Williamsburg, VA (PRWEB) May 2, 2006
Representatives from the nations state courts and child welfare agencies have developed specific recommendations to improve child foster care systems and foster care programs throughout the country as part of a National Call to Action on children in foster care released by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). State Supreme Court justices partnered with other state leaders to develop the National Call to Action to help reduce the length of time children spend in foster care. Their recommendations provide states with a clear road map of action plans and needed resources to improve outcomes for our nation’s children living in foster care.
Today more than 500,000 children live in foster care. Half of the children will spend at least two years in the Nations foster care system and one in five children will be in the system for five years or more. Although child foster care is often an essential step in helping abused and neglected children, state and local court delays can often extend the time between when children enter the foster care system and when they are placed in safe, permanent homes. While in this ‘limbo,’ many children and families do not receive the assistance they need to allow children to return home safely or prepare them to join another family.
“Implementation of these plans will go a long way to make substantial progress toward reducing the amount of time children spend in the foster care system,” said Chief Justice of Indiana Randall T. Shepard, President of the Conference of Chief Justices. “It will bring these children one step closer to the safe and permanent families they need and deserve.”
The National Call to Action is the result of the landmark National Judicial Leadership Summit for the Protection of Children: Changing Lives by Changing Systems (the Summit), which was held in Minnesota in September 2005. Leaders of 49 state court systems (Louisiana was unable to participate due to Hurricane Katrina), the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories participated in the Summit. As part of the Summit, each state developed an action plan to improve its child protection system procedures and programs. The NCSC, which coordinated the Summit, compiled the team plans into the National Call to Action.
“When a court case sits on the docket, a child sits in foster care,” said former Chief Justice of Minnesota Kathleen Blatz, who co-chaired the Summit.
“While foster care is supposed to be their lifeboat, for many children it’s become the Titanic. The delay in finding a permanent caring home can have a profound affect on a child,” said NCSC President Mary Campbell McQueen.
While all state action plans for child foster care system reform address specific local needs and challenges, there was considerable consensus across major areas needing improvement and the steps required to achieve these changes. Drawing on recommendations from the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, state teams identified the following strategies underpinning their action plans:
Boston (Vocus) February 17, 2009
The American Bar Association House of Delegates today adopted nearly three dozen new measures as ABA policy, including critical proposals affecting the rights of military personnel and Guantanamo detainees, immigration reform and relief after disasters.
To view the actions taken by the House, click here.
Among significant policies passed, the House voted to urge the Obama administration to ensure that any detainees who are expected to be charged with crimes be prosecuted in federal district courts, unless the attorney general certifies they cannot be prosecuted in such courts but can be prosecuted in other regularly constituted courts consistent with due process, the laws of war, the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Delegates also urged that any detainees no longer considered to be enemy combatants be released or resettled, and any currently detained enemy combatants be granted prompt habeas corpus hearings with full due process.
Additionally, the House overwhelmingly opposed the imposition of federal jurisdiction over child custody cases involving members of the military. The House urged that states enact legislation to prohibit denial of custody to a servicemember based solely on absence due to military deployment.
The House also passed a resolution to help ensure access to justice and due process for those charged with civil immigration violations. This act was partly a reaction to a notable immigration enforcement action taken last year when 400 workers at a Postville, Iowa, plant were arrested without due process.
Two separate House resolutions dealt with a change to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, specifically addressing firm-to-firm lateral hires of lawyers. Prior to House action, a rule prohibited lateral-hire lawyers from representing clients with whom their new firm has a conflict of interest without a waiver from the affected clients. Both proposals set out to ease prohibitions on client representation, and after vigorous debate, the House approved the resolution requiring screening of lawyers to resolve such conflicts.
Other House resolutions included a set of comprehensive measures seeking to reduce harm and litigation after catastrophes. Citing recent disasters such as the California wildfires and flooding in the Midwest, the House adopted these measures, including ones that urge broadening the availability of insurance protection for storm damage, enacting programs to increase the availability of affordable insurance, establishing federal standards for damage-resistant building codes and encouraging capital markets to finance catastrophic risk, among other goals.
In other action, the House voted to urge prompt access to legal counsel for child victims of criminal conduct, encourage legislation enabling permanent legal residents of the United States to sponsor partners of the same sex for permanent residency and to urge the federal government to create an infrastructure in support of adult guardianship. Watch videos of prominent speakers and events at the Midyear Meeting, hear views of members attending and more at the Midyear Meeting Online Web site at http://www.abavideonews.org/ABA548/
With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
Editor’s Note: The recommendations, as acted upon, are available online. Or, for additional information, contact ABA News at 312-988-6171 or 202-662-1090.
