Government

In Harris v. Quinn the Supreme Court held 5-4 that the First Amendment prohibits the collection of an agency fee from home health care providers who do not wish to join or support a union. 

Medicaid recipients who would otherwise be institutionalized may hire personal assistants.  In Illinois, the Medicaid recipient is the employer and is responsible for almost all aspects of the employment relationship.  But the personal assistant is a state employee for collective bargaining purposes.  A number of personal assistants did not want to join the union or pay it dues. 

By Therese Murray, Massachusetts Senate President

As president of the Massachusetts Senate, I have encountered—and still encounter—many challenges. Being a leader is never without struggle, but it can be especially difficult when you are also a woman.

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Andy Karellas learned a lot while working in his family’s restaurant growing up. He has used those lessons in his work in Washington, D.C.

Karellas, the new director of federal affairs for The Council of State Governments, has worked in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, as well as the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“I remembered working in the Senate was kind of like working in a restaurant, where we were just serving our constituents and serving our...

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The proliferation of technology has enhanced ways for people to get in touch with members of Congress. But the new technology also has made it more difficult to get through. State policymakers have an advantage because Congress is similar to state legislatures, speakers at the 2014 CSG Leadership Conference said.

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In Minnesota, a 75-year-old law had made it illegal to drive in neutral. Another measure made it a misdemeanor to carry fruit in an illegally sized container. Those statutes — and many others — are now gone as the result of what Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers dubbed the 2014 “unsession.” In all, close to 1,200 laws and other state policies were eliminated or changed.

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Supreme Court is considering “a ton of cases” affecting the states this term, according to Lisa Soronen, executive director of the State and Local Legal Center, who follows the court for associations serving states and local government.

The case with the most impact, she said during The Council of State Governments Leadership Conference June 21, is Schuette vs. BAMN, in which the court upheld Michigan’s 2006 ballot initiative banning race-sensitive...

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Emotional debates often arise when legislation, especially if it concerns children, comes before state policymakers.

That lens often pulls attention away from what is the best policy for the most positive impact on public health, said Andy Hackman, a member of the firm Serlin Haley LLP, representing the Toy Industry Association.

“As these discussions and debates flow through the legislative process and flow through regulatory process, we need to look at and...

The Supreme Court held unanimously that the First Amendment protects a public employee who provides truthful sworn testimony, compelled by a subpoena, outside the course of his or her ordinary responsibilities

But what about the much more likely scenario:  An employee provides truthful sworn testimony, compelled by a subpoena, which is part of an employee’s ordinary responsibilities?  The Court explicitly says it doesn’t say.

Bond v. United States could have been the biggest federalism rulings from the Supreme Court this term.  But it wasn’t.  Nevertheless federalism underlies the ruling in this narrow case.    

The significant question raised in Bond v. United States is whether the federal government can adopt a statute implementing a treaty that it would not otherwise have the authority to adopt. The Supreme Court did not answer that question.  Instead, it merely held that the Petitioner’s conduct in this case wasn’t covered by the statute.   

Carol Anne Bond, upon discovering her closest friend was pregnant with her husband’s child, placed chemicals on her car door, mailbox, and door knob in the hopes her friend would develop an uncomfortable rash.  Bond was charged with possessing and using a chemical weapon in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act, which implements a chemical weapons treaty the United States ratified.

Imagine yourself going through a security screening. Annoying, right?  Now imagine yourself getting paid to go through a security screening.  Better, right?  But what if you are a state government with a security screening process that as a result of a court decision must now pay employees to go through security screenings?  Sometime in the next year, the Supreme Court will affirm or reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision to this effect in ...

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