Tuesday, January 9

More laws I love

Sweet! We've got some really neat ideas floating around the house.

  • Instead of waiting for the bill numbers to get up into the thousands, someone has put the failed-to-be-passed-before "Powder-Crack Cocaine Penalty Equalization Act" into the system early--it's #79 this year.

    Only thing I can't tell is if it applies to possession. The language looks like it has to do with smuggling, but the history of the bill makes me think it's a street-possession kind of bill.

    Okay, so it's not a great law (hey, who knows...making the sentences harsher for the rich white teens' drug might make them even less likely to be convicted and increase racial disparity in the prisons, but I have this feeling that our legal systems are a little too transparent and our society come a little too far on transparent issues for that to be the likely outcome), but in this particular case, I'm for making a small improvement and then, when people see that it's not enough, saying, "Well, let's make another improvement!" rather than doing nothing until the perfect improvement is proposed & funneled through the political system.

  • This one looks kind of cool: a GI benefits bill "to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide that members of the Armed Forces and Selected Reserve may transfer certain educational assistance benefits to dependents, and for other purposes." H.R.#81

  • Two Native American tribes (the Lumbee tribe--I'm resisting the urge to link this to one of my favorite songs, "Lumby," because it's completely unrelated, even though it's great--and the Rappahannock tribe) are getting official recognition as Native American tribes. NC's done it for years with respect to the Lumbee tribe, and now the USA might, too. H.R.#65 & H.R.#106.

  • A bill "to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand and extend the incentives for alternative fuel vehicles and refueling property and to repeal the oil and gas production incentives added by the Energy Policy Act of 2005." Sounds like a good start. H.R.#86.

  • A bill outlining a particular right for states that doesn't seem too harmful (i.e. it doesn't allow them to trample all over a particular group of people's human rights): "A State may limit or place restrictions on, or otherwise regulate, out-of-State municipal solid waste received or disposed of annually at each landfill or incinerator in the State, except [for the first 2 years after this bill is passed where local agreements are already in place]." H.R.#70.

  • A bill "to amend the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to require the disclosure of the original source of funds made payable to a lobbyist who is subcontracted to engage in lobbying activities on behalf of a third person or entity, and the disclosure of the identity of that third person or entity." H.R.#90

  • *snicker* If H.R.#101 had been a college rule, Tom, my sophomore buddy down the hall, would have had to step down from his Student Government Election Coordinator post in shame. The advice he gave me for running for student government wasn't immorally advantageous to me--but he did give me a leg up by saying, "Oh, geez, Katie, just knock on the door and walk into the boys' bathroom if you want to put signs there" when I lamented that I didn't have any male friends but him around at the time, and I knew he shouldn't be posting flyers. Was that him managing my campaign? Hey...maybe I wouldn't have won without those toilet stall signs!

  • "Funds provided by grant under this section may be used--(1) to establish statewide articulation agreements in math, science, engineering, and technology among public 2-year institutions and public 4-year institutions to provide a seamless transition for the transfer of students from the public 2-year institutions to the public 4-year institutions by having both such types of institutions provide and use a common core curricula that reflects the workforce needs of private industry..." H.R.#102.

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