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Chicago, IL (Vocus) January 27, 2010
As comprehensive immigration reform looms on the legislative horizon, the American Bar Association will examine recommendations to enhance immigration courts while improving the professionalism, independence and accountability of immigration court judges during the associations 2010 Midyear Meeting, Feb. 3 – 9, in Orlando, Fla.
Indigent defense system improvements, access to care for HIV/AIDS patients, the funding crisis facing state and local courts, the changing face of discrimination and diversity on the bench are among other topics that ABA members will discuss.
With top-quality legal programs and events, along with presentations by the countrys foremost law experts and speakers, the ABA Midyear Meeting is one of the nations most significant gatherings of legal professionals.
The 555-member House of Delegates will meet on Feb. 8 and 9 in the Northern Hemisphere Ballroom, 5th Level, Walt Disney World Dolphin, to consider policy recommendations and to vote on resolutions. Among the policy recommendations that the House of Delegates will discuss are support for a series of measures that would reform legal proceedings to remove immigrants and support for criminal justice reforms in non-juvenile cases.
Other proposals urge states and territories to adopt a Model Act Governing Standards for the Care and Disposition of Disaster Animals; urge Congress to legislate more effective remedies, procedures and protections for victims of pay discrimination, including discrimination based on gender; and support child welfare financing law reforms to eliminate financial incentives for placing children in foster care.
Details on these and all recommendations are available at the ABA House of Delegates Web site. Follow activities at the Midyear Meeting at http://www.abanow.org.
Highlights of the 2010 ABA Midyear Meeting include:
Fifth HIV/AIDS Law and Practice Conference:
Speakers include Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Christopher Bates, director, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Office of HIV/AIDS Policy;
Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director, American Public Health Association; Dr. Barry Zukerman, founding director of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership; Frances Ashe-Goins, director, Office of Womens Health, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services; and
Janet Cleveland, deputy director, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control.
Feb. 3 and Feb. 4, Walt Disney World Dolphin, Asia 1 Lobby/3rd Level
A full listing of the programs is available at the AIDS conference site: http://www.abanet.org/AIDS/conferences/2010/home.htm.
Not Illegal to be Young: Using the Law to Protect, Not Punish, at-Risk and Homeless Youth:
This panel will discuss legal ways of helping young people who find themselves homeless.
Feb. 4, 1 p.m., Walt Disney World Dolphin, Europe 5, Lobby/3rd Level
State Budgets, Court Funding and Access to Justice: Sobering Facts and Tentative Solutions:
State court funding has been dramatically impacted by the economic downturn, resulting in what the New York Times has called a tangible narrowing of access to justice. This discussion will look at the positive steps state and local bar leaders are taking to address this situation.
Feb. 5, 8:30 a.m., Walt Disney World Dolphin, Convention Foyer 3, Lobby/3rd Level
The Changing Face of Discrimination: From Where Weve Been to Where Were Going in Civil Rights:
This program will explore how the Civil Rights Act was intended to address discrimination and how current discrimination issues fit into that statute.
Feb. 5, 8:30 a.m., Asia 3, Lobby/3rd Level
Smart Soloing: Effective Strategies for Diverse Lawyers:
This program is designed to help new solo/small firm lawyers build the skills needed to run a successful practice and will address strategies that minority and women practitioners can use to overcome barriers, to capitalize on opportunities and to develop a support network.
Feb. 5, 12:30 p.m., Northern Hemisphere A3, 5th Level
Prosecuting and Defending Immigration-Based Criminal Offenses: What Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys Should Know:
In many cases, numbers of non-citizens are facing prosecution in criminal courts. In some instances, these offensives are immigration-based crimes such as fraudulent passports or false claims to citizenship. This session will discuss how to examine an A-File and how a particular court result will affect immigration status.
Feb. 5, 1 p.m., Walt Disney World Swan, Swan Ballroom 2, 1st Level
Hot Off the Press: A Call for Reform of the Immigration Adjudication System:
This panel will include leading immigration advocates and scholars from across the country, including Miami-based staff attorney Debbie Lee, co-director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center.
Feb. 5, 3 p.m., Promenade Salon IV, Ground Level, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
Wrongful Convictions and Other Costs of Inadequate Representation:
Barry Scheck, co-founder and co-director of the Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, will deliver the keynote address during the luncheon at the Sixth Annual Indigent Defense Improvement Summit.
