The House sends trade secrets bill to the President, BSEE adopts new offshore drilling rules, and more….
IN THE NEWS
- The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, sending to President Barack Obama for approval a bill that was previously passed in the U.S. Senate, which which would create a private right of action for the owners of trade secrets to seek injunctions and civil damages aimed at unauthorized releases of such secrets.
- The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that they will allow Charter Communications to proceed with a proposed merger with Time Warner Cable.
- The U.S. Department of Interior’s’ (DOI) Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a final rule imposing new standards for blowout preventers used in offshore oil drilling—action that follows the failure of the Deepwater Horizon’s blowout preventer in 2010.
- The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 699, which would amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 to enhance protection of the privacy of emails from law enforcement searches, although the bill still requires passage in the Senate before it goes to the President.
- The Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gina McCarthy, authorized proposed amendments to the agency’s regional haze regulations, which aim to promote greater visibility in scenic areas such as national parks and wilderness areas by requiring states to make revisions to their air quality plans—proposed amendments that will be the subject of a public hearing in Washington, D.C., on May 19.
- The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs issued a final rule enhancing the exchange of medical information in proceedings under the Black Lung Benefits Act, responding to claims of a lack of procedural fairness in these proceedings.
- Making the first major modifications to meal guidelines in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) since 1968, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule that changes the nutritional standards for food provided to children and adults in day care and nursing home centers.
- On a party-line vote of 234-183, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution under the authority of the Congressional Review Act to disapprove of and thereby nullify (if the Senate and President were to concur) a recently finalized U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rule that imposes new conflict-of-interest requirements on investment advisers.
WHAT WE’RE READING THIS WEEK
- John Dilulio, a University of Pennsylvania political science professor, and Paul Verkuil, former chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), published an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for an increase in the number of federal employees in order to improve government and make it more efficient.
- In a study released this week, the AFL-CIO reported that 4,820 workplace fatalities occurred in 2014, in addition to an estimated 60,000 deaths from occupational-related disease.
- The author of an article in Scientific American argued that government regulation has proven pivotal in the recovery of the endangered manatee.
- Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University issued a report claiming that federal regulation has resulted in a reduction in trillions of dollars of economic growth during the period 1977 to 2012.