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SARL Members and Alumni News

Medical marijuana backers threaten to sue over LDS Church involvement in compromise bill to replace Prop 2

Salt Lake Tribune | Posted on November 17, 2018

Medical marijuana advocates say they are exploring legal action challenging the Legislature’s move to replace Proposition 2 “at the behest” of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Although Utah voters this month approved the medical cannabis initiative by about 52 percent-48 percent, lawmakers are expected to meet in a December special session to overwrite the measure with a marijuana proposal acceptable to Prop 2 opponents, including the church. In a Thursday letter, an attorney representing a faction of the medical cannabis community argued that the church’s fingerprints are all over the push.

Nevada marijuana tax collections top $8M in August, set record

Las Vegas Sun | Posted on November 17, 2018

New Nevada tax data shows marijuana revenues are continuing to grow and top records in the state. The Nevada Department of Taxation said Wednesday that marijuana tax revenues at the retail and wholesale levels generated $8.1 million in August.That's a record and $3.2 million higher than the same month in 2017.The previous record was $7.9 million in July.

State Rep. Triston Cole from Mancelona Named Next Majority Floor Leader in Michigan House

9 and 10 News | Posted on November 15, 2018

State Rep. Triston Cole was selected to be to the majority floor leader in the state House of Representatives.

Thanks to all who ran for office

Montana Associated Technology Roundtables | Posted on November 15, 2018

I thank everyone who took the incredible leap of faith to run for elected office in the face of this turbulent political environment. After one of the most negative elections cycles I have ever seen, I can only propose that most voters want to hear what you stand for, not why your opponent is scum. I am amazed and gratified that truly dedicated people who actually want to be public servants and represent the interests of their constituents, not their own selfish interests, still run and face the relentless attacks and misrepresentations on who they are and what they believe. I especially thank those candidates who ran on the strength of their conversations and meetings with every class of people across Montana to hear their concerns and needs. I applaud those candidates who ran on their policies and not on the amount of lying or questionable practices that they thought necessary to win an office.

Lawsuit: Ohio wind setbacks were adopted in violation of state constitution

Energy News Network | Posted on November 15, 2018

A lawsuit filed this week over Ohio’s wind turbine setbacks centers on whether landowners, developers and others had a chance to be heard before the stricter terms were adopted as part of an eleventh-hour budget bill amendment in 2014.House Bill 483’s property line setbacks became part of a massive 2014 budget bill less than 24 hours before its passage by the Ohio Senate.Barely 10 minutes of discussion on the provisions took place on the Senate floor.That “tucked away” issue forms the basis for the plaintiffs’ constitutional challenge now. The relevant part of the Ohio Constitution says “[n]o bill shall contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title.”The parties suing the state allege that the law “is a classic example of ‘logrolling.’” That kind of horse-trading practice typically combines unrelated proposals to get support from lawmakers who might trade support for one part of the bill if another part includes something to their advantage.

Ohio commission delays Lake Erie protections ordered by Gov. John Kasich | Posted on November 15, 2018

A state commission declined Thursday morning to designate eight Lake Erie watersheds as distressed, which would have set in motion requirements to protect the water against toxic algae blooms.The Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission instead decided that the rules to protect Lake Erie should be written with input from the agriculture community before the distressed designation will be approved at a Feb. 15 meeting.The decision is the latest in the tug-of-war over the protections between Gov. John Kasich -- whose administration called Thursday’s move a delay tactic -- and members of the agriculture community -- who praised it.In July, Kasich signed an executive order to reduce agricultural runoff that contributes to the algae blooms in the lake, affecting 7,000 farmers in Northwest Ohio. Millions of Ohioans rely on the lake for drinking water, and algae levels were so harmful in 2014, Toledo residents were advised not to drink or use the water.


Missouri dislikes democrats but likes their policies

Daily Yonder | Posted on November 15, 2018

The Show Me State elected a Republican U.S. senator and, by roughly the same margins, turned around and approved ballot initiatives that reform elections, raise the minimum wage, and legalize medical marijuana.

Wisconsin farmers face steep challenges as Evers prepares to take office

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Posted on November 14, 2018

As many Wisconsin farmers cling to their livelihood, hoping for some relief soon from crushing low commodity prices, some are asking what the state agriculture department will be like after Tony Evers becomes the next governor. Evers didn’t get into much detail on farm issues during his campaign, farmers say, but they’re keenly interested in his views and whom he appoints as secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.The department’s work touches nearly everyone in the state, not just farmers, in areas such as state-inspected meat packing plants, enforcement of weights and measures standards, and accuracy of gasoline pumps. Evers has pledged to strengthen the University of Wisconsin Extension's support and market assistance for farmers caught in brutal commodities markets.“Wisconsin farmers are in a crisis as prices within the farm economy have been below production costs for more than three years. Farm families are enduring bankruptcy, health issues and even suicides as rural Wisconsin loses more than one dairy farm every day,” Evers said during his campaign


The US just elected 8 new scientists to Congress, including an ocean expert, a nurse, and a biochemist.

Business Insider | Posted on November 8, 2018

When the 116th Congress heads to Washington in January, there will be a record number of women in the ranks — at least 123, according to the news website Axios, including the first Muslim women, the first Somali-American, and the first Native American women. There will be more scientists too. On Tuesday, at least eight new science-credentialed candidates were elected: one senator and seven members of the House. Jacky Rosen, a computer programmer who positioned herself as a moderate Democrat, beat her Republican opponent, Dean Heller, in the US Senate race in Nevada.Chrissy Houlahan, an industrial engineer, Democrat, and Air Force veteran, won the House seat in Pennsylvania's 6th District.In South Carolina  Joe Cunningham, an ocean scientist, defeated the Republican hopeful Katie Arrington. Sean Casten, a biochemical engineer, defeated Rep. Peter Roskam, the Republican incumbent, in Illinois.Elaine Luria, a nuclear engineer, won her House seat in Virginia. In Illinois' 14th District, Lauren Underwood, a registered nurse, unseated Randy Hultgren. The only new Republican scientist in Congress so far is Oklahoman Kevin Hern, a former aerospace engineer and businessman who handily beat his Democratic challenger.


Mass. High Court Considers Whether Farm Workers Should've Gotten Overtime Pay

New England Public Radio | Posted on November 8, 2018

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Monday took up the definitions of farming and agriculture.  And those two terms are central to whether some former workers should have received overtime pay at a Whatley, Massachusetts, company that produces bean sprouts.Farm workers in the state receive a lower minimum wage than others, and are not eligible for overtime pay.Attorney Susan Garcia Nofi represents the employees, and said they should have received overtime since they worked in the processing plant at Chang Enterprises. "The employees in this case did not work in the growing rooms, they did not grow or harvest bean sprouts," Garcia Nofi said. "They performed post-harvest work in a factory-like setting."But Chang's attorney, Sandra Lundy, argued the justices should go along with a lower court's interpretation of farming.