Elections & Politics Updates

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Supreme Court Rules On Affirmative Action

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action is attracting a fair amount of attention in the news media. From an employment law perspective, the case likely will have little impact....more

CRS Analyzes the Production Tax Credit and Related Policies

With both chambers of Congress considering the extension of the production tax credit (PTC), the Congressional Research Service published a report on April 7, 2014, The Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit: In Brief. ...more

Oklahoma Government Bodies May Not Consider Race, Sex, Ethnicity Or National Origin In Employment, Contracting, Or School...

In 2003, despite the Constitutional prohibition on racial discrimination, the U.S. Supreme Court in Grutter v. Bollinger permitted the University of Michigan to consider applicants’ race to ensure a diverse student body. In...more

European Subsidiary Incurs Liability Under U.S. Cuba Sanctions for Travel Services

On April 18, 2014, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced a settlement of nearly $6 million with CWT B.V. (“CWT”) for violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (“CACR”), 31 C.F.R. Part 515. CWT is a...more

Appropriations Meets Innovation: Upcoming Full Committee Hearing

One hearing to watch when the Senate returns next week is the Full Appropriations Committee hearing on “Driving Innovation Through Federal Investments,” which will be held on April 29th, 2014 at 2:30 pm in Room SD-G50 of the...more

Supreme Court Holds Voters Have a Right to Reject Government-Funded Racial Preferences in Public Higher Education

On April 22, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States held that although consideration of race in admissions is constitutionally permissible, voters have every right to reject it. The case, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend...more

Echoes from the Gunn? Aggravated States and Demand Letters

A gunshot that cracks the silence of an old west desert canyon creates an echo coming from all directions. A Supreme Court decision can make similar reverberations throughout the legal world. Last year, just such a sound...more

Escalation In Ukraine Leads The United States, EU, Canada, Australia and New Zealand To Respond With Targeted Economic Sanctions

Following a November 2013 decision by the Ukrainian government to suspend preparations for a trade agreement with the European Union, Ukrainians staged massive protests against the government and President Victor Yanukovych...more

President Seeks Additional Funding For DOL To Clear Case Backlog

Although unlikely to be passed in its current form, President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request to Congress allocates an additional $2 million of the Department of Labor’s requested $1.8 billion budget so that the...more

UPDATE: Developments in the Ukraine

On 14 April 2014, the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers identified four additional individuals as responsible for misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds and added them to the list, subject to restrictive measures in view of the...more

South Carolina Legislative Update - April 2014

South Carolina General Assembly - The S.C. House and Senate are on furlough for the remainder of this week and will return on April 29. The House Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee on Ethics Reform will meet...more

The State of Fracking

Fracking is not new to California - it has been used in oil fields for decades - but it has recently become a hot political and legal issue with increasing news reports about alleged environmental damage associated with...more

Health Care Update

In This Issue: - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Other Congressional and State Initiatives - Other Health Care News - Upcoming Hearings and...more

A Small Step Toward "Redevelopment 2.0"? Gov. Brown's Proposal to Expand the Use of Infrastructure Financing Districts

Over two years have passed since Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Legislature dissolved the 400-plus redevelopment agencies throughout the state and ordered them to wind down their operations and finances, with the goal of...more

Weekly Update from the State House - April 17, 2014: While the House was on furlough this week, the Senate focused on discussions...

Details from Each Chamber: - HOUSE ..The House was on furlough this week and will convene at noon on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. - SENATE ..The Senate worked through the uncontested Calendar...more

EU, U.S., Ukraine and Russia Sign Pact to Deescalate Crisis, but Sanctions Threats Still Loom

On April 17, 2014, U.S., EU, Russian and Ukrainian representatives endorsed an agreement outlining initial steps to deescalate tensions in Ukraine. For the moment, the agreement may temporarily stall additional U.S. and EU...more

Omnibus Health Care Bill (aka House Health Care Train)

The House Health & Human Services Committee passed House Bill 7113 by Representative Jason Brodeur (R-Sanford) after adopting a strike all amendment that includes provisions on health care topics previously addressed in...more

Energy & Environment Update

In This Issue: - Energy & Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Defense - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Department of Transportation - Department of...more

Bipartisan Group Introduces Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act in House

In an attempt to stop the proliferation of a patchwork of state-by-state food labeling laws, and to “reaffirm” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the sole authority on food safety and labeling, a bipartisan group of...more

What Comes Next in Derivatives Regulation?  [Video]

Apr. 22, 2014 -- Houman Shadab, Associate Professor at New York Law School, talks with Lee Pacchia about recent developments in the regulation of derivatives....more

PA Senators Pushing to Replace School Property Taxes with Expanded Personal Income and Sales Taxes

A number of Pennsylvania State Senators continue to push for legislation to eliminate school district property taxes in Pennsylvania. They would replace the lost revenues by increasing the statewide Personal Income Tax rate...more

Roadmap to the Next Highway Bill

Policy Committees Driving Activity - While the current surface transportation authorization, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), is due to expire on September 30th, the Department of Transportation...more

New Data Shows Higher Healthcare Costs in Second Half of 2013 – Is this A Result of the Affordable Care Act?

Will insurance expansion and industry consolidation result in higher healthcare costs, at least in the short term, and further stress the economy and the healthcare industry? That highly political question is being asked now...more

New Legislation Attempts to Deal with Chronic Absenteeism

The Connecticut General Assembly is poised to act on a bill entitled “An Act Concerning Chronic Absenteeism.” This legislation requires a board of education to do two things: (1) establish a district school attendance review...more

President Obama Targets Federal Contractors on Pay Disparity Issues

Last week, President Obama issued two important directives aimed at ending gender pay disparities. The first, an Executive Order, prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors with government contracts exceeding $10,000...more

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