Progress in March 2017

Posted on March 29, 2017

 ** = new or updated legislation since our March 2 report

Civil Rights & Liberties

**The Montana House and Senate passed HB147, which requires government agencies to get a warrant before accessing data in any electronic device unless it has informed, affirmative consent of the owner. **The Montana House and Senate passed HB148, which would require government agencies to get a warrant in order to obtain electronic communication from service providers.  **The Arizona Senate passed SB 1342 and the New Hampshire House passed HB 474 both of which would ban police use of “stingrays” which track the location of phones and collect electronic communications without a warrant.  **The New Mexico House and Senate passed SB 61, which would also prohibit the use of “stingrays” or the compelling of a service provider to share user metadata without a warrant.  **The New Hampshire House passed HB 171, which would prohibit the state from assisting a federal agency in the collection or use of a person’s electronic data without a warrant. The North Dakota House passed HB 1170, which would reform the state’s asset forfeiture laws by requiring a criminal conviction before asset forfeiture can proceed and preventing prosecutors from circumventing state laws by passing cases off to federal forfeiture programs.  The Arizona House passed HB 2477, which would require prosecutors to establish a higher evidentiary standard for asset forfeiture and establish stringent reporting requirements for law enforcement agencies for how seized funds are spent.  **The Utah House passed HB 19 and the Indiana Senate passed SB 8 both of which work to reform the state’s civil forfeiture procedures. **The New Hampshire House passed HB 614 which would close a federal loophole that allows state and local police to circumvent civil asset forfeiture laws by passing cases off to federal authorities. **The New Hampshire House passed HB 97, the Hawaii House passed HB 314, and West Virginia passed SB 9, all of which would prohibit the use of drones to obtain information for law enforcement purposes without a warrant. The Alabama Senate passed SB 16, which prohibits the court from overriding a jury verdict in the sentencing phase of capital cases.  **The Vermont Senate and House passed SB 79, which would grant the governor sole authority to approve agreements with federal immigration officials and prevent law enforcement agencies in the state from collecting personally identifiable information, including race, sex, immigration status, religion or sexual orientation, and sharing that information with federal authorities. ** Washington’s Governor issued Executive Order 17-01 which prohibits any state agency from inquiring about a person’s immigration status and forbids the use of agency funds, equipment, or personnel to assist in the creation of any federal program requiring registration of individuals on the basis of religious affiliation or assist in the of targeting or apprehending of residents for violations of federal civil immigration laws. **The Maryland House passed HB 1362, which prohibits law enforcement officials from arresting or detaining individuals for the purposes of investigating suspected immigration violations. The New York Assembly passed AB 4876, which would reform the criminal justice system by raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 years of age. The New York Assembly also passed AB 2142, which would seal the criminal records of individuals who were arrested for simple possessions of marijuana, decreasing their barriers to accessing employment, housing and other state services. **The New Hampshire House passed HB 640 which would decriminalize marijuana possession in the state.

Consumer Protection

**The Virginia Assembly and Senate passed, and the Governor signed and enacted, HB 2113 which will protect citizens from identity theft by requiring employers to notify the attorney general’s office if they discover that employee payroll information has been compromised. The Wyoming House passed HB 227, which would require notice and disclosure of automatic renewal provisions in consumer contracts. **The Maryland House passed HB 172 which expands the state housing policy to include providing for fair housing to all citizens regardless of income and prohibits a person from refusing to sell or rent housing to any person because of income level. **The Maryland House passed HB 453, which would work to protect residents from losing their homes over unpaid water bills, by putting a moratorium on the water lien foreclosure process.

Education

**Both the Virginia Senate and Assembly passed, and the Governor signed and enacted, HB 2257, which will require all high school family life education curriculum to incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the meaning of consent. The Indiana House passed HB 1386, which would establish a student-centered competency-based education pilot program in K-12 schools. **Similarly, the Kentucky Senate and House passed SB 1 which would mirror the Every Student Succeeds Act and alter the state’s education standards by allowing school districts to develop their own teacher evaluation methods and criteria. The Maryland House passed HB 461 which would limit the amount of time school districts can spend on testing. San Francisco’s mayor announced a new program which allows for free tuition for all students who are California residents living in the city and provides subsidies to current low-income students. **The Georgia Senate passed SB 152, which would make alternative education the state’s preferred school disciplinary policy rather than suspension or expulsion. **The New Mexico House passed HJR 1, which would propose an amendment to create a permanent fund to help pay for early childhood education.

