Thursday, June 30, 2011
Professor of law and Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia, Katherine Franke, will discuss what happens to domestic partnerships - both straight and gay - now that gay marriage is legal in New York.
Monday, June 20, 2011
New York State Assemblyman representing central Brooklyn Hakeem Jeffries (D-57) gives an update from Albany on the official final day of the legislative session.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Connecticut governor Dan Malloy discusses state politics and recently passed bills for paid sick leave and the decriminalization of marijuana.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
By Daniel P. Tucker : Associate Producer, WNYC News
Pedicab drivers could soon be required to display a bill of rights for passengers in their cabs and provide detailed receipts even before a trip begins.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
Assemblyman from New York's 74th district Brian Kavanagh discusses legislation he is unveiling today to overhaul the NYS ballot, making it easier to read and use correctly. Also joining us is Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center, Larry Norden.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
As immigration reform legislation moves in and out of Congress, the public pushes for everything from tighter enforcement and border security to comprehensive reform and amnesty. Some measures make it through the gauntlet, but not before a good chewing by Congress and the public. Many fail outright, and some are debated over and over again, amended and re-introduced.
The legislative bills and proposals run the gamut, but one thing they almost always do is incite controversy. Here's a guide to what's on the books, what's on the docket, and what's being debated across the country.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
If hasn't been overturned in the courts, but Roe v. Wade may no longer be the law of the land. Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate, discusses the deterioration of Roe v. Wade due to state and local legislation.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
(Helena, MT-Jackie Yamanaka, YPR) – Montana Legislators want to catch DUI offenders early and hit them hard.
DUI is one of the major issues before the 2011 Montana Legislature this session. State Representative Kris Hansen, R-Havre, is sponsoring a bill that would make a third DUI conviction a felony. She says the idea is to force people into detox earlier.
"People who get a 3rd DUI obviously have an alcohol problem," Hansen says. "If you let them go to 4th you're taking a risk that they've committed several more DUI offenses which they did not get caught. They are putting people at risk."
Currently, if someone commits a 4th of subsequent DUI offense they may be sentenced to the Warm Springs Addictions Treatment and Change program, or WATCh.
Under House Bill 299, offenders instead would be allowed to stay in their home communities, but they would have to submit to mandatory supervision and alcohol testing and monitoring.
Hansen says she was told not to introduce this bill because it’s too expensive.
Under House Bill 299, offenders would be supervised by the Montana Department of Corrections Probation and Parole offices. The initial cost estimate, says Hansen, was $4.5 million dollars. That has since been cut in half, but Hansen still disputes that figure.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Ken Peterson, R-Billings, voted against the bill in his committee, but he’s now in favor of the measure. He says it’s a primary responsibility to get chronically impaired drivers off the road.
“If we can help them also that’s fine,” says Peterson. “This is the best bill I’ve seen come along this term that’s going to slap them alongside the head and get their attention. They know that when they get a 3rd DUI it’s a felony.”
But it’s not tough enough for state Representative Alan Hale, R-Basin. He says that’s why he’s against the measure.
“I would say we need to maybe look in a different direction,” he says. “I have a suggestion that maybe we should just build a gallows down here and if they get a 3rd offense we just take ‘em down and put the gallows to work and maybe that would cure the problem.”
The Montana House gave preliminary approval to the bill.
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
When the Republican majority was elected to the House this past November, members of the GOP started talking about repealing the health care reform legislation that was the signature accomplishment of the previous Congress. That call for repeal seems to have revved up Congressional Republicans so much that they’re now trying to repeal several other laws that the Democratic majority passed last year.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
(Helena, Montana--Jackie Yamanaka, Yellowstone Public Radio) Montana lawmakers are considering a bill aimed at closing a loophole a state law involving traffic accidents where the alleged perpetrator flees the scene.
Senate Bill 68 would clarify that a driver has a duty to remain at the scene of an accident involving death, personal injury, or damage to a vehicle.
The law is currently a Catch-22, says Montana Department of Justice prosecutor Ole Olson.
He told the Senate Judiciary Committee a driver is required to stop only if he knows he’s injured or killed a pedestrian, for example. But the driver won’t know that, says Olson, unless he has stopped.
“And what happens is someone who doesn’t want to talk to the police, doesn’t want to be involved because they’ve been drinking has every incentive to close their eyes and continue down the road,” Olson says.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
House Republicans unveil the blueprint of their new policy agenda, to be used in the next Congress if they win back a majority in November's elections. It's the first time the GOP has released a political agenda of this nature since 1994's "Contract With America."
Friday, August 13, 2010
Florida may be giving Arizona a run for its money when it comes to cracking down on illegal immigration. According to a 2008 Pew Hispanic Center report, the Sunshine State ranks third in unauthorized immgrants, behind California and Texas. Now some state lawmakers are trying to pass legislation to change those numbers in a big way.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
In February I covered the legislative movement to legalize medical marijuana in New York. Given how little grassroots opposition there was, I figured passage wasn't too far in the future and I'd soon be getting triumphant emails from the pot lobby and evites to smokey, bong-filled celebrations (which I'd naturally decline).
Well, it's August, and Albany is still Albany, so maybe it's no surprise that medical marijuana is still not legal. But here's an entertaining -- and rather apocalyptic -- animation made by Brooklyn-based Haik Hoisington, who's smoked pot for 15 years and wanted to articulate his opposition to the "policing of pleasure in the United States."
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
By Karen DeWitt : NYS Public Radio/WXXI
New York Gov. David Paterson has vetoed over $400 million in additional spending out of the legislature’s budget, saying lawmakers had engaged in “gimmicks” and “chicanery.”
Monday, June 21, 2010
While Congress rushes to complete a sweeping financial reform bill later this week, the banking industry is pulling out all the stops for a last ditch effort to undercut the Volcker Rule—a provision that allows banks to retain some of their most risky businesses. The New York Times' finance reporter Louise Story explains who wins and who loses if the Volcker rule were to be put in place.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The New York Legislature passed an emergency spending bill Monday night that gives the state enough money to keep running - and averted a government shutdown.