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Category Archives: Legislation

Continued Bipartisan Support for Expanded Background Checks on Gun Sales

“Two years after the failure of Senate legislation to expand background checks on gun purchases, the public continues to overwhelmingly support making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks. Currently, 85% of Americans – including large majorities of Democrats (88%) and Republicans (79%) – favor expanded background checks, little changedContinue Reading

Census Data Used For Comprehensive Visualization of Segregation in American Cities

Wired – “This is the most comprehensive map of race in America ever created [by Dustin Cable at University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service]. White people are shown with blue dots; African-Americans with green; Asians with red; and Latinos with orange, with all other race categories from the Census represented by brown.Continue Reading

How Many Employers Could be Affected by the Cadillac Plan Tax?

Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief, August 2015: “As fall approaches, we can expect to hear more about how employers are adapting their health plans for 2016 open enrollments. One topic likely to garner a good deal of attention is how the Affordable Care Act’s high-cost plan tax (HCPT), sometimes called the “Cadillac plan” tax, isContinue Reading

CRS – Effectiveness of the Community Reinvestment Act

The Effectiveness of the Community Reinvestment Act, Darryl E. Getter, Specialist in Financial Economics, January 7, 2015. “This report informs the congressional debate concerning the CRA’s effectiveness in incentivizing bank lending and investment activity to LMI borrowers. After a discussion of the CRA’s origins, it presents the CRA’s examination process and bank activities that areContinue Reading

U.S. Investigations Services Agrees to Forego at Least $30 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

DOJ news release: “The Justice Department announced today that U.S. Investigations Services Inc. (USIS) and its parent company, Altegrity, have agreed to settle allegations that USIS violated the False Claims Act (FCA) for conduct involving a contract for background investigations that USIS held with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  The companies have agreedContinue Reading

POGO – Former CRS Researcher Calls for Public Access

“Despite bipartisan support from many organizations, Capitol Hill still hesitates to grant public access to taxpayer-funded formal reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The Project On Government Oversight has long reported on the importance of opening these reports to the public. POGO worked with many open-government allies to urge Members of Congress to change theContinue Reading

CRS – National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations

National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse at the Legal Background, Charles Doyle, Senior Specialist in American Public Law. July 31, 2015. “Five federal statutes authorize intelligence officials to request certain business record information in connection with national security investigations. The authority to issue these national security letters (NSLs) is comparable to theContinue Reading

Binaryedge Report – more than petabyte of data on unsecured servers

Via Digital Guardian – “The research firm Binaryedge says it found more than a petabyte of data stored in high performance databases like MongoDB is exposed to the public Internet.”

State Legislature Online Tech Landscape

A comparison of legislature and SaaS websites shows stark differences:  “An analysis of 54 state legislature websites shows that the technology they utilize trails industry standards significantly. A majority, 35 (65%), are programmed in ASP.NET and running on IIS servers – both, usually paired, are Microsoft technologies. This differs greatly from standards seen in leadingContinue Reading

GAO Report – Facial Recognition Technology

Facial Recognition Technology: Commercial Uses, Privacy Issues, and Applicable Federal Law, GAO-15-621: Published: Jul 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2015. “Facial recognition technology can be used in numerous consumer and business applications, but the extent of its current use in commercial settings is not fully known. The technology is commonly used in software thatContinue Reading

Across Racial Lines, More Say Nation Needs to Make Changes to Achieve Racial Equality

Pew Report – “Over the past year, there has been a substantial rise in the share of Americans — across racial and ethnic groups — who say the country needs to continue making changes to give blacks equal rights with whites, and a growing number of Americans view racism as a big problem in society.Continue Reading

Commentary – The ADA at 25: Important Gains, but Gaps Remain

Follow up to previous posting – Americans with Disabilities Act – 25th Anniversary – via Knowledge@Wharton – “But the gains are less than desired in employment opportunities for people with disabilities, according to Frieden. “The ADA wasn’t intended to be an affirmative action law, so I am not surprised that companies haven’t been as aggressiveContinue Reading