Flouting Paid-Sick-Day Laws
The New York Times, 7/9/2017
“Red States and Blue Cities: A Partisan Battle Intensifies” (front page, July 6) mentions the flawed argument by the industry-backed American Legislative Exchange Council that local laws create a “patchwork” of regulations for business. But when the coalitions in our network, which include many business partners, work to pass statewide paid-sick-day laws, these same opponents complain about one-size-fits-all solutions.
Now conservative legislators are working on a federal pre-emption bill, which would allow big companies that meet a voluntary threshold to flout local and state paid-sick-day laws. We cannot let them succeed.
ELLEN BRAVO, MILWAUKEE
The writer is co-director of Family Values @ Work, a network of state and local coalitions working for family-friendly policies.
People’s Right to a Healthy Climate Takes Center Stage in Federal Court
Common Dreams, 7/11/2017
Spokane residents fighting for the right to a healthy climate will have their day in court on Wednesday, July 12th, in the case of Holmquist v. United States (No. 2:17-cv-00046-TOR).
The case was filed on behalf of seven residents by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) in January 2017. The plaintiffs contend the federal government has failed to take adequate steps to secure and protect the right to a livable and healthy climate. They challenge the federal government’s preemption of local regulation over the transportation of fossil fuels by rail, asserting that such transportation violates their right to a healthy and livable climate.
A Problematic Approach to Privacy
U.S. News & World Report, 7/7/2017
…Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly Act, aka the BROWSER Act, is a half-measure that dismantles existing privacy protections.
Two of the bill’s provisions actively undermine individual’s privacy:
First, the bill pre-empts state privacy laws. States have often led the way in protecting our privacy, but rather than offering thoughtful pre-emption for truly conflicting state standards, the bill forecloses any state attempt to protect its residents’ privacy.
Second, the bill makes the Federal Trade Commission the sole regulator of broadband privacy, despite the fact that the FTC’s ability to make rules is much weaker than the Federal Communications Commission. The FTC is a small agency with limited resources, and consumers are better protected with two privacy cops than one.
Police lobby group urges lawmakers to scuttle national reciprocity
The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, composed of an alliance of various police chief lobbying groups, on Friday penned a Congress urging lawmakers to decline support for a pair of national concealed carry reciprocity bills. The measures, the H.R. 38 and S.446, respectively, would expand carry rights nationwide, in effect forcing states and local jurisdictions to respect all valid concealed carry permits, a move the group feels is a mistake.