Latest News

Delaware has recently joined a growing number of states passing “common sense” legislation that would allow pregnant workers to continue their jobs with better accommodations.  The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act provides for modifications that would enable pregnant workers to keep working with consideration being given to their pregnant status.  This includes more bathroom breaks, lighter duty, and other provisions.

A U.S. District Court judge declined to halt the continued implementation of voting changes while the changes are being litigated in the courts.  The changes which include elimination of same day voting, a shortened early voting period, and other provisions, are being challenged by several groups including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) North Carolina state chapter.
Florida legislators agreed on new lines for congressional districts after a Circuit court judge ruled the map used in the 2012 elections was illegal.  Redrawing the map will alter seven of the State’s 27 electoral districts, but it is currently unclear whether it will change the Congressional representation.
Ohio Federal judge Gregory Frost has extended the State’s death penalty moratorium into next year after probes into Ohio’s “lethal injection cocktail.”  Earlier this month when an inmate was executed using the cocktail, he was observed choking and gasping for air.  The moratorium will allow for further investigation into the drugs used for execution. 
Localities such as Wilson, North Carolina desire to fill the digital divide by providing their communities with broadband access.  Cities interested in bringing internet service where private companies cannot are looking towards municipal broadband, high speed broadband delivered via fiber optic networks, to accomplish that goal.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bail reform measure that would create an alternative pre-trial release which will prevent indigent defendants from being stuck in jail because they cannot afford bail.  The measure comes after a special session was convened for the legislature by Christie.  The measure still requires a vote by New Jersey residents in November.
The State Supreme Court in Wisconsin recently ruled that police could track suspects through their cellphones without a warrant.  The court noted the growing issue of privacy and technology but stated that same technology was imperative in solving crimes at a rapid speed.
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia ruled that the state’s gay marriage ban was unconstitutional.  The ruling has a rippling effect in West Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, which are also a part of the Fourth Circuit.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, backed by Governor Paul LePage, are looking to require adults ages 18-49 to work in order to qualify for assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Residents would be required to work at least 20 hours a week or volunteer at a community agency for a certain number of hours.  In previous years, Maine was able to receive an exemption from the work requirement due to the high unemployment rate.  However, Maine’s unemployment rate has decreased from 9.7 percent in 2010 to 5.5 percent.
Governor Chris Christie called a special session for the New Jersey Legislature to vote on bail reform.  The bail reform measure includes provisions that would deny bail to those who were deemed a risk to public safety and would allow those not considered a safety risk to be released without posting bail.  A vote on the measure would allow the bill to be placed on the ballot for New Jersey residents to vote on in November.