Health

**The New Mexico Senate and House passed SB 121, which bans providing conversion therapy to any person under 18 years of age. Oklahoma SB 83 passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and would require parents to view a video about the risks of not vaccinating a child before opting their children out of vaccination requirements.  **The Oklahoma Senate SB 765 passed which would ban any person under 18 years of age from using tanning beds. The Vermont Senate passed SB 16, which would expand access to medical marijuana by increasing the list of qualifying conditions and doubling the number of dispensaries in the state. **The New Mexico House and Senate passed HB 175, which prohibits the use of solitary confinement for pregnant women, juveniles and mentally ill inmates and requires correctional facilities to submit a detailed report about the use of this practice to the state every three months.

Public Safety

The Georgia House passed HB 9, which would update Georgia’s invasion of privacy laws to make filming under or through a person’s clothing a felony in the state.  The Kentucky House passed HB 122, which would require all children under the age of 12 in the state to wear a helmet when riding a bike. **The Utah House and Senate passed, and the Governor signed and enacted HB 200, which requires the testing of all sexual assault kits within a specified time frame, outlines the process by which the kits are stored and transmitted for testing, and authorizes the Department of Public Safety to develop and implement a statewide sexual assault kit tracking system. The Vermont House passed HB 25, which would establish a bill of rights for people who have been sexual assaulted. **The Maryland House passed HB 255, which requires hospitals and government agencies to transfer a sexual assault evidence collection kit to a law enforcement agencies within a certain amount of time.

Reproductive Rights

**The Virginia Assembly and Senate passed, and the Governor signed and enacted, HB 2267 which will require health benefit plans that provide coverage for hormonal contraceptives to cover up to a 12-month supply of hormonal contraceptives.  **The Colorado House passed HB 1186 and the New Mexico House passed HB 284, both of which also require that health benefit plans reimburse for up to a 12-month supply of contraceptives for covered individuals. The St. Louis City Council passed Board Bill 203, which would prohibit discrimination based on a person’s reproductive health decisions. The Colorado House (HR 1005), the New Jersey Senate (SCR 78), the Vermont Senate (SR 9) and the Vermont House (HR 9) all passed resolutions supporting a woman’s right to decide her own reproductive choices. **The Maryland House passed HB 613, which authorizes pharmacists to prescribe and dispense certain contraceptives.

Environment & Smart Growth

The Maryland House voted to override the Governor’s veto of HB 1106 which will increase the state’s use of renewable energy and create green jobs. **Maryland’s House and Senate passed HB 1325, which prohibits the use of hydraulic fracking for the exploration or production for oil or natural gas in the state.

Voting & Elections

**The New Mexico Senate and House passed SB 96, which would establish campaign contribution limits and would promote greater transparency in the political spending of “dark money” groups by requiring any such group that spends more than $1,000 campaigning during an election cycle to report expenditures and provide information about certain contributors. **The New Jersey House and Senate passed SB 3048, which would require candidates for President and Vice President of the United States to disclose federal income tax returns to appear on the ballot and prohibits Electoral College electors from voting for candidates who fail to file income tax returns.

Government Performance

**The Maryland House passed HB 879, which would strength state ethics laws that apply to legislators and state officials by making financial disclosure statements publicly available on a website, expanding conflicts of interest to include entities with which an individual is negotiating employment and prohibiting public officials from using their resources or title to solicit political contributions.  **The Tennessee House passed HB 58, which makes it easier for residents to request public records by expanding the modes of communication from written requests only to all forms of requests including in person, telephone, fax, email or other electronic means.

Wages & Benefits

The Washington House passed HB 2097, which prohibits employers from requiring employees to disclose information about their religious beliefs, practices or affiliation, prohibits state and local government agencies from using public funds to assist in the creation or enforcement of any government program compiling a registry or database of personally identifiable information about individuals based on religious beliefs, practice, or affiliation, and forbids any state and local law agencies from collecting information on the religious belief, practice or affiliation of any individual except as part of a targeted criminal investigation. **The Utah House and Senate passed, and the Governor signed and enacted HB 156, which will prohibit public employers from requiring an applicant to disclose a past criminal conviction before an initial interview for employment. Philadelphia’s City Council passed City Council Bill 160840, making it the first city in the nation to forbid employers from requiring potential employees to disclose previous salary history in order to fight the pay gap between men and women. **The Oregon House passed HB 2005, which would prohibit employers from inquiring about an employee’s salary history to determine their pay as well as prevent them from firing employees for asking about co-workers’ salaries or filing an equal pay complaint.  **The Washington House passed HB 1506, which would prohibit retaliation against female employees for inquiring about the salaries of coworkers and would allow women to receive the same promotional opportunities as men within a company. **The Georgia House and Senate passed SB 201, which allows employees to use sick leave for the care of immediate family members. ** The Maryland Senate passed SB 230, also known as the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, which would provide employees with earned sick leave as well as accounting for maternity/paternity leave and safe time off in cases of domestic abuse.

 

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