Two kinds of bills run the world, or at least the American slice of it: appropriations acts, which give agencies their budgets, and authorization acts, which tell them how to use them and what they are allowed to do. The bill that authorizes all of the United States’ intelligence activities has been making its way through Congress all year, but now has hit a major roadblock in the Senate, as one Senator has taken a stand against some of its surveillance provisions.
Electric car-seeking Indiana residents can still buy their new Tesla without having to go out of state, at least for the time being. State senators have tabled a bill that would have banned the carmaker from selling vehicles under its current, often controversial, straight-to-consumer business model. [More]
The U.S. Postal Service has adapted to a future where we send and receive fewer first-class letters, but need many more packages delivered to our doorsteps. In testimony to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs this week, Postmaster General Megan Brennan told the assembled senators that the postal service is still looking for new things to deliver to make more money, but hopes that the Senate can pass legislation meant to make it less broke. [More]
The Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act, intended to reduce the odds of kids getting their little hands on tasty-looking – but poisonous – liquid nicotine, appears destined to be the first new federal law regulating e-cigarettes. Yesterday, Congress passed the measure, which now goes to the White House for President Obama’s signature. [More]
A nationwide ban on the use of tricky “non-disparagement” or “gag” clauses — which prevent consumers from providing their honest opinions in public forums — cleared the Senate today, bringing it one major step closer to becoming law. [More]
Legislation to ensure children aren’t able to get their little hands on tasty-looking – but poisonous – liquid nicotine has made it past one hurdle: the Senate unanimously passed the measure yesterday, indicating widespread support for the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015. [More]
One might assume that a college accreditation is an indicator the school has met high standards for education and financial security. But as the recent collapse of Corinthian Colleges demonstrated, this is not always true. In an effort to ensure that America’s students aren’t duped into racking up huge debts to pay for substandard schools, lawmakers are looking to improve the oversight of accrediting agencies.
Eight months after the California Department of Health declared that e-cigarettes were a threat to public health, the state’s lawmakers are taking steps to ensure the devices are regulated much like their traditional counterparts. [More]
Earlier this year, legislators introduced a bill that would require consumers to fix any outstanding safety recall on their vehicle before a registration renewal would be granted. While that measure has gone nowhere since March, a newly introduced highway reauthorization bill includes a provision that would create a pilot program for a similar plan. [More]
Since automakers began recalling vehicles in force last year – punctuated by the millions of models covered by General Motors’ massive ignition switch defect and Takata’s explosive airbags – lawmakers have been trying to push through reforms that would make it more difficult to keep potentially deadly automobiles on the roadways. But proposed laws such as those that would impose fines on owners of vehicles who don’t follow-through with recall repairs or barring used car dealers from selling vehicles with unrepaired recalls likely won’t see the light of day after being voted down by a Senate committee last week. [More]
Uber Halts Operations In Kansas After Legislature Votes To Mandate Background Checks, Insurance Coverage
It seems like every few months a new city or state announces it will no longer allow Uber to operate in its jurisdiction. But in a slight change of pace, the ride-sharing company is actually taking itself out of the equation in Kansas. [More]
The number of injuries and deaths associated with Takata-produced airbags that have been found to spew pieces of shrapnel at passengers and drivers upon deployment increased once again, now totaling 105 injuries and six deaths, according to data received from the parts manufacturer. [More]
Tesla Faces One Last Hurdle In New Jersey After Senate Passes Bill Allowing Direct-To-Consumer Sales
A little more than a year after the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission unanimously voted to block the sale of Tesla vehicles directly to consumers, the state’s Legislature passed a bill allowing the car company to bypass auto dealerships and continue its unique model of car sales. [More]
Everything you do online — on your phone, on your computer, with anything — leaves a digital wake. Put those trails together and you’ve got one massive big data industry that can (and does) track it all and sell it to the highest bidder. After decades of digital detritus building up, regulators and Congress both are contemplating some steps that would help protect consumers’ info.
A bill that would have allowed millions of private and federal student loan borrowers to refinance their debts to the lower rate currently being issued on new federal and private student loans was once again blocked in the Senate. [More]
A bill to allow consumers to refinance their student loans to the rate currently being issued on new federal and private student loans succumbed to a painful death on the Senate floor Wednesday despite being championed by consumer advocates. [More]