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Category Archives: Legislation

Treasury Data Act leaders now applying expertise to municipal government data

StateScoop: “Four years ago, Christina Ho led an effort through the U.S. Treasury Department to help Americans track the federal government’s spending of public funds. Now, she’s left government and embarked on a new project: aggregating data from the country’s more than 30,000 municipalities to help citizens shape local policy. On Monday, Ho launched a beta version of her latest project, PolicyInsights. The open source platform collects annual census information, budget data and performance metrics from local governments. Users can then compare the data from two locations side-by-side. The platform seeks to arm citizens with actionable information — in part gathered through crowdsourcing — that can be used to mold local policies. Ho was inspired to create the program when she discovered just how difficult it was to navigate the sites of individual municipal governments.  “They create them from their perspective,” said Ho, in reference to municipal websites. “What’s missing is the citizen. We want to empower people to objectively evaluate the data, but also to improve the quality of questions that they pose to their local governments.”

Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act

News release: “US Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduc[ed] the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act. The new legislation merges two parallel efforts into one unified, bipartisan bill. In August of 2017, Senators Tillis and Coons introduced the Special Counsel Integrity Act, S. 1741, and Senators Graham… Continue Reading

Americans Favor Protecting Information Freedoms Over Government Steps to Restrict False News Online

“The widespread concerns over misinformation online have created a tension in the United States between taking steps to restrict that information – including possible government regulation – and protecting the long-held belief in the freedom to access and publish information. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that the majority of Americans are resistant to… Continue Reading

CRS – Regulatory Reform 10 Years After the Financial Crisis

Via FAS – Regulatory Reform 10 Years After the Financial Crisis: Systemic Risk Regulation of Non-Bank Financial Institutions. Jay B. Sykes, Legislative Attorney. April 12, 2018. “When large, interconnected financial institutions become distressed, policymakers have historically faced a choice between (1) a taxpayer-funded bailout, and (2) the destabilization of the financial system—a dilemma that commentators… Continue Reading

Visualizing the Pay Gap Between Men and Women in the UK

Center for Data Innovation – “The Financial Times (paywall) has created a collection of data visualizations showing that 89 percent of women in the United Kingdom work at companies with a pay gap favoring men. The newspaper analyzed data from firms with more than 250 employees, which were required to submit data comparing men and… Continue Reading

How Will the New Tax Law Affect Homeowners in High Tax States? It Depends

New York Fed – Liberty Street Economics: “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) introduces significant changes to the federal income tax code for individuals and businesses. Several provisions of the new tax law are particularly significant for the owner‑occupied housing market. In this blog post, we compare the federal tax liability and… Continue Reading

CRS – Sexual Harassment and Title VII: Selected Legal Issues

Sexual Harassment and Title VII: Selected Legal Issues. Christine J. Back, Legislative Attorney; Wilson C. Freeman, Legislative Attorney. April 9, 2018.”Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) generally prohibits discrimination in the workplace, but does not contain an express prohibition against harassment. The Supreme Court, however, has interpreted the statute to… Continue Reading

Advocates Say Google’s YouTube Violates Federal Children’s Privacy Law

“Today, CCFC and the Center for Digital Democracy took a groundbreaking step to protect children’s privacy: We filed a Federal Trade Commission Complaint detailing how Google is breaking the law by collecting personal data from children on YouTube without parental consent. Our landmark complaint is supported by a coalition of 23 consumer and privacy groups.… Continue Reading

House Committee Markups: Manual of Procedures and Procedural Strategies

CRS report via FAS – House Committee Markups: Manual of Procedures and Procedural Strategies: “A principal responsibility of House committees is to conduct markups—to select legislation to consider, to debate it and vote on amendments to it (to mark up), and to report recommendations on passage to the House. This manual examines procedures and strategy… Continue Reading

WH reviewing proposal to remove protections for threatened species

CNN: “The White House is reviewing a proposal that environmentalists fear would remove protections for hundreds of threatened species, according to a government database. The proposal’s obscure name — “Removal of Blanket Section 4(d) Rule” — refers to protections covering approximately 300 animal and plant species, such as the northern spotted owl and manatee, that… Continue Reading

Congress.gov New, Tip, and Top for April 2018

In Custodia Legis: “Today, we’re bringing you the latest Congress.gov updates just in time for the arrival of spring. Last month, Andrew brought you the latest updates to saved search alert functionality.  For the April release, we have improved the sorting of search results, so that items in the current Congress now appear at the top when sorting by relevancy.… Continue Reading

Whose Line is it Anyway: Could Congress Give the President a Line – Item Veto?

CRS Legal Sidebar Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress – Whose Line is it Anyway: Could Congress Give the President a Line-Item Veto? March 27, 2018. “In announcing his intention to sign H.R. 1625, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018,” President Trump, noting his concerns over the fiscal size of the bill, called on Congress… Continue Reading