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Legislation

The Takeaway

Capitol Hill Readies for Energy Reform

Monday, June 07, 2010

As energy legislation makes its way to Capitol Hill, lawmakers are beginning to hint at how they'll work together. Sen. John Cornyn said that he is ready to work with Democrats to deal with some of our environmental concerns. However, it is unlikely that senators like Cornyn will accept the president's comprehensive energy and climate change legislation.

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The Takeaway

As Arizona Struggles to Defend Harsh Immigration Law, Similar Legislation Spreads to Four States

Thursday, June 03, 2010

President Barack Obama will meet with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today. The president opposes Arizona's controversial immigration law, signed by the governor, which is due to take effect next month. 

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Transportation Nation

Bloomberg Checks Out Cameras; Transit Advocates Want More

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation, May 12) In New York, no one really obeys traffic laws. Cars roll right through red lights (it was yellow when I first saw it, honestly!), pedestrians step off the curb well before they have the green signal, and even the more law-abiding cyclists routinely go through red lights if there's no oncoming traffic. Bus and bike lanes are routinely loosely regarded, and even in strict "don't block the box" grids cars can't help but inch forward.

In London, more people follow traffic laws. You can ascribe that to the British vs. New York temperament, but at least some transportation watchers say it also has to do with London's network of cameras, so that people are basically watched everywhere, intersections included.

On Tuesday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg traveled to London to observe their network of security cameras. But back at home, his DOT is lobbying for two new bills, one that would allow the city to add about 40 speed enforcement cameras, and one that would allow cameras to enforce bus lanes. Motorists HATE enforcement cameras, and if you google "red light camera" you'll find a battery of lawyers ready to help you fight your ticket.

But camera advocates like Transportation Alternatives argue that speeding is the number one killer on New York City roads, according to the DMV . They point to a study showing when speeding enforcement cameras came to Washington, DC, speeding dropped dramatically.

As for bus lane enforcement -- it's key to New York City's plans to have a workable bus rapid transit system.

But both bills have faced some hostility from Assembly Transportation Chair David Gantt (D-Rochester), who resisted for years before allowing red light enforcement cameras at 150 intersections in New York City (out of 12,000 with lights). Assembly members Deborah Glick and Martin Malave Dilan have put "99"s on their camera bills, meaning they'll get to committee, but both bills have steep climbs ahead.

Despite Mayor Bloomberg's warm and fuzzy feelings for cameras, everywhere.

Read More

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The Takeaway

Senator Carl Levin on the Wall Street Crisis, Junk Bonds and Michigan Foreclosures

Friday, April 30, 2010

We speak with United States Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) on how the actions of bankers on Wall Street directly affected the lives of homeowners living on Main Street. Credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations and the mechanics of the murky mortgage markets are contributing to the media buzz surrounding the President’s call for Wall Street reform legislation. But it's easy for some of the truly important parts of the debate to lost in a sea of accusations.

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The Takeaway

New Rules for Credit Card Issuers

Monday, February 22, 2010

President Obama signed the CARD Act back in May 2009, but the new regulations on credit card issuers took until today to come into effect. The law was designed to protect consumers from many of the hidden fees, rate changes and small print traps that cost Americans $15 billion each year, but some aspects of the bill changed along the way. Now that it's here, how will it affect your monthly statements?

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The Takeaway

Questions and Answers on Health Care Reform

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Senate Finance Committee finally approved their version of health care reform legislation yesterday. That’s only the next step in a long sequence aiming to pass just one of the five bills from various committees in Congress. We step back from the legislative process to look at what people want most out of an overhaul of the nation's health care system. We asked for questions from listeners, and this morning we try to get answers with Henry Aaron, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and David Herszenhorn, congressional correspondent for The New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Credit Card Reform Act in Effect Today

Friday, August 21, 2009

The first phase of the "Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009" goes into effect this week. While some major provisions of the law won't kick in until next year, credit card companies have to make some immediate changes, including giving cardholders advance notice about interest rate hikes. Personal finance expert and The Takeaway's finance contributor Beth Kobliner joins us to help explain the new rules.

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The Takeaway

The gun control debate ten years after Columbine

Monday, April 20, 2009

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School. On April 20, 1999, teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire on their classmates, killing a teacher and 12 students, and wounding 24 others before turning the guns on themselves. This month also marks the second anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre, where 32 people were fatally shot by a mentally unstable student in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. Commemorating these attacks against the backdrop of another shooting at an immigration center in Binghamton, New York, begs the question: “How bad does it have to get before we take serious steps toward gun control?” Joining us to try to answer this question is Jeff Fagan. Jeff Fagan is a professor of Law and Public Health at Columbia Law School

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The Takeaway

Aplets & Cotlets! Almond Roca! Candymakers vie for state candy crown

Friday, February 13, 2009

While Washington D.C. is all atwitter over the stimulus package, Washington State has been debating something else entirely. Candy. Yes, the Washington State Legislature is about to make the most important decision of 2009: Should Aplets & Cotlets become the official state candy? While seemingly harmless and kind of cute, the move has opened old wounds, because in 2001 Almond Roca was almost crowned the state treat, but the crunchy chocolate almond treat failed to pass the State House. Now battle lines are drawn. Here to explain the fight and offer up an alternative is Megan Seling, a writer who has been covering the kerfuffle for The Stranger in Seattle.

Want to have your own taste test? Click here for Aplets & Cotlets, here for Almond Roca, and here for Fran's Chocolates.

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The Takeaway

Obama Administration? Meet Congress, your new best friend

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Barack Obama is newly-ensconced in office and he is rolling up his sleeves to get down to business. He has said he wants to work closely with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to address America's current economic problems. How is this likely to play out as lawmakers grapple with healing the economy? For answers we look to the New York Times' David Herszenhorn for his take on the relationship between the executive and legislative branches in the new administration.

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The Takeaway

Another busy day in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

While one president is on his way out and the other is on his way in, Congress is busily moving ahead with legislation. The Democrats want to have an expanded child health care program and a stimulus package all ready for Obama to sign the moment he takes office. Then there are the ongoing confirmation hearings and the man who would be Treasury Secretary hit a snag. For more we go to our man in Washington, Todd Zwillich, reporter for Capitol News Connection.

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The Takeaway

The Big Three®

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"If you can't anticipate customer need, look at your competition."
— Elizabeth Talerman

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WNYC News

New graffiti law.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

WNYC

Marianne McCune describes the new anti-graffiti law.

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