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News from Second and State

Yesterday was the first day of fall, and it seems the summer is truly behind us. The House of Representatives reconvened this week for the final stretch of the 2015-2016 legislative session. This week most of the action...more

Texas SWDA Preempts Plastic Bags-Related Ordinance

On August 17, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeals sitting in San Antonio held, in a 2 to 1 decision, that a City of Plastic bagsLaredo ordinance prohibiting the distribution of “single use” plastic bags at check-out...more

Third Circuit: Federal Law Did Not Commandeer States To Act in Violation of Constitution

Can the federal government at times and, in all places, commandeer the states to act in a certain way? “Commandeering” refers to a federal requirement that state officials enact, administer, or enforce a federal regulatory...more

Obama signs GMO label bill into law

On Friday, July 29, US President Obama signed into law S. 764, which overturns Vermont's GMO label law and establishes a national standard for GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling. The US House of Representatives...more

AZ’s Hidden Employer Wage/Hour Gift

Much has been said about AZ Governor Ducey’s recent decision to sign into law HB 2579, which preempts local governments from enacting their own living wage or fringe benefits ordinances for private employers. But next to...more

Recreational Marijuana Placed on California November Ballot

Voters will have the opportunity this coming November to determine whether California joins a growing number of states that have legalized recreational marijuana. If so, what would this mean for employers?...more

Drone Regulations: Federal vs. State

In early 2016 a group of well-meaning Wisconsin legislators introduced legislation designed to allow local municipalities to regulate the use of drones in their given communities and to create a penalty enhancer for crimes...more

GMO Disclosures and Claims: A Possible End to the U.S. GMO Labeling Controversy?

On July 7, 2016, the U.S. Senate passed an important amendment to S. 764 to establish a mandatory nationwide labeling approach for genetically engineered (GE) foods, more popularly referred to as genetically modified...more

Forget About Vermont!: Congress Passes GMO “Labeling” Legislation

On July 14, 2016, the House of Representatives passed S.764 creating a National Bioengineered Food Standard. Importantly for food manufacturers and distributors, the law – expected to be signed by President Obama – will...more

House Passes GE Labeling Bill; Obama Expected to Sign

As a parting act before its seven-week recess, the House last Thursday passed by a vote of 306-117 Senator Pat Roberts’s (R-KS) legislation (S.764) requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Already approved by...more

Congress Passes GE Labeling Bill, President Obama Expected to Sign Bill Into Law

On July 14, 2016, after more than a year of on-and-off debate and failed attempts at legislative compromise, Congress finally passed a bill to require the creation of a federal labeling standard for bioengineered food within...more

Breaking News: Physical Presence Requirement Bill Introduced in Congress

On July 14, 2016, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2016 (H.R. 5893) in the US House of Representatives (House). The bill would codify the physical presence...more

ColoradoCare Stands to Significantly Alter Health Care Services

In November, Colorado voters will cast ballots on Amendment 69, also known as ColoradoCare. ColoradoCare is an ambitious, far-reaching plan to amend the Colorado constitution which would establish a statewide universal...more

One Step Closer to a National GMO Labeling Law

The Vermont GMO Labeling Law is currently in effect, but it may soon be preempted by federal legislation making its way through Congress. On July 7, by a vote of 63-30, the US Senate passed a measure (Senate Bill)...more

Toxic Substances Control Act: Past, Present and Future

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted on October 11, 1976 to regulate certain chemical substances and mixtures being used in interstate commerce. 15 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq. TSCA delegated enforcement authority to...more

Industry, NGOs, Republicans, and Democrats Bond over Chemistry

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was passed in the House by an overwhelming vote of 403 – 12. After passing the Senate, it was signed into law by President Obama on June 22, 2016. The...more

The Toxic Substances Control Act Overhaul: What You Need to Know

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed the “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act” into law, making comprehensive changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This step comes after years of...more

Amendments Strengthen Toxic Substances Control Act

President Obama's signing of amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Law sealed a welcome effort to overhaul the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The amendments were spurred on by a rare bipartisan...more

Governor Kasich Signs Bill to Legalize Marijuana for Medicinal Use in Ohio

On June 8, 2016, Governor John R. Kasich signed into law HB 523, which legalizes marijuana in Ohio for specified medicinal purposes. The bill moved swiftly through the Legislature as lawmakers acted to preempt a marijuana...more

Congress Overhauls Chemical Safety Law

In a rare display of bipartisanism, on June 7, 2016, the Senate approved the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, after an earlier, affirmative vote in the House. The Lautenberg Act amends the Toxic...more

HEAR Act: Senate Judiciary Committee Considers Nazi-Looted Art Statute of Limitations Bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing this week (video available here) on the Holocaust Art Recovery Act (the “HEAR Act”) that drew welcome attention to the ongoing challenges to the restitution of Nazi-looted art. We...more

Stick a Fork in It – FDA Anti-Generic Drug Preemption Proposal Postponed Until After the Presidential Election

On May 18, the FDA extended the comment period for its proposed generic drug labeling rule until April 2017 – that is, until after the next presidential election. We believe that, for all practical purposes, this means that...more

New York, New York: The Status of Regulation of Children's Products in the Empire State

Recently, Albany County, New York enacted the “Toxic Free Toys Act” (the Act) prohibiting the sale of any children’s products in the county that contain certain heavy metals and chemicals. The Safe to Play Coalition (the...more

First Round of DTSA Complaints Alleging Misappropriation Activity Both Before and After DTSA’s Enactment: Will They Stick?

Following President Obama’s signing of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA” or the “Act”) into law last week, parties are beginning to file lawsuits asserting claims under the DTSA. As widely reported, before the...more

Key Legislation Emerging from the 2016 Maryland General Assembly Session and Local Ordinances to Remember

Maryland's 2016 General Assembly session has now adjourned. Maryland employers should be aware of the following new laws resulting from this legislative term:  (1) Equal Pay for Equal Work; (2) Equal Pay Commission; (3)...more

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