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Monthly Archives: April 2014

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Legislating today’s science fiction tomorrow

When we think about the future, Americans are a pretty confused bunch. On one hand, 70% of us think that America is headed in the wrong direction, and just a third think America’s best days are ahead. On the other hand, according to a Pew study released a few days ago, we’re excited about what […]

States Try to Smoke Out E-Cigs

On this blog, we’ve written frequently about issues that have stalled at the federal level but are being acted upon by the states. The debate over regulation of e-cigarettes exemplifies this movement of important legislative responsibilities to the state level. Last week, five Democratic U.S. Senators wrote a letter to the Food and Drug Administration […]

To be or not to be… a carpetbagger?

New Hampshire teachers looking for relevant lesson plans dealing with the postbellum American South might want to take a look at their own state’s current US Senate race for pedagogic fodder. Carpetbaggers, it turns out, might even be living in their own backyards. Scott Brown, a one-time Republican senator representing Massachusetts, announced last Thursday that […]

High-Pressure Politics: State Legislatures and Fracking

On Friday, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources acknowledged that hydraulic fracturing, a process used to produce oil and natural gas from shale, may be causing earthquakes in a city near a drilling facility. The department will now require companies to install seismic monitors if they want to drill within three miles of known fault […]

The Raw Milk Movement

Dairy farmers and their advocates are fighting to be able to sell their product straight from the cow, in the form of raw, unpasteurized milk. Raw milk is legal to drink in 38 states, but it is only available in retail locations in ten. In some states, it is banned outright. Other states allow for […]

The Debate Over Labeling Laws for Genetically Modified Foods

Chances are, if you reached for a packaged snack or pre-made meal today, you just ate a genetically modified food. Unknown to many Americans, about sixty to seventy percent of processed foods contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Should people be notified, via food labels, that they’re about to indulge in biotechnology-created soy, corn, or canola? […]

Understanding the Legislative Climate for State Minimum Wages

Three days ago, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed a bill raising Connecticut’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour beginning in 2017. Now with the highest minimum wage in the country, Connecticut becomes the first state to implement the minimum wage promoted by President Obama in his State of the Union address. Hailing the bill […]