Feb. 6, 12:30 p.m., Walt Disney World Dolphin, 1st Level, Pacific Hall A
The 5000-Year-Old Formula: Negotiation From Moses to Next Monday Morning The Rules Havent Changed:
Based on Lee Hetheringtons innovative law school course on negotiation, this program will provide a practical framework designed for lawyers engaged in deal making and in settling disputes.
Feb. 6, 1 p.m., Walt Disney World Dolphin, 5th Level, Northern Hemisphere A2
Diversity on the Bench: Is the Wise Latina a Myth?:
A growing number of studies are demonstrating the impact of a judges gender or ethnicity in certain types of cases. The studies underscore the importance of diversity on the bench. This panel looks at the new research as well as suggests what can be done to promote accuracy, fairness, consistency and predictability in judicial decision-making.
Feb. 6, 2:30 p.m., Walt Disney World Dolphin, Northern Hemisphere A4, 5th Level
Reporters with ABA credentials are welcome to attend and cover all sessions for free by obtaining credentials in the full-service Press Room in the Walt Disney World Dolphin, Atlantic Hall C, 1st Level, starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4. The Press Room will remain open for onsite media registration from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and will close one hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates on Feb. 9. Credential guidelines are online at http://www.abanet.org/media/credentials.html. Reporters also can complete registration online. The on-site Press Room phone number is 407/939-2914.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
This distribution list is a service to the news media from the American Bar Association Division for Media Relations and Communication Services. Your e-mail address will only be used within the ABA and its entities. We do not sell or rent e-mail addresses to anyone outside the ABA. To change your e-mail listing or be removed from our distribution lists, please contact the Media Relations Department at 312/988-6171 or abanews(at)abanet(dot)org.
Dallas, TX (PRWEB) April 7, 2010
The recently passed Patient Protection and Affordability Act will have a significant impact on employers and the health insurance choices they offer their employees.
One significant area of this new legislation is Section 2714, which mandates that coverage must now be provided to dependent children up to 26 years of age. Additionally, recently passed affordability changes to this section make Section 2714 applicable regardless of marital status, while excluding those who have access to another employer sponsored health plan. Critical questions remain unanswered as the industry waits for the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, to define who is covered under the term “child”, as used in the new regulations. This clarification will be key to understanding the impact of the new law on dependent eligibility audits.
Impact on Dependent Eligibility Audits
On average HRAdvance clients find 11% of dependents to be ineligible. Children over the age of 19 make up approximately one-third of the total ineligible dependents in our current dependent eligibility audits, or 3.3% of the total 11% ineligible.
Historically, HRAdvance required proof of relationship, financial responsibility and enrollment status to prove eligibility. Under the new system, employees will no longer have to prove financial responsibility or student status for child dependents. We estimate the number of ineligible overage dependents will be reduced from 3.3% of the total population to an average of 1.5%, based on enrollment status now being irrelevant.
We know from our current results that clients who do not require financial dependency for underage children will have a slight drop compared to clients who do require it. We estimate that eliminating financial relationship as a condition for eligibility will reduce the results by another 2-3%.
The bottom line? Our estimate is that the impact of health care reform as it relates to audit results will be that the number of ineligible dependents will drop by about 4-5% compared to current levels. However, the impact on our client’s return on investment will be far less significant. Why?
Children under 26 consistently incur fewer and less costly claims. As a result, HRAdvance projects that the return on investment from a dependent eligibility audit will be reduced, but to a lesser degree than the ineligible percentages, as a direct result of the Patient Protection and Affordability Act.
“The figures show a comprehensive, thorough dependent eligibility audit will remain one of the best tools available to HR professionals for both controlling costs and delivering quality benefits to employees,” said HRAdvance founder and President Craig Firestone. “We look forward to working with our clients in every industry to deploy solutions that address this legislation.”
Next up will be HRAdvance’s assessment of Section 2712 which intends to prevent removal of ineligible dependents from employer sponsored health plans.
HR Advance was founded in 2004 with a single mission: to provide HR and benefits professionals with best-of-breed hosted solutions that can be deployed without capital expenditure or IT dependency. Its guiding principle is that employees are the most valuable assets of every organization.
The company’s core competencies are its Plan-Smart and Plan-Guard dependent eligibility audit solutions. Its management competencies and healthcare focus reflect more than 150 years of combined experience in developing automated human resource, benefits, administrative and financial services for government, public and private organizations. Visit http://www.plan-smart.com to learn more.
