Indiana e-cigarette law struck down
An Indiana law that sets requirements for manufacturing e-liquids and e-cigarettes at out-of-state facilities violates the U.S. Constitution’s dormant commerce clause, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said. The Indiana law imposed conditions for out-of-state manufacturers that reached how the facilities could be designed and operated, and even to supply copies of contracts with outside security firms. The suit was brought by Legato Vapors LLC, a Kentucky company that is currently winding down its affairs to go out of business.
Registered lobbyists almost ready for species protection
There are fewer registered lobbyists today than there were 18 years ago, U.S. Public Interest Research Group said. Last year, the Senate Office of Public Records received registration statements from 11,143 lobbyists, down from the 14,153 who registered in 2008 before President Obama took office. Much of the decline may be attributed to a loophole in the Lobbyist Disclosure Act which extends the law’s registration and reporting requirements only to those who spend at least 20% of their time on lobbying activity.
Billion dollar lobby ready to reap payoff
Last year, corporations and industry trade associations spent $812 million on their Washington lobbying operations and now they are poised to cash in on their investments. A report from Public Citizen focuses on consumer protections that would collapse under the weight of corporate lobbying in the new Congress. On PC’s list: legislation against payday lenders, debt relief for students at for-profit colleges, more efficient battery chargers, capping methane leaks, and a ban on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
Supermarket alchemy: How food stamps were turned to gold
Miguel Azcona, 38, of Irvington, N.J., the owner of the New Community Supermarket in Newark, pleaded guilty to charges that he converted more than $840,000 in food stamp benefits to cash, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. As a retailer participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Azcona knew it was illegal to exchange food stamps for cash. At a plea hearing, Azcona admitted that his conduct resulted in losses of approximately $840,583.
Debt relief lawyers sued over illegal fees
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit that accuses two Southern California lawyers and their firms of collecting advance fees in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule. CFPB said the lawyers, Vincent Howard and Lawrence Williamson, were familiar with the TSR’s requirements. The two lawyers worked for a firm that engaged in the same conduct and, CFPB said, they acquired the firm’s operations after its illegal activities forced it to shut down.
Heart-related admissions spike two days after snowfall
A study from the Harvard T.H. Chen School of Public Health found no increase in hospital admissions for cardiovascular diseases on a day with major snowfall, but admissions jump by 23% two days later. Researchers, who analyzed data for 433,037 adults who were admitted at Boston’s four largest hospitals, said health hazards posed by snowfalls may have previously been unrecognized. They theorized that people who are most susceptible to cardiovascular events stay indoors when the snow is falling the hardest.
Rip ‘n Read is a daily compilation of press releases found on hundreds of websites that are maintained by the federal government, think tanks, watchdog groups and other national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.
The press releases and documents linked to this report were posted on their websites on Monday, January 30