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California Lawmakers Introduce Measures to Protect the Environment

Posted Feb 24, 2017

California legislators, concerned about Trump administration policies that may weaken environmental and whistle-blower protection laws in California, unveiled a series of bills in an effort to keep Obama –administration-era environmental regulations in place. Senate leadership unveiled the “Preserve California” legislative package to insulate the state from possible rollbacks in federal environmental regulations and public health protections. See video of Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin De Leon’s press conference on the environment.  Read articles in SFGate and Courthouse News Service.

White House Targets Agency Regulations

Posted Feb 24, 2017

President Trump signed an executive action ordering agencies to reduce regulations.  It directs all federal agencies to create “regulatory reform” task forces which will evaluate federal rules and recommend whether to keep, repeal or change them.  Trump said, “every regulation should pass a simple test: Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers? If the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it and getting rid of it quickly. We will stop punishing companies for doing business in the United States.”  Read the White House press release and the full transcript of President Trump’s remarks on signing the new order.  Read articles at Reuters, NPR and USA Today.

Supreme Court May Decide Transgender Bathroom Issue

Posted Feb 24, 2017

In a joint letter, the Justice Department and Education Department rejected the Obama Administration’s position that nondiscrimination laws require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.  Although the Trump administration rescinded the Obama administration’s guidelines  for transgender students, California passed legislation  in 2013 that would require schools to allow students to use the restrooms and locker rooms and join sports teams that align with their gender identity.  There are also numerous states that have introduced legislation that would restrict access to multiuser restrooms to the gender consistent with the sex assigned at birth.  The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case challenging a Virginia school board’s bathroom policy.  The court has asked both sides to submit letters to the court by March 1, discussing how the case should proceed in light of the recent revocation of the Obama administration’s guidelines.  Oral arguments are set for March 28.  Read articles in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and SCOTUSblog.