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Homeland security

- A bill (H.R. 963) that would grant immunity to those reporting acts of terrorism has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill must now be taken up by the full House of Representatives.

Cybersecurity

- A bill (H.R. 2096) that would mandate government cybersecurity efforts has been approved by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The next step would be for the bill to be considered by the full House of Representatives.

Government Contractors

- A bill (S. 1145) that would expand the government’s ability to prosecute U.S. contractors that commit criminal acts in other countries has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill must now be taken up by the full Senate.

Online Privacy

- A bill (H.R. 1981) designed to thwart producers and consumers of online child pornography has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee. The House of Representatives has not announced whether it will consider the measure.

Legal Report

- A jury holds a property owner liable for negligent security and orders it to pay a rape victim $1.28 million. Lawmakers consider legislation on government contractors, online privacy, and homeland security.

Legal Report

- A jury holds a property owner liable for negligent security and orders it to pay a rape victim $1.2 million, and lawmakers consider legislation on government contractors, online privacy, and homeland security.

Weapons

- Maine Governor Paul LePage signed a law (formerly H.B. 35) making it illegal for employers to prevent employees from storing concealed firearms in their cars on company property. Under the bill, the employee must have a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm. The vehicle must be locked and the firearm out of sight. The law also provides immunity to companies. Employers cannot be held liable for damages, injury, or death resulting from the stored firearms even if the firearm is stolen from an employee’s car. An exception is made in cases where the employer or an agent of the employer intentionally solicits or procures an action that causes injury.

Campus Safety

- A bill (H.R. 2342) introduced by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) would establish a National Center for Campus Public Safety. The center would train public safety agencies and their partners on campus crime issues and increase cooperation between law enforcement and mental health agencies. The center would be tasked with collecting and disseminating information about best practices in campus safety as well as developing protocols to prevent, respond to, and recover from emergencies on campuses.

Economic Espionage

- A bill (S. 678) introduced by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) would increase penalties for economic espionage. The bill would also require that the U.S Sentencing Commission consider a tiered system to address different types of espionage.

Chemical Facility Security

- A bill (S. 473) that would extend the government’s Chemical Facility Anti-terrorism Standards (CFATS) program through October 2014 has been approved by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The measure must now be considered by the full Senate.

Legal Report

- A police officer is guilty of gross negligence after shooting an unarmed man who was be­ing arrested for failure to pay child support. And a federal appeals court has ruled that DHS should have solicited public comments via the rulemaking process before it deployed body scanners at airports.

State Legislation

- Texas Weapons. A new law (formerly S.B. 321) in Texas allows employees to keep firearms and ammunition locked in their cars on company property. The law does provide exceptions for schools and for properties, such as oil and gas refineries, where combustible or explosive materials are prohibited by law. The law makes it clear that the presence of firearms or ammunition on the employer’s property does not constitute an unsafe workplace. Except in cases of gross negligence, the law gives employers immunity from civil liability arising from the practice of keeping firearms on company property. New York Sexual abuse. A bill (S.B. 5606) has been introduced that would require hotel and motel owners to provide sexual harassment training to employees and to develop programs to facilitate reporting of harassment. Hotel owners would be required to provide a “know your rights” brochure to all employees detailing state and federal laws on sexual harassment. The bill would make it illegal to retaliate against employees who report sexual harassment. The bill was introduced in response to the alleged sexual assault of a housekeeper by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

Border Security

- A bill (H.R. 915) introduced by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), designed to improve security along the U.S. border with Mexico, has been approved by the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security.
 




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