about your body, and I have the luxury of being able to do that because I'm not being constantly persecuted for my size."
"I just manage to get more things done in my day when I'm not thinking about my figure," she added. "I can't stand in front of a mirror and say, 'I love my thighs. I love my cellulite.' I can just not think about them, and think about my bank account and orgasms." Watch her impassioned interview above.
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(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria and abandon Kurdish allies has prompted a furious backlash among key members of his most important bulwark against an impeachment conviction: Senate Republicans.Hawkish GOP senators, whom Trump will need to keep him in office if the House moves ahead with impeachment, condemned the president’s decision as a win for terrorists and a defeat for American credibility. Some are already discussing legislation to push back.“A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran and the Assad regime,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. He urged the president to “keep together our multinational coalition to defeat ISIS and prevent significant conflict between our NATO ally Turkey and our local Syrian counterterrorism partners.”Foreign policy has long been the issue where Republicans are most likely to disagree with Trump, and it’s not clear that strong words against the president’s Syria policy will cost him any political support. Trump would have to lose the support of at least 20 Republican senators to be removed from office if the House votes to impeach him.The harshest criticism Monday came from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a strong Trump ally and frequent golf companion. Graham said this “impulsive decision” will benefit Iran and cost the U.S. leverage in the region.Graham also said he and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen will introduce sanctions against Turkey if the NATO ally invades Syria. He said he expects such sanctions to get a two-thirds majority -- enough to override a Trump veto.After criticism from Graham and others, Trump tweeted that he would “totally destroy and obliterate” Turkey’s economy if it took “off limits” actions that he didn’t specify. He also said Turkey must “watch over” about 12,000 captured Islamic State fighters and tens of thousands of their family members living in jails and camps in Kurdish-held territory.The Senate earlier this year had a veto-proof margin to pass an amendment authored by McConnell opposing a withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan. On Monday, Criticism in Congress was bipartisan, focused on the move to abandon Kurdish forces who helped U.S. forces fight ISIS, and who are holding thousands of ISIS fighters in custody.Other Senate Republicans pushing back on the president include Marco Rubio of Florida, Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, though none other than Graham have yet said they plan to act on their dismay.Romney, who heads a Foreign Relations subcommittee on the Middle East and counterterrorism, released a joint statement with Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, the top Democrat on the panel, saying Trump’s decision “severely undercuts America’s credibility as a reliable partner and creates a power vacuum in the region that benefits ISIS.” They demanded that the administration explain the decision to the full committee.Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, who is up for re-election next year, warned against partnering with Turkish President Recep Erdogan.“If the president sticks with this retreat, he needs to know that this bad decision will likely result in the slaughter of allies who fought with us, including women and children,” Sasse said in a statement Monday. “I hope the president will listen to his generals and reconsider.”Some House Republicans also criticized the abrupt withdrawal. Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, a member of GOP leadership, called the decision a “catastrophic mistake.” New York Republican Elise Stefanik recently returned from a bipartisan trip to the region and joined a statement with Democratic representatives condemning Trump’s “rash decision.”“Not only will this decision further destabilize the region, it will make it more difficult for the United States to recruit allies and partners to defeat terrorist groups like ISIS,” the statement said.One of Trump’s Senate allies approved of Trump’s decision: Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has long called for withdrawing troops from Syria and Afghanistan.(Updates with McConnell quote in third paragraph)\--With assistance from Erik Wasson.To contact the reporter on this story: Steven T. Dennis in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at email@example.com, Anna Edgerton, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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(Bloomberg) -- Follow @Brexit, sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, and tell us your Brexit story. As Brexit negotiations resumed in Brussels, Boris Johnson got a boost from the courts. A Scottish judge ruled in the prime minister’s favor in a case that could have forced him to obey a law requiring him to delay Brexit if he can’t reach a deal.But the lift may only be short-lived. The judge ignored the prime minister’s frequent assertions he won’t seek an extension and instead relied on assurances from government lawyers that he would obey the law. That may make it harder for Johnson to leave without a deal on Oct. 31.Key Developments:Johnson’s lead negotiator, David Frost, is in Brussels for talks with European CommissionScottish judge rules in Johnson’s favor after pledges over Brexit delayWhen This $2 Trillion Market Turns, Start Worrying About BrexitBrexit Deal Prospects Fade as Talks Stall, EU Signals PessimismJohnson Calls EU Counterparts to Urge Shift (4 p.m.)Boris Johnson spoke to his counterparts in Denmark, Sweden and Poland this afternoon, his office said. Brexit minister James Duddridge told Parliament the