Tag Archives: statute

Illinois law requires stylists to be trained in domestic violence support

Illinois has a new law requiring stylists in the state to be trained in domestic violence support and response.

The law will take effect Jan. 1.

Pin-Up Hair Studio stylist Jamie Feramisco in Quincy, Illinois, said hairdressers sometimes learn about incidents of domestic violence through chatting with clients.

She said she often hears accounts of domestic violence in her salon and that she tries to support women facing such circumstances.

The mandate was passed as an amendment to the Barber, Cosmetology, Hair Braiding and Nail Technology Act of 1985.

The legislation aligns the Professional Beauty Association’s Cut It Out program, which pushes similar efforts.

“The salon is a safe place to go. People tell their stylists things they don’t even tell their family or friends,” PBA Director of Charitable Programs Rachel Molepske said. “We have gotten testimonials from people that said this program saved them.”

Feramisco said she plans to host a training session at the salon once the state has established a curriculum.

“The whole idea is to help hairdressers deal with disclosures. There is a right way and a wrong way to talk to someone. It can make or break the way a person handles their assault,” Quanada Prevention Educator JJ Magliocco said. “We are teaching them that they can make a difference. They don’t have to keep their mouth shut.”

The legislation is HB4264.

U.S. Rep. Moore asks Wisconsin to hold off on voter ID law

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore is calling on the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board to wait until after the general election to implement the state voter ID law.

The Democratic representative from Milwaukee made the request in a letter to Kevin J. Kennedy, director and general counsel for GAB. She wrote as the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin asked for a full federal appeals court review of the ruling that removed the injunction against the voter ID law, Act 23.

That decision by a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for the GAB and the Walker administration to enforce the law in the midterm elections, even though the election process already is underway.

Advocates of the law say it will help protect the integrity of the voting process. The measure passed in 2011 requires voters to show government-issued photo IDs — driver’s licenses, state ID cards, some college student and military IDs, passports and naturalization certificates or IDs issued by a Wisconsin-based American Indian tribe.

Opponents maintain that the law violates the U.S. Constitution and will make it difficult — or impossible — for some citizens to exercise their right to vote. Critics also say requiring people to acquire certain IDs amounts to a poll tax.

Moore has opposed the legislation. And in her letter, she asked that the GAB at least wait to implement the controversial act until after the Nov. 4 election because of “the irreparable harm and mass confusion it will cause.”

She wrote, “Enforcing Act 23 for the November election will … cause widespread confusion for voters and election officials. Until the Seventh Circuit decision … it is my understanding that election officials were operating under the assumption that no voter ID law would be in place. For example, it has been reported that over 11,000 absentee ballots have already been mailed without voter ID instructions. Further, it would be a tremendous burden on the state to sufficiently train 1,852 municipal clerks and countless poll workers before the election.”

Moore continued, “It is also disturbing that there have been no public education efforts on voter ID for over two years, and many of my constituents in the 4th Congressional District are unaware that they will need to obtain an ID. Moreover, the new ‘free ID’ guidance, in response to the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling, is untested and likely to be insufficient to provide IDs to everyone who is lacking in light of the short time frame.”

The congresswoman, not alone among Democrats in objecting to the law, said it would be irresponsible to proceed with the change before the election.

Massachusetts to institute commercial food waste ban

Massachusetts has issued final regulations on a statewide commercial food waste ban. The regulations unveiled last week are set to take effect in October and intended to divert leftover food and reduce the state’s waste stream.

The ban, which will be regulated by the state Department of Environmental Protection, requires businesses that dispose of at least one ton of organic material per week donate or “re-purpose” any useable food.

Any remaining food waste will have to be shipped to an anaerobic digestion facility, where it will be converted to clean energy, or sent to composting and animal-feed operations.

Residential food materials and food waste from small businesses are not included in the ban.

Officials say the disposal ban affects about 1,700 institutions statewide, including supermarkets, colleges, universities, hotels, convention centers, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and food service and processing companies.

Some restaurants have expressed concerns about increased costs, as well as the risk of attracting rodents by storing waste food.

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan said the ban “is critical to achieving our aggressive waste disposal reduction goals and it is in line with our commitment to increase clean energy production.”

Food and other organic material make up 25 percent of the state’s waste stream. The Patrick administration has set a goal of reducing that waste stream by 30 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

The administration said 300 supermarkets already have food waste separation programs that save each store up to $20,000 per year.

Arizona attorney general agrees to Bisbee civil union changes

A civil union ordinance in the southern Arizona city of Bisbee will lose much of its punch after Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said he’s reached an agreement in principal on changes that will remove his opposition and a threat to sue to block it from taking effect.

Horne met with lawyers representing Bisbee from a Phoenix firm and a national group that seeks full legal rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people and they agreed to change language Horne believed conflicted with state law.

Horne and Jennifer Pizer of Lambda Legal say Bisbee will rewrite a section of the ordinance to make it clear that it doesn’t confer rights under state laws.

There’s disagreement as to whether the original version did that, but the city put it on hold early this month after Horne threatened to sue.

The ordinance mentioned seven state laws, including the right to inherit and share community property, and said they applied to each Bisbee resident who registers a civil union. Those rights can be agreed to under state law through a contract, but Horne said the ordinance could fool people into thinking they received them just by registering.

“If the ordinance were put into effect as written, it could mislead people, because they can confer inheritance by wills, they can enter into contracts with each other which are binding under current law, and our fear was people might refrain from doing that thinking they are covered by civil unions,” Horne said.

Bisbee’s intent was to make it easier for people in same-sex relationships to take advantage of city benefits and current state contract laws, said Pizer, senior counsel for Lambda. The idea was to create a public record about their wishes in health care, property rights and other legal arrangements.

“It makes it easier for institutions or third parties to understand that those arrangements have been made and to respect the wishes of that family,” Pizer said.

Horne said the ordinance violated parts of a 2008 voter-approved state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages and tried to change seven state laws. Pizer disagreed.

Bisbee’s actions made it the first Arizona city to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples, giving the couples the rights now held by married couples. The ordinance said the city wants to end “discriminatory practices against members of the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender community” so that couples could have lasting and meaningful relationships regardless of sexual orientation.

The changes announced this week mean that it will be less sweeping, but it still is a new law that sends a loud message, Pizer said.

Horne insisted the ordinance didn’t move into same-sex marriage, which is prohibited. 

“This is not marriage,” Horne said. “This is simply a way of publicly recording and acknowledging that people have entered into private agreements that they have a right to enter into now. So it’s a matter really of symbolic rather than substantive significance.”

Bisbee officials have said they expect a new version of the ordinance that changes language Horne found legally suspect by June.

Montana GOP abandons push for sodomy statute

The Montana Republican Party is ending its call to make homosexual acts illegal, but reinforcing its opposition to gay marriage.

The changes came over the weekend at the party’s convention in Missoula.

The GOP had held the position seeking to criminalize homosexuality since a 1997 Montana Supreme Court case striking down similar state laws. The party had been criticized in recent years for continuing its request to criminalize homosexuality.

But party executive director Bowen Greenwood says the decision to drop the language came as part of a larger effort to simply shorten a 31-page platform. He says there was no specific discussion on the matter.

The delegates also made it clear at the convention that the party supports “the definition of marriage as only between one man and one woman.”

This was the same convention where opponents of Barack Obama known as birthers showed off an outhouse that was riddled with bullets, labled the Obama presidential library and contained a fake birth certificate, a reference to disproved conspiracy claims about Obama’s origins.

Newt Gingrich was the featured speaker.