Public Policy RSS

  • April 18, 2014

    Scholars Sue NYC To Stop Library Renovation

    A citizen advocacy coalition on Thursday sued the city of New York in state court, seeking to stop a proposed renovation of the main branch of the New York Public Library that was approved by ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, saying the plan would “mutilate” the historic building and the environmental review had been rubber-stamped.

  • April 18, 2014

    Minn. Plant Emissions Law 'Admirable' But Unconstitutional

    A Minnesota federal judge blocked the enforcement of a state emissions law that effectively barred the use of electricity from new coal-fired power plants, ruling Friday that the law, challenged by neighboring North Dakota, unconstitutionally restricts interstate commerce.

  • April 18, 2014

    Beefed-Up Patent Troll Bill Being Eyed By Senate

    Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are still hashing out language for legislation aimed at cracking down on so-called patent trolls, but a draft version of amendments under consideration made public Friday suggests the measure could resemble a sweeping bill passed by the House.

  • April 18, 2014

    Cost Surges Erode Savings On DOD Weapons Cutbacks

    The U.S. Department of Defense's expected costs for its major weapons programs fell by about 2.6 percent, to $1.619 trillion, with cancellations and cutbacks partially offset by major increases in the costs of programs, including the U.S. Navy’s next-generation drone helicopter.

  • April 18, 2014

    White House Unveils Online User Data Collection Policy

    The Obama administration revamped its privacy policy Friday, laying out the ground rules for how the government will track the public's information through the website, email subscriptions, mobile apps and even social media.

  • April 18, 2014

    DC Circ. Backs EPA Cement Rule But Kills Private Suit Defense

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday upheld U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards for cement plants, but struck down an affirmative defense against private civil suits that was written into the rule, finding the EPA couldn't shield companies from penalties for malfunction-related violations.

  • April 18, 2014

    Justices Asked To Hear Race Bias Claims Over Ala. Tax Law

    A group of Alabama schoolchildren claiming that the state's property tax laws are unconstitutional and racist recently asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider a January ruling by the Eleventh Circuit that they lacked standing to sue.

  • April 18, 2014

    NY 'Rocket Docket' Set To Launch If Lawyers Get On Board

    The effort to speed cases in New York's overtaxed commercial courts took a big step forward Friday with the approval of rules allowing businesses to easily agree to eliminate civil litigation bugaboos like jury trials and punitive damages, but it remains to be seen if the lawyers who craft such agreements will take advantage.

  • April 18, 2014

    Texas Blasts EEOC Bid To Nix Suit Over 'Felon-Hiring Rule'

    The state of Texas on Friday urged a federal court not to toss its lawsuit challenging the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's guidance on criminal background checks, saying the EEOC is trying to argue that the rule “is not worth the paper it’s printed on — even though it urges other courts to defer to it.”

  • April 18, 2014

    Hospitals Press Medicare For ACO Overhaul

    The American Hospital Association on Thursday published a blistering critique of how Medicare has regulated accountable care organizations, saying that goals are too hard to attain, that data isn’t transmitted quickly enough and that providers are being asked to transform too quickly.

  • April 18, 2014

    McCabe To Press Full Speed Ahead With Tougher Climate Regs

    As the Senate considers the nomination of acting EPA air chief Janet McCabe to permanently fill the position, attorneys who have met and worked with the longtime regulator say that she will continue to push the White House's ambitious climate agenda while advocating for state-friendly provisions.

  • April 18, 2014

    IRS Announces Nationwide Tax Forum Dates, Locations

    The Internal Revenue Service on Friday announced the dates and locations for its annual Nationwide Tax Forum, a series of events the agency hosts to keep tax professionals up to date on the law, with events in Chicago, San Diego, New Orleans, Orlando and the Washington, D.C., metro area.

  • April 18, 2014

    86 Countries Endorse VAT Cross-Border Framework

    Eighty-six countries have endorsed a new international framework that will make it easier to apply national value-added tax rules to cross-border transactions, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Friday.

  • April 18, 2014

    Alaska House Passes Bill To Nix Film Tax Credit In 2016

    The Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation on Thursday that abolishes the state’s film tax credit in 2016, pending a report to the Legislature on tax revenue that is slipping between the cracks.

  • April 18, 2014

    Colo. Pols Target More Frequent Marketing Tax Remittance

    Colorado lawmakers, possibly as early as next week, are likely to pass proposed legislation that would require hotels and condominiums to remit local marketing and promotion taxes on a monthly basis, as opposed to quarterly.

  • April 18, 2014

    Ariz. Close To Strengthening Captive Insurer Regs

    A bill sent Thursday to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer would strengthen state standards for captive insurers by requiring insurance subsidiaries to disclose more information regarding their financial relationships to their affiliated companies and provide regulators with additional tools to oversee potentially problematic tax structures.

  • April 18, 2014

    FDA Expands Review Of Pharma Promo Risk Perception

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday disclosed plans for a sizable survey of how prescription drug advertisements affect consumer perception of product dangers and benefits, adding to a notable uptick in the agency's scrutiny of risk disclosures.