prime minister was trying to “whip up enthusiasm for the deal and avoid no-deal."Questioned over how the government would meet its apparently contradictory commitments to leave the EU by Oct. 31 and to abide by a law requiring it to seek a delay to Brexit if there isn’t a deal, Johnson’s spokesman James Slack told reporters: "The manner in which this is achieved is a matter for the government." he gave no further details.Government Won’t Publish Brexit Legal Text (3:45 p.m.)Brexit Minister James Duddridge said the government won’t make public the full legal 44-page text of its latest proposals to the EU.The full text “will only be published when doing so will assist with the negotiations,” Duddridge told MPs after being questioned about the issue in the House of Commons. “We’re not going to provide that legal text if it’s going to get in the way of negotiations and get in the way of a deal.”Keir Starmer, Brexit spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, said both Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker had asked for the document to be published. “The only party insisting on secrecy is the U.K. Government,” he told lawmakers. “The question is obvious: What is the Government hiding?”No Deal Trade Burden at 8 Billion Pounds (1:30 p.m.)Businesses trading between the U.K. and European Union will face almost 8 billion pounds ($9.9 billion) of additional costs in a no-deal Brexit, according to new estimates by the U.K’s tax and customs authority HMRC.Importers will pay a total of 3.8 billion pounds submitting the necessary customs declarations forms if the U.K. leaves the EU without a deal at the end of this month. Exporters’ costs will rise to 3.9 billion pounds, HMRC said.The calculation shows the cost for one year and is based on 2017 trade flows. HMRC said it calculated that year’s EU-U.K. trade flows as if they were carried out with the U.K. outside the bloc.Johnson Wins Scottish Challenge on Extension (12:55 p.m.)A Scottish judge refused to put further obligations on Boris Johnson, saying his “unequivocal assurances’’ to seek an extension to the Brexit deadline were sufficient.At a hearing in Edinburgh on Friday, Johnson’s lawyers promised he will obey a law that forces him to postpone Brexit. The claimants had argued that Johnson couldn’t be trusted and should be forced to comply with the legislation under threat of a fine or imprisonment.“I am not persuaded that it is necessary for the court to grant the orders sought or any variant of them,” Judge Peter Cullen said while giving his ruling.Jo Maugham, one of the challengers, said he will appeal the decision.Johnson May Meet Varadkar As EU Seeks Progress (12:15 p.m.)Boris Johnson may try to meet with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the coming days as he seeks to show progress in Brexit talks, according to a U.K. official speaking on condition of anonymity.The U.K. accepts both sides need to know where the proposals put forward by Johnson are heading by Friday, the person said. Both Varadkar and French President Emmanuel Macron signaled they want progress by the end of the week.If insufficient progress is made, then Johnson’s plan may not even appear on the agenda for the Oct. 17-18 EU Council meeting, the person said.Brexit TimelineTime for EU to Compromise, U.K. Says (11:45 a.m.)Boris Johnson wants the EU to engage fully with his proposals for the Irish border and it’s the bloc’s turn to compromise, the prime minister’s spokesman James Slack told reporters in London.Reiterating that he won’t accept Northern Ireland being in a separate customs territory from the rest of the U.K., Slack said London has made compromises and expects Brussels to follow suit. He doubled-down on the premier’s pledge to leave with or without a deal on Oct. 31.“We are ready to talk with the EU at a pace to secure a deal so that we can move on and build a new partnership between the U.K. and the EU, but if this is to be possible, the EU must match the compromises that the U.K. has made,” Slack told reporters. “The prime minister believes that we have set out a fair and sensible compromise.”Johnson will call the leaders of Poland, Sweden and Denmark on Monday, Slack said.EU Demands ‘Workable Solution’ (11:35 a.m.)David Frost, the U.K.’s chief negotiator, is at the European Commission for Brexit talks today, commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said.The negotiations this week are “to give the U.K. the opportunity to present their proposals in more detail and then we’ll take stock,” she said.She added that the U.K. has to come up with “a workable solution now and not something based on untried and revocable arrangements.”Scottish Ruling Expected at Noon (Earlier)The latest Scottish court ruling related to Brexit is expected at noon Monday. Politicians are seeking a ruling that forces Prime Minister Boris Johnson to obey a law that requires him to seek an extension if he can’t reach a deal with the European Union.Jolyon Maugham, a lawyer backing the case, said there are two elements to the ruling. First, will the court order Johnson to act as the law dictates, which would create the possibility of fines or even a jail term if he fails?Second, is sending a letter requesting the extension -- which Johnson’s lawyers have promised to do -- enough to comply with the law. Or could the court look at other actions by Johnson that might be seen as undermining the law?Earlier:Brexit Deal Prospects Fade as Talks Stall, EU Signals PessimismWhen This $2 Trillion Market Turns, Start Worrying About Brexit\--With assistance from Edward Evans, Anthony Aarons, Ian Wishart, Alex Morales and Jessica Shankleman.To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Browning in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Robert Hutton in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edward Evans, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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Congress took its first step Wednesday toward allowing state-sanctioned marijuana businesses to access banking products without fear of a federal government crackdown.
