December 15, 2009 |
Watching the often vitriolic debates in Congress these days can be disturbing. But disagreement and debate are part of our national DNA. Consider the Bill of Rights, which was as controversial when it was first debated as parts of it still are today. FOR THE RECORD: Rights: An Op-Ed article Monday on the Bill of Rights said it was ratified 118 years ago. It was ratified 218 years ago. — The founders of our country, united in the revolution, were divided over the issue of including a bill of rights in the Constitution of 1787.
July 22, 2013 |
Probably nothing causes members of Congress more unease than having to talk about death. It's only been four years since healthcare reform became more about whether President Obama wanted to throw mama from a train via “death panels” than, well, how best to reform a broken healthcare system. Still, there are several representatives from both parties who want to discuss it. Since 2009, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) has been pushing a bill that would require Medicare coverage for an optional end-of-life consultation between a patient and a doctor every five years (more often if the patient's health declines)
February 20, 2014 |
TUCSON -- Say a gay couple in Phoenix walks into a bakery to order their wedding cake. The baker refuses to take their order because of his deeply held religious beliefs. Under a measure that passed the Arizona Legislature this week, the baker would have greater protection to invoke religion to shield himself from a discrimination lawsuit. The bill, approved by the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday and the GOP-led House on Thursday, would bolster a business owner's right to refuse service to gays and others if the owner believes doing so violates the practice and observance of his or her religion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2013 |
For many people living in the United States illegally, news Tuesday of a sweeping immigration overhaul bill elicited feelings of relief and guarded optimism. For Maria Galvan, 43, it meant she might be able to finally stop working odd jobs, like the one at a curtain factory. Maybe she can even open her own hair salon, a dream she had all but abandoned. And maybe, with some time, she can train herself not to slam on the brakes every time she sees a policeman. “It makes me happy to know we're being heard,” said Galvan, who crossed into the country illegally through Tijuana 13 years ago. “If this happens, it will be such a relief.” For Galvan- - and most of the 11 million others in the country without authorization- - the newly unveiled bill paves a 13-year-path toward citizenship and creates a new probationary legal status that would let people work and drive in the country without the fear of deportation.
January 11, 2013
Several weeks ago, state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) proposed a sweeping set of protections for the homeless that have sparked almost as much controversy as the homeless themselves. The Homeless Person's Bill of Rights and Fairness Act, as AB 5 is titled, would guarantee the homeless the right to live in public much as other people do in their homes. They could sit, sleep, move about and engage in "life-sustaining activities that must be carried out in public spaces because of homelessness," such as eating, urinating and collecting trash to recycle.
April 23, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO -- Nearly 100 chanting and placard-waving union members marched to a downtown Sacramento office tower in a staged and futile attempt to serve a $240 million bill on the California Chamber of Commerce. The "invoice," union officials said, represented the amount of unpaid wages awarded by the state labor commissioner's office to workers that went uncollected from 2008 to 2011. The Service Employees International Union is sponsoring a bill aimed at preventing so-called wage theft.