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Energy Trends in 2016 — Net Metering, the Clean Power Plan, and Renewable Portfolio Standards

In 2015, state legislators introduced many bills on energy related topics, particularly relating to reforming net metering policies, the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and renewable portfolio standards. Many of these issues were left unresolved at the end of 2015 and are...

Employment Trends in 2015 — Paid Sick Leave, Pay Equity, & Fair Scheduling

This year, state legislators across the country focused increasingly on employment legislation, introducing bills that would impose mandates on employers such as paid sick leave, pay equity, fair scheduling, and a multitude of other requirements. Legislators were largely...

Cities Join States in Banning Plastic Microbeads

Governor Quinn (D) signed legislation (IL SB 2727) in 2014 making Illinois the first to ban the manufacture and sale of personal care products containing plastic microbeads, often found in facial scrubs, toothpaste, and soap. The law requires manufacturers to stop...

States Regulate Chemicals as Congress Delays Action

Earlier this week, Oregon issued proposed rulemaking to implement the Toxic-Free Kids Act of 2015 (OR SB 478), by establishing the initial list of high priority chemicals of concern for children’s health when used in children’s products. The Oregon law follows the ...

Changes to State-Run OSHA Plans

Under Section 18 of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, states are encouraged to develop their own safety and health programs for both public and private sector employees.  State-run plans must be at least as effective as the federal law, be approved by the...

States Targeting Employee Misclassification

In July, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division issued guidance regarding the misclassification of employees as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the DOL, employee misclassification occurs when workers who...

Immigration Legislation Growing in the States

NCSL recently reported that 46 state legislatures enacted 153 laws and 238 resolutions related to immigration in the first half of 2015 -- the most since 2011. The bills affect a number of issue areas, including education, public benefits eligibility, driver’s license...

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