That step included support from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, an Eastern Washington Republican who has spoken against the state’s legalization of recreational marijuana and received criticism from cannabis reformers hoping to fully legalize the drug.
“I heard from a lot of banks and credit unions about the increased amount of cash that is on our streets, and the danger that it poses for our community,” McMorris Rodgers said in an interview following her vote.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Oregon, prohibits federal regulators from penalizing or limiting financial services offered by lending institutions working with marijuana businesses that followed state laws. The bill passed 321-103with 91 Republicans voting in favor, many of them saying they supported the bill’s narrow scope that is intended to keep such businesses from relying solely on cash. That can make them targets for crime, bill supporters argued.
Many banks and credit unions have avoided working with cannabis businesses, as the drug remains illegal under federal law. Locally, Numerica Credit Union offers a limited set of financial services to growers, processors and retailers.
The U.S. Treasury Department keeps track of banks and credit unions nationwide reporting activity with marijuana businesses as part of its suspicious activity reports program. The department reported in June that there were 715 lending institutions nationwide that were conducting business with marijuana firms.
Advocates pushing for further reform of federal marijuana laws, including the potential declassification of the drug as a controlled substance, heralded Wednesday’s vote. It is the first time Congressional lawmakers have approved any legislation dealing only with marijuana, as more and more states legalize its sale to both medical patients and as a recreational drug.
“For the first time ever, a supermajority of the House voted affirmatively to recognize that the legalization and regulation of marijuana is a superior public policy to prohibition and criminalization,” Justin Strekal, political director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said in a statement.
The bill doesn’t change marijuana’s classification as illegal under federal law. It also doesn’t address the Justice Department’s apparent attempts to keep bankruptcy cases from people declaring marijuana income out of the courts.
McMorris Rodgers said her support for the legislation was due to its narrow scope. But the congresswoman noted that she’s also co-sponsored another marijuana bill introduced by Oregon Democratic Rep. Ed Blumenauer which would enable the sale of marijuana seeds and plant starts to researchers licensed by the federal government for medical study.
“I continue to have concerns about legalization of recreational marijuana, in particular,” McMorris Rodgers said. “I’m concerned about the safety around it, especially for our kids.”
The House’s approval of the bill sends the legislation to the Republican-controlled Senate, where another Western GOP lawmaker has already convened an informational hearing about a companion bill.
Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, chairman of the Senate’s Banking Committee, held a hearing in late July on similar bipartisan legislation, but no votes were taken. At the time, Crapo said he was interested in learning more about the legislation, but also concerned about a 2013 Justice Department initiative under President Barack Obama that targeted firearm sellers, payday lenders and other businesses believed to be at risk of committing financial crimes.
“Having a conversation about whether banks should be able to provide banking services to entities engaged in federally illegal behavior brings up the issue and concern that there has been a push to choke off legal industries from the banking sector,” Crapo said at the July hearing.
Strekal and representatives of other marijuana reform organizations urged the Senate to take up the legislation in statements Wednesday. President Donald Trump has not given clear indication whether he would sign marijuana banking legislation if it were to pass both chambers of Congress, but he expressed some support for another bipartisan bill introduced in Congress that, among other changes, would give state-sanctioned marijuana businesses access to banking.
