Legislative Alert Friday April 8th: Tennessee Police 23,000 Files Behind
Screening News Update
- Tennessee Buried Under Expungement Requests
- Hawaii Lawmaker Asks "How Much is Too Much?"
- News from the FTC and EEOC
Tennessee Buried Under Expungement Requests
The city of Chattanooga, Tennessee has been making efforts to help those with criminal records get a second chance and become self-sufficient. Late last year the City Council voted to ban the box on all city employment applications. Now city leaders are tackling another roadblock. It turns out the Chattanooga Police Department still has 23,000 records on file that should have been expunged.
Under Tennessee law, if your case is dismissed you are eligible to have the record expunged. First-time offenders can even get some convictions wiped from their records if they wait five years and pay a $450 fee. Unfortunately, the police department says they are way behind when it comes to filling those expungement requests. This delay could put job applicants in danger of losing opportunities. A police spokesperson says there are plans to fill four vacancies in the records department, and they are also using off-duty officers to try to take care of the backlog.
Hawaii Lawmaker Asks “How Much is Too Much?”
The Aloha State was one of the first to legalize medical marijuana, and it is about to say “hello” to its first dispensaries in July. State Representative Cindy Evans wants to make sure medical marijuana patients are not getting behind the wheel while impaired.
She has introduced a resolution aimed at figuring out how much marijuana a driver can safely consume before they become a risk on the road. The Department of Health is opposing the resolution because they lack funding for such a study. But even if money wasn’t an issue, there still isn’t a process to measure marijuana impairment like you can with alcohol. Even so, the resolution passed the House Committee on Transportation and moves on to the Committee on Health.
News from the Federal Government
There have been a couple of announcements from the federal government in the past week. First, FTC Commissioner Julie Brill is resigning her position. Brill has served on the Commission since being appointed by President Obama in April of 2010. She now plans to go into private practice in Washington, D.C.
Second, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a simplified, one-page fact sheet to help small business owners understand federal employment anti-discrimination laws and their responsibilities as employers. The task force that created the fact sheet focused on the needs of startups and companies that are too small to afford a human resources department or a team of lawyers. The document is available in 30 different languages. Videos answering some commonly asked questions are coming soon to YouTube.