  • April 18, 2014

    Obama Punts On Keystone Decision, Citing Neb. Route Row

    The Obama administration said Friday that it's extending its review of the Keystone XL pipeline, citing uncertainty over the controversial pipeline's route after a Nebraska state judge invalidated the Cornhusker State's portion of the route in February.

  • April 18, 2014

    GAO Says 99% Of Large Partnerships Escaping IRS Audits

    The Internal Revenue Service has failed to audit 99 percent of tax returns filed by large partnerships with assets exceeding $100 million, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report made public Thursday.

  • April 18, 2014

    Energy Lawmakers Press FERC On Classified Docs Policy

    Leaders of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Thursday demanded that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reveal how it manages sensitive security information, after a watchdog said the commission erroneously leaked documents related to an assault on a California transmission substation that should have been classified.

Expert Analysis

  • The Evolving New Normal For Data Breach Responses

    Mark Salah Morgan

    The Target Corp. and Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey data breaches differed in manner, size and scope, but both reveal the vulnerabilities all companies are facing. A nuanced, more responsive, and more uniform legal and regulatory framework is required. That environment is being shaped by private actions, legislative and administrative responses, and various corporate initiatives, say Mark Salah Morgan and Andres Acebo of Day Pitney LLP.

  • Recognizing The Retirement Revolution In Pensions

    Jim Poolman

    The pension abundance of the past has fallen prey to the harsh realities of the present market — gone are the days of the defined benefit pension plan. As a result, Millennials lacking a company-provided pension will be have to be completely responsible for their own retirements, ultimately making them one of the most financially literate generations in our nation's history, says Jim Poolman, Executive Director of the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council.

  • With McSweeny Confirmed, What To Expect From FTC

    Steven Sunshine

    The recent confirmation of Terrell McSweeny to the Federal Trade Commission creates a Democratic majority, sparking anticipation of more aggressive enforcement by the FTC. Indeed, having participated in a number of high-profile antitrust matters, Commissioner McSweeny is unlikely to shy away from enforcement where warranted. But it is not clear whether the voting blocks materially lessened the commission’s overall enforcement zeal, say attorneys with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • Conflict Minerals Law — Will The SEC Take It To The Banc?

    J. Robert Brown Jr.

    Given that the D.C. Circuit struck down a small aspect of the conflict minerals rule on First Amendment grounds, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will have to decide its next step. To the extent that the agency opts to seek en banc review, it will presumably need to give some thought to the possible change in the pool of judges that could result from the suggested consolidation with another case, and the impact of this change on the outcome of a critical issue, says J. Robert Brown Jr. of Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver.

  • Mobile Enforcement Continues To Be APPealing To FTC

    Crystal N. Skelton

    Since the Federal Trade Commission announced its first enforcement action involving a mobile app back in 2011, the commission has actively brought privacy cases against app developers under Section 5 of the FTC Act. Oftentimes, the FTC's actions came from a disconnect between the privacy policies and actions a mobile app or device took, which may have resulted from an update without alerting consumers, say Alysa Hutnik and Crystal Skelton of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

  • 'Venting And Flaring' Rule May Spur EPA Regs On Methane

    Luke D. Johnson

    While the Bureau of Land Management's venting and flaring rule may be focused on the government's possible loss of resources from the energy industry's use of public land, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can be expected to focus more directly on methane itself. Potential regulations should be on the industry's radar, whether suppliers are operating on federal land or not, says Luke Johnson, a policy director with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP and former BLM deputy director for policy and programs.

  • No More Export Licenses For Russia: Tips For Exporters

    Alexandra Lopez-Casero

    Most media coverage about the Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia has focused on the decision to blacklist prominent Russian officials, but the more pressing issue for many U.S. exporters is the significant move by the U.S. government to stop issuing export licenses for dual-use and defense items to Russia, says Alexandra Lopez-Casero of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Connected Cars Collide With Consumer Privacy

    Nancy Libin

    Some predict "connected cars" will generate revenue of more than $25 billion in 2014 and more than $130 billion in 2019. But before automakers, mobile app developers and others in the connected car ecosystem can cash in, legislators and regulators have difficult data privacy issues to address, says Nancy Libin, a partner at Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP and former chief privacy and civil liberties officer of the U.S. Department of Justice.

  • CFTC Data Will Be A Powerful Tool For FERC Enforcement

    Terry S. Arbit

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently signed two long-awaited memoranda of understanding, the lower-profile information-sharing one, which provides FERC with “large trader data” in the CFTC’s possession, being the more significant. Regulators achieved a significant victory by including surveillance purposes in the memo — it was a long time coming and provides FERC with a potent tool for surveilling the natural gas and power markets, say attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • Antitrust Guidance On Cybersecurity Reaffirms Old Approach

    Jamillia Ferris

    Though the antitrust agencies’ recent policy statement on cybersecurity information-sharing is consistent with prior guidance, it is significant. It is not likely that cybersecurity legislation will become law anytime soon, and this statement responds to industry’s concerns by clearly establishing that properly designed and executed cyberthreat information-sharing does not raise antitrust concerns, say Jamillia Padua Ferris and Paul Tiao of Hunton & Williams LLP.