Crapo told reporters for the publication Congressional Quarterly on Wednesday that he wanted to consider a banking bill, which could be separate from the House bill, in the Senate soon.
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Plucknett contrasts the flexibility and adaptability of customary law with the rigidity and remoteness of state legislation (1956)
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Bruce Smith on the misconceived and harmful legislation produced by voting as an inevitable though temporary case of “measles” (1887)
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Condy Raguet argues that governments cannot create wealth by means of legislation and that individuals are better judges of the best way to use their capital and labor than governments (1835)
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John Ramsay McCulloch argues that smuggling is “wholly the result of vicious commercial and financial legislation” and that it could be ended immediately by abolishing this legislation (1899)
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Conference on Thermal Energy Forum 2016 was organized in the context of legislation that puts more emphasis on the importance of energy efficiency (Article 14 of Directive Energy Efficiency European Commission encourages the use of high efficiency cogeneration and efficient district heating in centralized systems). The legislation is a response to general concerns related to […]
Articolul Thermal Energy Forum 2016 Conference publicat pe bepco.
| Cache ||Pharmacists in California will be able to dispense HIV prevention pills to patients without a doctor's prescription after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Monday that supporters say will greatly reduce the spread of infection.|
| Cache ||IMAGE: CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn By Mark Pattison WASHINGTON (CNS) — So an impeachment query in the House, and a potential trial in the Senate, want to get in the way of legislation being considered in Congress? Take a number. Advocates for several Catholic organizations interviewed by Catholic News Service said|
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A new, controversial piece of legislation out of California sent the college basketball world into a frenzy over the past week.
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB206, which would allow college athletes to gain compensations for their likeness. In essence, it makes it illegal for California colleges to disallow their student-athletes from profiting off themselves and allows agents to be hired to help promote them – both of which has been strictly prohibited by the NCAA.
There has been similar legislation introduced in other states, but the Golden State was the first to enact a game-altering change.
It doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2023, but the result has sparked reactions from all over the college landscape.
Most of the reactions have been centered around money. Earlier this week, Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth agreed that student-athletes deserve more than what is currently available to them.
Gonzaga men’s basketball head coach Mark Few was asked about it at the West Coast Conference tip-off event in Las Vegas and didn’t pull any punches, calling the law a publicity stunt by grandstanding politicians.
On Saturday, Few expanded on those thoughts and said the NCAA has been working on a solution for a while.
“We were already on it,” he said. “That doesn’t seem to be written about much. We already had a committee working on it, and some really good people and some smart people, and I think they are going to announce some things in a little bit. It is the kind of the world we live in; everyone just lashes out early and everybody reacts.”
In the few days since the new law was signed, the sports and political landscapes collided as everyone wanted to offer their opinion – from inside and outside the NCAA.
“I think everybody is kind of moving really fast on it,” Few said. “But I think there will be some really smart people, practitioners, day to day in our sport who can make some solid decisions and not get influenced by people outside of our profession chirping in.”
Few wanted to make it clear, as did Roth, that he is for some sort of compensation plan, but there have to be logical safeguards in place.
“I am hoping some good things come about from it. I am certainly all for it as long as we can have some sort of plan, some ways to easily regulate it,” Few said. “You have to take your time and look at the effect. You don’t just enact things and go from there; that usually leads to a disaster.”
Checking with student-athletes within the GU men’s locker room, the overall thought was yes, compensation should be made available to them, but no one knew exactly what that should entail.
Junior forward Corey Kispert was happy to see the news, hoping that it jump-starts the movement so changes can be enacted sooner rather than later.
“It is pretty exciting for me, to see states take steps toward treatment of athletes, and I think that is a good thing,” he said. “I think it is progressive, and I think they are making steps in the right direction. I think a lot of people are jumping the gun a little bit and are talking when they don’t really know what’s going, on and that’s why I am keeping my mouth shut about it.”
Assistant coach Brian Michaelson has a unique perspective. He was a student-athlete within the past 15 years, and now is a coach of student-athletes. Laws haven’t changed much since he was a player. He, too, thinks players should get a piece of the pie, but there needs to be a nuanced approach.
“It is going to be a long process, and I definitely think that student-athletes deserve all of the benefits they can get, but there are just too many things logistically on where that is going to go, and how you do it, that we just need to be patient and take a big step back, and kind of wait for it play out a little bit,” he said.