This press release was distributed through PR Web by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.
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Las Vegas, NV (Vocus) September 22, 2010
InsureMonkey today highlighted five important points that consumers need to know about the Health Care Reform changes taking effect on Thursday, September 23 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Key September 23 changes:
1. Children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage when applying for an individual health insurance policy or as part of a family heath insurance plan.
2. Your health plan can no longer be rescinded if you get sick (except in cases of fraud or willful misrepresentation).
3. Health plans will no longer have lifetime or annual benefit caps.
4. Preventive screenings, such as annual physicals, mammograms, pap smears, and other services, will be provided to you without charge. Your health plan will pay for these services, but cannot apply a co-payment, co-insurance, or deductible payment.
5. Dependents can remain on their parents health insurance plan until age 26.
InsureMonkeys five points consumers need to know about the new law:
1. If you dont replace your current insurance plan, you wont get the benefits of the Health Care Reform changes. This applies to individual health insurance, family health insurance, as well as small group health plans. However, when replacing your plan, be sure your new health insurance is in place before cancelling your existing plan.
2. If you dont think you can afford health insurance, look again. Even the most barebones, inexpensive plans will now come with free, preventive, and often life-saving services. In Nevada, most people can get an individual health insurance plan for less than the cost of cable television service.
3. Many carriers are no longer providing health insurance quotes for child-only plans. Currently in Nevada, you can only get health insurance coverage for your child as part of a larger family health insurance plan. Today, these plans are only offered through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Assurant Health, Coventry One, or United Health One. A health carriers plan offerings for children can change at any time so check back often.
4. We expect quotes for individual health insurance, family health insurance and self-employed health insurance to continue to increase. New health insurance plans are now required to provide more services and therefore will have to raise rates to pay for it.
5. Your dependents can stay on your health insurance plan until the age of 26. This change is a major benefit for families because it means that a child with a chronic medical condition like diabetes can maintain health insurance coverage without having to re-apply as an adult, risking coverage denial for having a pre-existing condition. In 2014, all individual and family health insurance plans will be prohibited from denying coverage to anyone based on a pre-existing condition.
InsureMonkey is the quickest and easiest way for individuals and families to buy health insurance. It provides a simple online tool that allows consumers to get free health insurance quotes from leading companies without providing invasive personal information. Customers are provided quotes, information and options that allow for educated and informed decisions when purchasing health insurance. Once a customer has selected the plan thats right for them, InsureMonkey enables the customer to apply for the plan online.
InsureMonkey fully automates the quoting, application and enrollment process of becoming insured. It is offered as a free public resource, charges no application fees, no broker fees, and its tools, support and services are free for life. To learn more about how to get the best rates, compare plans and buy personal health insurance online please visit http://www.insuremonkey.com or call 1-800-771-3739.
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Washington, DC (PRWEB) November 30, 2010
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) — AIS, publisher of industry-leading newsletters, AIS’s Health Reform Week, Health Plan Week, Drug Benefit News, Report on Medicare Compliance and ACO Business News, is pleased to announce its newest publication, A Guide to Health Insurance Reform. The guide and its accompanying CD include an extremely well-organized set of all pertinent regulations, with HHS guidance and insights from experts. Go to http://www.aishealth.com/Products/lhrg.html for publication details.
When the rulemaking process has finally run its course years from now, more than 25 separate sets of federal rules will have been issued to address just the aspects of reform that deal with health insurance benefit design. Regulations dealing with these issues have already been published: rescissions, appeals and external reviews, coverage of preventive services, child-only coverage, lifetime and annual limits, access to care protections, grandfathered plan status, dependent coverage to age 26 and early retiree reinsurance.
Furthermore, 15-20 additional sets of rules still to come — from medical loss ratios to insurance exchanges to age bands and gender bias — are set in stone by the reform statute. And in 2011 and beyond, there may well be additional changes heaped on top of this year’s enormous changes, if the politics of reform shift and/or Congress goes back to fix flaws in the original legislation.
A Guide to Health Insurance Reform is designed to help health plans, hospitals and other providers, employers, pharmaceutical companies and others save valuable time and resources — and minimize their risks of costly noncompliance — with easy-to-read summaries of federal regulations that are interwoven with Agency Guidance and Commentary and Analysis from experts in the field in 28 different regulatory areas related to:
— Benefit Design
— Eligibility/Guaranteed Issue
— Premium Rules
— And Health Insurance Administration
For more information on A Guide to Health Insurance Reform and to view a detailed Table of Contents, visit http://www.aishealth.com/Products/lhrg.html.
