Conflict of Laws Elections & Politics

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Cyber Legislation on the Move: Data Breach Bill Passes Out of Committee

As an extension of our forecast of upcoming cyber-related legislation, on April 15, the House Energy & Commerce Committee approved the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 (H.R. 1770), adopting three amendments...more

Competing Proposed Bills in U.S. Congress Look to Reform Outdated Toxic Substances Control Act

Earlier in March, two separate bills were introduced in the United States Senate seeking to update the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. The outdated federal legislation was meant to provide the Environmental...more

First Steps Taken to Establish Federal Law Requiring Companies to Secure Consumer Data; Will Congress Pass Something This Year?

The U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee took the first steps recently to establish a federal law that would cover actions that companies need to take to secure consumer data. ...more

Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 Making its Way through Congress

On March 25, 2015, a Congressional Subcommittee approved a draft of the “Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015,” a statute intended to create a national standard for data security and reporting data breaches. ...more

Udall-Vitter TSCA Reform Bill Builds Momentum for Passage; Senators Boxer, Markey Respond with Competing Legislation

On March 10, 2015, Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and David Vitter (R-La.) introduced the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697), to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). ...more

California’s Fracking Preemption Battle Moves Forward in San Benito County

Oil company Citadel Exploration, Inc. has reportedly filed a lawsuit against San Benito County, arguing that the County’s voter-sponsored ban on various types of well stimulation—often referred to generally as hydraulic...more

White House Proposal: Beef Up Anti-Hacking Laws and Resolve a Circuit Split

President Obama wants to go where the Supreme Court refused to tread.  As part of his  cybersecurity and privacy initiatives, which we discussed last week, the President would strengthen the federal anti-hacking provisions of...more

Vermont Doubles Down: Representative Testifies Before Congress Against Federal GMO Labeling Bill

As we’ve explored in past posts, Congress is currently considering a bill that aims to harmonize the patchwork of state efforts at regulating GMO labeling by placing such regulation firmly within FDA’s jurisdiction. Dubbed...more

Fracking Preemption Fight to Play Out in San Benito County

It appears that San Benito County will be the venue for the much-anticipated legal battle over whether local jurisdictions in California can ban hydraulic fracturing. In early November, San Benito County passed a...more

“Frac Free Denton” Faces Legal Fight

On November 4, 2014, Denton, Texas, became the first Texas city to vote to ban fracking within city limits, as covered by Reuters, the Star-Telegram, and The Wall Street Journal. The ballot initiative, which passed with just...more

What Does Alaska’s and Oregon’s Legalization of Marijuana Change for Employers? Answer: Probably Not Much

In this week’s mid-term election on November 4, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia became the latest jurisdictions to pass referendums decriminalizing the recreational possession and use of small amounts of...more

November Elections Impact the Food & Beverage Industry (Part 1)

Bids to require mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) were voted down in Colorado and Oregon on Tuesday. Colorado voters rejected Proposition 105, with nearly 70% of voters saying no;...more

Alaska Passes Initiative to Legalize Recreational Use of Marijuana—What Does that Mean for Employers?

Alaska voted on Nov. 4, 2014, to decriminalize possession, use, display, purchase, and transport of marijuana. Alaska has now joined Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. in legalizing recreational marijuana use....more

Proponents of Florida's Medical Marijuana Amendment Have High Hopes But Will Its Passing Affect Your Workplace Policies?

If voters approve the ballot initiative "Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions" ("Amendment 2") this November, Florida will become the 24th state plus Washington D.C. to legalize medical marijuana. Amendment 2 would...more

State Bar, Environmental Law Section Presents Update on Fracking Regulations

The California State Bar, Environmental Law Section hosts an annual conference which welcomes attorneys and students from across the state to learn and discuss cutting edge environmental law issues. This year’s Environmental...more

Ballard Spahr Lawyers Turn Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility

Although some have suggested that Robinson Township, et al. v. Commonwealth, a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of a state law regulating the oil and gas industry, could impair...more

Missouri Assembly Overrides Governor’s Veto Of Installment Lending Bill

On September 10, the Missouri General Assembly voted to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of SB 866, which defines traditional installment loans as “fixed rate, fully amortized, closed-end extensions of direct consumer...more

Colorado State Court Strikes Down a Second City-Wide Fracking Ban

A Colorado state judge recently struck down a city’s voter-approved moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” This marks the second time a Colorado judge has quashed a city’s fracking ban within a matter of two...more

Reviewing Courts' Approaches to State or Local Control of Hydraulic Fracturing

While many debates over hydraulic fracturing continue throughout the oil and gas industry, a growing number of state courts are addressing the "home rule" argument, or in this case, whether local governments within the state...more

Industry Group Sues Compton for Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

The City of Compton is being sued for its ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, effective on April 22, 2014. (Western States Petroleum Association v. City of Compton, et al., Case No.BC552272.) Although Compton is not...more

Colorado Supreme Court Clears Ballot Initiative Aimed at Bolstering Local Control of Oil and Gas Drilling

On June 30, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title, and Submission Clause for 2013–2014 #89[1] (Initiative 89). In affirming the finding of the state’s Ballot Title Setting...more

New York and Colorado Confirm Local Governments' Rights to Ban Fracking

On Monday, June 30, the highest courts in both New York and Colorado confirmed local municipalities' rights to regulate land use within their jurisdictions. The New York State Court of Appeals upheld two towns' bans on shale...more

New York Court of Appeals Sustains Anti-hydrofracking Zoning Regulations as Permissible Exercise of Municipal Authority Under Home...

In a closely watched decision, a majority of the New York Court of Appeals has held that local anti-hydrofracking zoning rules can trump the state’s pro-energy development oil and gas law. The Court’s decision came in a pair...more

Be PREPAred: PREPA Bondholders Greet Puerto Rico’s Bankruptcy Legislation With Federal Lawsuit

On Saturday, June 28, Puerto Rico’s Governor Padilla signed into effect Puerto Rico’s new bankruptcy law for certain revenue bond issuers. Within 24 hours of the statute’s enactment, two mutual fund complexes owning...more

NY Bill Seeks to Strip Insurers of Discretion When Substance Abuse Services Should Be ERISA Preempted

The New York State Senate is considering passing Bill No. 4326 which seeks to address an epidemic of heroin and prescription drug abuse by requiring insurers to provide in-patient treatment to addicts. Publicity over the...more

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