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In an era when many advocates use social media and online petitions to garner widespread support, the Catholic Church instead focuses on the audience it already has. In Philadelphia, the archdiocese coordinated the distribution of letters to all 219 parishes that warned of "serious dangers" posed by the bill and urged people to pick up additional information at the exits after Mass – and contact their lawmakers.
Since 2009 alone, state lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have tried at least 200 times to extend the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases, according to a USA TODAY analysis of legislation filed in all 50 states, part of a two-year look at model legislation in partnership with the Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity.
The bills have borrowed from and built on each other, sharing common phrases and ideas.
Many special interests, including the insurance industry, oppose efforts to give survivors more time to sue. But two organizations are uniquely positioned to wield influence because of their deep ties to local communities: the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America.
| Cache ||Congress is poised to restrict purchases of Chinese-built buses and rail cars in legislation that could open a new front in the trade war alongside the Trump administration's squabbles with Beijing. A bill would forbid the use of federal grants, which the Department of Transportation often makes to big-city transit authorities, to buy new subway trains or buses from the Chinese-owned manufacturer CRRC. Robert Puentes, president of the Eno Center for Transportation, a nonpartisan transportation think tank, says CRRC already dominates the market for rail cars in China — "and they intend to corner the global market here in United States." Puentes says the company has successfully won bids for transit agencies in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia "by adhering to the rules that these agencies and these cities have laid out." CRRC has built two American plants, one in Massachusetts and one in Illinois, where it assembles the rail cars. The shells are imported from China; other|
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As part of a growing effort to reduce teen vaping, US Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) has proposed legislation that could put a cap on the concentration of nicotine in e-cigarettes, CNN reports. The bill would limit nicotine content to no more...
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| Cache ||By Sean Klammer Special thanks to Emily Cunningham, Porter Wright law clerk, for her assistance on this article. Since California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), many states have introduced similar consumer data privacy legislation, but so far only Maine and Nevada have passed legislation successfully. Nevada focuses on internet website operators, whereas Maine focuses on broadband internet access service providers. Both laws are generally narrower than CCPA, although Maine’s law has an opt-in only provision. Nevada’s privacy law To whom does the law apply? Effective Oct.1, 2019, Nevada’s privacy law requires website operators to allow consumers to opt-out of the sale of their covered information. An “operator” is subject to the privacy law if it: Owns or operates a website or online service for “commercial purposes” Collects covered information from Nevada consumers who use the operator’s website or…|
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican Gov. Mike DeWine's new proposals to address Ohio gun violence in the wake of the Dayton mass shooting don't include background-check requirements for gun sales or a so-called red-flag law to restrict firearms for people perceived as threats, despite his earlier support of those ideas.
Instead, his administration detailed legislative proposals detailed Monday intended to increase and improve background checks and ensure people don't have firearms if a court has deemed them to be a danger. Among other changes, the "STRONG Ohio" plan also would increase penalties for anyone who provides a gun to someone who is legally prohibited from having one, and require that certain types of protection orders and arrest warrants be reflected in state and federal law enforcement databases to ensure more accurate background checks.
DeWine said his team consulted with city leaders, lawmakers and many others and worked to produce proposals that he believes will get results, protect people's rights — and be able to pass the Republican-led Legislature.
"They do not infringe on Second Amendment rights for anyone who has a legal right to own a gun," Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said. "What the plan does is put dangerous people — criminals — on notice that if you're a threat to yourself or others, you are not legally allowed to possess weapons, and we're going to build a system to ensure that you don't."
Husted said the idea of a red-flag law that still protected gun owners' due process proved "inadequate and unworkable" because of the time required for due process and the danger that could pose for law enforcement and because removing a weapon doesn't ensure the subject won't harm themselves or others. So-called red flag laws allow a court to temporarily seize guns from people believed to be a danger to themselves or others.
The news conference included the legislation's sponsor, GOP Sen. Matt Dolan, of Chagrin Falls, along with supportive statements from Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Whitney Austin, a gun owner seriously wounded in a Cincinnati shooting last year.
Whaley, a Democrat, recalled how a crowd chanted "Do something!" as she and DeWine attended a vigil after a shooter in Dayton killed nine people in August. The new proposals don't do enough but are an "important start," she said.