AIS develops highly targeted news, data and strategies for managers in hospitals, health plans, medical group practices, pharmaceutical companies and other health care organizations. Learn more at http://www.AISHealth.com.
Madison, WI (PRWEB) January 31, 2012
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 brings sweeping changes to health insurance coverage in the United States, including the requirement that new health plansboth group and individualpay 100% of the costs of certain preventive care services such as mammograms, colonoscopies, blood pressure checks, and childhood immunizations. WPS Health Insurance, Wisconsins leading not-for-profit health insurer and provider of affordable group and individual health insurance, examines this new requirement and details the specific covered services for adults, women, and children in a new educational article, Stay Healthy, Save Money with Preventive Services Covered at 100% Under Health Care Reform, available for free from the WPS online Learning Center.
Getting regular preventive care is the single most important thing Wisconsin residents can do to protect their health, said Dr. Marvin Wiener, Senior Medical Director at WPS Health Insurance. Yet today, only about half of all Americans get the preventive care they need. Thats unfortunate when you consider that chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths among Americans each yearand they are often preventable.
Under the Affordable Care Act, all group and individual health plans that take effect on or after September 23, 2010 are required to cover recommended preventive care services without charging a copayment, deductible, or coinsurance, so long as the services are received from an in-network health care provider.
Doctors and health care facilities continue to charge for these services. But now its the health insurance companies that pay the costs, said Dr. Wiener. Essentially, preventive care becomes free for the policyholder, greatly increasing the incentive to take advantage of these services.
Depending on the policyholders age, covered preventive care services may include:
Blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol tests
Many types of cancer screenings, including mammograms and colonoscopies
Routine vaccinations against diseases such as measles, polio, influenza (flu), and meningitis
Counseling, screening, and vaccines to ensure healthy pregnancies
Regular well-baby and well-child visits from birth to age 21
The full article includes a complete list of preventive care services covered for adults, women, and children, as well as additional details about the new rules.
WPS encourages individuals and families looking for more health insurance tips and strategies to check out the WPS Learning Center for free articles on controlling costs, preventing illness, making wise health decisions, and other timely topics. For questions or to request a quote for a high-quality individual or family plan from WPS, please call 1-888-245-4197 to talk with a friendly representative.
About WPS Health Insurance
Founded in 1946, WPS is Wisconsins leading not-for-profit health insurer, offering affordable individual health insurance, family health insurance, high-deductible health plans, and short-term health insurance, as well as flexible and affordable group plans and cost-effective benefit plan administration for businesses. In addition, the WPS Medicare division administers Part A and B benefits for millions of seniors in multiple states, and the WPS TRICARE division serves millions more members of the U.S. military and their families. In 2010 and 2011, WPS was recognized by the international Ethisphere Institute as one of the Worlds Most Ethical Companies, and is the only health insurance company to earn this distinction. For more information about WPS Health Insurance, visit http://www.wpsic.com.
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Jacksonville Beach, FL (PRWEB) December 18, 2012
Don Dymer, president and chief executive officer of SingleSource Services, a nationwide background screening company since 1995 offers important advice for people seeking child care as well as those seeking home health care assistance for the elderly or disabled.
“The uncertainty of how new health care policies will impact people’s finances has many seeking ways to save money on care, and in particular home health care,” states Don Dymer of SingleSource background screening company. A December article in Today’s Caregiver states, “Due to the cost and increasing shortage of home health aides, many families seeking to hire in-home staff turn to private individuals rather than working through an agency.”
Dymer explains, “Unless you are in the background screening industry or a human resource professional, most people lack the knowledge or the tools to probably check an individuals’ credentials. Hiring people to care for your children or aging parent is not a decision that should be made utilizing your gut feeling. At SingleSource we have been providing background checking services to home health care agencies and non profits for over fifteen years and we understand the difference between compassion and competence.”
Dymer advised people seeking at home care to do their homework. “Visiting Angels, a nationally recognized franchise in the home care business, members of such organizations as the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), and the National Private Duty Association members are examples of organizations that stand well equipped to provide well trained, background screened and, where needed, licensed professionals to take care of children and adults requiring quality home care.
