Elections & Politics Updates

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Energy & Environment Update - December 2014 #3

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Environmental Protection...more

Congress Passes Five Cybersecurity Bills During The Lame Duck

Congress surprised many by passing five cybersecurity bills during the post-election “lame duck” session that concluded last week. The White House has indicated that the President will sign all five measures into law. ...more

Health Care Update - December 2014 #5

In This Issue: - Hospital-Acquired Infections Hit Hospitals’ Bottom Line - Will a new treatment option for hepatitis C bring down health care costs? - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act -...more

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 12/22/2014

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - The 113th Congress adjourned sine die last week, and efforts are underway to prepare for an eventful 114th Congress and final two years of the Obama Administration....more

United States Changes Policy on Cuba

As widely reported, President Obama announced on December 17, 2014, significant changes to U.S. policy relating to Cuba. The broad policy revisions include the following...more

Annual Compensations Must Be Posted by Local Government Agencies in California

Law That Takes Effect Jan. 1 Requires Sharing Public Employee Pay Information Online - Starting Jan. 1, local public agencies will be required to post information on the annual compensation of their elected officials,...more

Annual Penny-Wise, Pound-Foolish Award Winner Announced

When it comes to the annual Penny-Wise, Pound-Foolish Award, don’t ever bet against the United States Congress. This year, Congress lay back in the weeds until the year was almost over before making its move for the trophy. ...more

President Approves One-Year Extension of Charitable IRA Rollover

On December 19th, President Obama signed H.R. 5771, known as the “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014.” Among other things, this legislation extends the favorable charitable IRA rollover rule to gifts made in 2014. ...more

The Current State of Online Lottery Sales and the Outlook for 2015

As states continue to search for ways to generate additional revenue, several states have explored the possibility of selling lottery tickets online. Online lottery ticket sales represent an untapped market for state...more

Obama Administration's Shift on Cuban Policy Will Impact Travel to Cuba

Last week, President Obama announced plans for his administration to take historic steps to chart a new course in U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations. Of the various components surrounding this ground-breaking policy approach, the...more

Executive Labor Summary - November/December 2014

NEWS & ANALYSIS - NLRB changes longstanding rule for deferral to arbitration awards - The National Labor Relations Board has had a busy December with four major new developments. We have already reported on two of the...more

Ho Ho Ho GMO! The 2014 GMO Legislation Scorecard

This has been a big year for GMO legislation. In 2014 alone, 25 states have proposed 67 pieces of legislation aimed either at the labeling of products containing GMOs or at the ban of GMO-containing crops. While this space...more

Congress Finally Enacts Chemical Facility Security Legislation

In a rare bipartisan gesture, on December 11, 2014, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 4007, the “Protecting and Securing Chemicals Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014” (“Act”), which the Senate...more

Senators Present New Whistleblower Law for Auto Industry

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla) recently presented a new piece of legislation that will protect the rights of whistleblowers within the auto industry, and offer them the potential to be paid millions of...more

Tax Extenders Passed by Congress

The President signed legislation passed by Congress which retroactively extends from January 1, 2014 many individual and business tax provisions which otherwise expired at the end of 2013. The extension is only for 2014, so...more

Legal Alert: Change in U.S. Policy Towards Cuba

President Obama recently announced that the United States and Cuba would begin talks to reestablish diplomatic relations and partially lift the economic and travel sanctions that have existed between the two nations for over...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights: December 2014 #4

With the holiday season underway, this week the Federal government awarded $110 million in exchange establishment grants, released proposed rules to permit employees to receive employer-sponsored insurance and tax credits,...more

Congress Passes Tax Extender Bill With Certain Medicare Cuts

On December 16, 2014, Congress approved a tax extender bill (H.R. 5771) that includes the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The ABLE Act provides for tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities to pay...more

President Obama Signs Several Bills Aimed at Cybersecurity

On December 18, 2014, President Barack Obama signed several significant cybersecurity bills into law. These bills include the Federal Information Security Modernization Act, the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act, the...more

Congress Authorizes New Ukraine-Related Sanctions Against Russia

On December 18th, President Obama signed into law the “Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014,” authorizing stricter sanctions against Russia, and also increasing military and non-military assistance for Ukraine. Although the...more

U.S. Begins Easing Cuba Embargo: New Opportunities and Challenges - The Embargo Changes Will Most Likely Be Phased-In as Opposed...

On Dec. 17, 2014, President Obama announced the United States will re-establish normal diplomatic relations with Cuba and that certain economic sanctions will be eased. Notwithstanding the media frenzy implying that the...more

Summary of the Tax Extenders in the Tax Increase Prevention Act

On Friday, December 19th, President Obama signed the Tax Increase Prevention Act (“TIPA”), H.R. 5771, into law. TIPA is commonly referred to as the “tax extenders” bill as it extends certain expiring provisions of the...more

Need Terrorism Coverage? Take Action Before January 1, 2015

The U.S. Congress failed to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (TRIPRA) prior to adjourning on December 16, 2014. The new 114th Congress will not convene until January 6, 2015 and may not...more

White House to Ease Cuba Embargo: Historic Announcement May Open New Opportunities for U.S. and Multinational Corporations

On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced steps to ease the 54-year old embargo on Cuba and begin to restore diplomatic relations. Although the full extent of easing has yet to be determined, this historic policy shift...more

Secrets in the Spotlight

Companies May Get a New Weapon in the Fight Against Economic Espionage - Efforts to protect property from global threats gained momentum in Washington this summer with the introduction of a pair of bills that would...more

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