"This is the first time in my career that I have witnessed our state government seriously consider restrictions on access to guns instead of allowing more dangerous weapons in our communities," Whaley said.
The top Democrat in the House, Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes, of Akron, objected more bluntly.
"When the people told the governor to do something, they didn't mean to do just anything," she said in a statement. "Ohioans want common sense gun safety. STRONG Ohio is weak."
Advocates from the anti-violence group Everytown for Gun Safety also criticized DeWine, saying he abandoned his earlier proposals and offered legislation that lacks needed changes.
Another group, Ohioans for Gun Safety, said it applauds DeWine's proposal but will continue its separate, ongoing push to use a petition process to change state law to require background checks on virtually all gun sales.
A detailed summary of the STRONG Ohio bill is available here. Key components of the bill will:
- Create a process in Ohio law, similar to the current probate court process that directs those suffering from severe mental health conditions into court-ordered treatment, to give hospitals and courts a better ability to help those who are legally declared to be a danger to themselves or others due to drug dependency or chronic alcoholism;
- Ensure that citizens have full due process at all probate court hearings;
- Ensure that those legally declared by a judge to be a danger to themselves or others do not have access to firearms;
- Give family members of those who may be a danger to themselves or others because of drug dependency or chronic alcoholism the ability to more easily petition the probate court for court-ordered treatment;
- Mandate that law enforcement agencies and courts enter certain protection orders and arrest warrants for serious crimes into state and federal law enforcement databases to ensure more accurate background check results;
- Create a new private-sale background check process that will increase the number of background checks conducted in Ohio while also protecting the privacy of law-abiding gun owners;
- Create a legal safe harbor for firearms sellers who require private-sale background checks;
- Increase penalties for those who sell or provide a firearm to someone legally prohibited from possessing a gun;
- Give judges a range of sentences for felony cases in which a gun was either possessed, brandished, or used;
- Increase the penalty for those who are found with a gun while legally prohibited from possessing a firearm;
- Increase the penalty for selling a gun to a minor;
- Increase penalties for straw purchases and knowingly possessing a straw-purchased gun.
| Cache ||Capitol Hill As the year’s legislative calendar winds down, a large new infrastructure spending program with dedicated funding for broadband appears dead. Attention now is on smaller but important pieces of bi-partisan broadband legislation such as the Secure and Trusted Communications Act, introduced in the House of Representatives on September 24. The bill would prohibit the use of federal funds to purchase communications equipment or services that pose a national security risk, and appropriates $1 billion for the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) to establish a $1 billion “Secure and Trusted Communications Reimbursement Program” to assist small communications providers in removing and replacing compromised equipment (so-called “rip and replace”). Broadband mapping also continues to be a focus with a number of bills circulating in both the House and Senate. Congress has…|
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Underscored need to pass legislation to implement recommendations of special commission...
Underscored need to pass legislation to implement recommendations of special commission...
Main Image Credit:
Governor Charlie Baker speaks about recommended legislation covering drivers impaired by chemical intoxication. (Courtesy of Gov. Baker)
BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito today joined state officials, road safety advocates, law enforcement officials and leaders of the cannabis industry to urge passage of the Administration’s impaired driving legislation. Following the Cannabis Control Commission’s approval last month of regulations for social consumption of marijuana, the group assembled at the State House today underscored the need to pass legislation that would implement recommendations made by the Special Commission on Operating Under the Influence and Impaired Driving.
The Governor and Lt. Governor were joined by Helen Witty, National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, David Torrisi, Executive Director of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association, Cannabis Control Commissioner Britte McBride and Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael.
“As Massachusetts continues to implement adult use of marijuana, including potential social consumption sites, it’s vital that we update our impaired driving laws to ensure the safety of everyone who uses the Commonwealth’s roads,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This legislation which draws on thoughtful recommendations from a commission of a broad cross-section of stakeholders, gives public safety officials the tools they need to combat impaired driving and keep our roads safe.”
“Our Administration is committed to working with law enforcement officials and advocates in the public and private sector to combat impaired driving and ensure the safety of our residents and communities,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We are grateful for these leaders’ support of this important legislation which will update our impaired driving laws as we confront new public safety challenges.”