Dymer cautions against relying on informal health care arrangements that rely on friends, friends of families, neighbors and non-licensed caregivers. Even if you anticipate the need to be short term, as is the case in someone recovering at home after surgery, you need to understand that this person will be given access to personal information and property and be placed in a position of trust.
Caregivers must be held to a high standard and meeting that standard requires rigorous and thoughtful background screening. The United States Census Bureau predicts that Florida, along with California and Texas will have the largest senior populations in the country by 2025. Seniors are increasingly looking for a way to remain independent as long as possible and rely heavily on at home care givers to provide them with that independence, points out Dymer.
A report by the U.S. Government Accountability office in 2011 found that 14% of non-institutionalized elder adults experienced abuse. Unfortunately since much of that abuse goes unreported, we assume the actual number is higher, explains Dymer. “The same may be said of child sexual abuse by those entrusted with their care. We know that 6%* of the adult population has a sexual attraction to children and we also know that 95%* of child sexual abusers are never formally charged with the abuse and so never get criminal records.
To avoid placing your loved one in harms way, Dymer recommends making a thorough search locally, getting references and starting with the well established names in the field that have earned their reputation. The fact that an agency supports its state or national organization may be an indication of their commitment to high standards.
If you are seeking the best care or schooling for your children, background screening of all pertinent personnel is a must, insists Dymer. Dont be satisfied if your youth organization or school says they do criminal background checks, it isnt enough. Ask them if the Diana Screen
Washington, DC (PRWEB) February 06, 2013
After several failed attempts at reforming the current U.S. immigration system, the time now seems right for real comprehensive Immigration Reform. On January 28, 2013, eight Senators (Democrats and Republicans) proposed a comprehensive immigration reform that will provide a Government process (through USCIS, U.S. Department of Homeland Security) for legalizing the estimated 11 million “illegal aliens” in the U.S., and implement measures to better protect against people entering the U.S. illegally.
Although the details of the Immigration Reform are still under discussion, immigration experts at International Law Group have concluded that the procedures, such as the requirements for making a person eligible to apply for benefits of the immigration Reform, will likely follow past legalization laws.
The current proposals all contain indications such that prior procedures will be implemented. According to Associated Press reports, the current proposal:
Lansing, MI (PRWEB) May 03, 2013
The Coalition for a Safer Lansing announces the initiation of a petition drive to put before the citys voters on the issue of reforming local marijuana law.
The Coalition is composed of local and statewide activists, attorneys, businesspersons and elected officials. The petition would eliminate the penalty for the possession, use, or transfer of one ounce of marijuana or less for adults 21 years of age and older on private property.
Coalition spokesman Jeffrey Hank, a Lansing-area attorney, noted that the proposed change in the city charter did not reduce penalties for selling large quantities of marijuana or for minors who possess it. Criminal cases of possession and use of cannabis are common in the court system and present a serious hardship to the person accused of this victimless crime.
“We want law enforcement focus to be on serious crimes with victims. We want good community-oriented policing, officers of the peace protecting and serving the People of Lansing. This is a pro-law enforcement and civil liberties initiative meant to improve safety and policing in Lansing.” Hank noted that often families and children are harmed less by actual cannabis use itself and more by cannabis prohibition policies like criminal records and the loss of benefits, and via the probation, parole and Child Protective Services system for the non-violent use or possession of marijuana.
The Safer Michigan Coalition has inspired several communities to begin the petition process to change their marijuana laws. In a unanimous sweep, five Michigan cities voted to reduce marijuana penalties in November of 2012; most of those proposals won by large margins. Recently, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero directed the city attorney to investigate the legality of duplicating a decriminalization ordinance like the one Grand Rapids activated May 1st.
Its important for Lansing to take the lead on this issue, said Hank. Polls and surveys tell us the citizens support cannabis reform. The laws as currently written abrogate constitutional freedoms, waste taxpayer dollars, and undermine a more healthy relationship between local people and the justice system. State legislators should see a working model of re-legalization every day. The Capitol City is prepared to make Lansing at the forefront of cannabis reform.
Hank continued: “In 2010, according to the FBI Report of Offenses Known to Law Enforcement, Lansings violent crime rate was 173% higher than the national violent crime rate and the property crime rate was 38% higher than the statewide average. The city is projected to have a dozen murders, over 800 aggravated assaults and 44 forcible rapes in 2013. Studies show that marijuana distribution centers do not contribute to local crime and Michigan voters have consistently approved more lenient laws regarding marijuana use.”
Petitions have begun circulating. Visit Safer Lansing for more information or to get involved.