According to Massachusetts crash statistics from 2013-2017, marijuana was the most prevalent drug (aside from alcohol) found in drivers involved in fatal crashes. In Colorado, where marijuana has been sold for adult use since 2014, traffic deaths involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana increased 109 percent while traffic deaths increased 31 percent, according to a report prepared by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Colorado also saw a marked increase in traffic deaths involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana which more than doubled from 55 in 2013 to 115 people killed in 2018. Since recreational marijuana was legalized, the percentage of all Colorado traffic deaths that were marijuana related increased from 15 percent in 2013 to 23 percent in 2018.
“While we trust that the overwhelming majority of adults who use cannabis will do so responsibly, our research shows that some marijuana users believe the myth that they drive better when high,” said Thomas Turco, Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). “It’s important that we state unequivocally that that is, in fact, a myth and that driving under the influence of cannabis is dangerous and potentially fatal.”
The Baker-Polito Administration’s bill is based on recommendations made by the Special Commission on Operating Under the Influence and Impaired Driving. The Special Commission is composed of a diverse set of stakeholders and experts, including police, prosecutors, medical and toxicological professionals, and representatives of the criminal defense bar and civil liberties community.
The proposed legislative changes in the bill include:
- Adopting implied consent laws to suspend the driver’s licenses of arrested motorists who refuse to cooperate in chemical testing for drugs, as existing law has long required for arrested motorists who refuse breath testing for alcohol.
- Adopting a statute authorizing courts to take judicial notice that ingesting THC, the active chemical in marijuana, can and does impair motorists.
- Directing the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) to expand the training of drug recognition experts and allowing them to testify as expert witnesses in civil and criminal cases.
- Prohibiting drivers from having loose or unsealed packages of marijuana in the driver’s compartment of a vehicle, under the same provision of the motor vehicle code that has long prohibited driving with open containers of alcohol.
- Permitting judicial notice of the scientific validity and reliability of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which would make it easier for the Commonwealth to introduce the results of that test at trial to demonstrate a driver’s intoxication.
- Empowering police officers to seek electronic search warrants for evidence of chemical intoxication, as is the practice in over thirty other states. Any blood draw would have to be authorized by a neutral magistrate after a showing of probable cause and would be performed by a doctor, nurse, or other appropriate medical staff at a health care facility.
- Developing educational materials and programming on drug impairment to share with trial court judges.
The Baker-Polito Administration recently kicked off an impaired driving educational campaign designed to reach men age 18 to 34, who are the most likely to be behind the wheel in impaired driving crashes. The campaign, titled “Wisdom,” was informed by focus groups made up of cannabis and alcohol users and conducted by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s (EOPSS) Office of Grants and Research (OGR). The feedback was used to create TV spots featuring interviews of real people who were willing to share their perceptions about driving after consuming cannabis, alcohol, or other drugs.
“Our family – and the thousands we represent – know all too well the life-altering consequences of drunk and drugged driving,” said Helen Witty, National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “My 16-year-old daughter, Helen Marie, was out rollerblading on a bike path near our Miami home in 2000 when she was run over and killed by a teenage driver impaired on alcohol and marijuana. I landed shattered in MADD’s lap, and determined to make sure this violent, preventable crime never happened to anyone else. MADD is grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for doing everything they can to keep people from being needlessly injured or killed by impaired drivers.”
“An important goal of the commission’s work is to protect the health and safety of the people in our state as we navigate the new reality of legal adult use of cannabis. I am pleased to be here today to support the Baker-Polito Administration and their partners in promoting the safe use of marijuana and cannabis products,” said Britte McBride, Commissioner of the Cannabis Control Commission.
“We have made educating adults about the importance of responsible use of cannabis products a priority – and we hope the Legislature takes action on this bill,” said David Torrisi, Executive Director, Commonwealth Dispensary Association. “We welcome the opportunity to join the Baker-Polito administration in stressing the importance of safe driving habits, including planning for alternate transportation if using marijuana.”
Massachusetts Data (2013-2017) from the EOPSS Office of Grants and Research:
- Marijuana was the most prevalent drug found in drivers involved in fatal crashes.
- 11 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes were found with both alcohol and drugs in their system.
- 78 percent of impaired drivers in fatal crashes were men.
- 35 percent of drunk drivers involved in a fatal crash were 21-29 years old.
- The number of drivers involved in a fatal crash who were alcohol-impaired (BAC .08+) and had drugs in their system increased by 63 percent (35 to 57).
- From 2016 to 2017, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities decreased by 19 percent (148 to 120).
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Momentum is growing for an end to Ontario’s 2005 pit bull ban with the NDP and Green party questioning the legislation passed by a previous Liberal government after a Toronto man was mauled by two such dogs, prompting police to fire 16 bullets into them.
Targeting the handful of breeds popularly referred to as pit bulls does not help deal with dangerous dogs in general, the heads of both parties said Monday as Premier Doug Ford’s government rethinks the Dog Owner’s Liability Act.
“We’ve said all along that it didn’t really do what it was supposed to do and it was not an effective way of dealing with dangerous dogs,” New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath told reporters.
The latest pushback against the ban is coming from Progressive Conservative MPPs David Piccini and Rick Nicholls, who have been collaborating on a private members’ bill to repeal the ban after Piccini began circulating a petition over the summer.
“We’re looking at all options with the Dog Owner’s Liability Act and the breed-specific language,” said Piccini (Northumberland—Peterborough South), suggesting stricter penalties for negligent dog owners, animal abuse and neglect should be considered, along with more public education on how to approach dogs.
Green Leader Mike Schreiner said the prohibition on pit bulls “discriminates against certain dog breeds in the face of scientific evidence.”
“Breed-specific laws are simply not as effective at reducing the incidence of bites and they result in the unnecessary euthanasia of hundreds of dogs and puppies,” he added in a statement.
Ontario’s ban requires owners to muzzle, leash and sterilize their pit bulls and outlawed the breeding and import of them in a bid to eradicate them from the province. Owners can face fines of up to $10,000 or six months in jail for not complying.
The law followed several highly publicized pit bull attacks in Toronto. A 2014 investigation by the Star found pit bulls were more likely than any other breed to bite people and pets in the city during the three years ending in 2004. In that year, there were 984 licensed pit bulls and 168 bites reported. But by 2013 there were only 501 pit bulls registered in Toronto and just 13 bites. The city no longer keeps bite statistics by breed.
But experts maintain the ban remains misguided.
“Individuals of any breed can be aggressive,” said Angela Fernandez, an associate law professor at the University of Toronto who teaches a course on animals and the law.
“Breed-specific bans misrepresent the problem of dangerous dogs by making it seem like it is the dog’s membership in a breed or subspecies that explains why things have gone wrong when they do. However, it is the history of that individual dog that is more likely the root cause,” she added.
“Using breed as a way to decide which dogs should be either killed or sent out of the province is grossly indiscriminate and unfair to all the other dogs who can be put into that category who have never done anything to anyone.”
The ban also ignores the bite risk of other dogs, particularly big ones more likely to cause serious damage, if they feel threatened or become agitated.
“We do have a higher potential for damage with some of these larger dogs…that we don’t worry about in terms of our breed-specific legislation,” Lee Niel, an assistant professor at the University of Guelph’s veterinary college, said on TVO’s the Agenda in 2016.
“So there is a discrepancy there that doesn’t really make sense,” added Niel, who was not available Monday.
Critics point to a 2017 move by the City of Toronto to crack down on owners of all dangerous dogs as a better solution than a breed-specific ban.
That bylaw requires owners to muzzle their animals, attached a coloured tag to collars and post warning signs on their properties if the dog has severely bitten or attacked a person or another pet. Any dog that has twice bitten in a nonsevere manner is also subject to the same restrictions.
Interim Liberal Leader John Fraser said the province has more important issues to deal with at this time, such as turmoil in the education system and contract talks with teacher unions.
“A day after narrowly avoiding a (school) strike that would have thrown families into chaos, the Ford government wants to talk about lifting the pit bull ban? It’s a thinly-veiled attempt to change the channel and further evidence of how the premier’s priorities are grossly out of whack with Ontarians,” Fraser said.
When the ban was being debated 14 years ago, then-Toronto police chief Julian Fantino supported it on the basis of safety for officers and the public, saying pit bulls were the favourite choice of outlaw motorcycle gangs, drug dealers and street gangsters to guide marijuana grow ops and hideouts.
“These dogs are used a weapons,” he told a legislative committee. “Our officers are becoming equally as cognizant of dangerous dogs as they are of guns when the arrive on scenes of their calls.”
Rob Ferguson is a Toronto-based reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robferguson1