Tag: reform

Haiti – Politic : Constitutional reform and elections, the Senate advocates dialogue


Haiti – Politic : Constitutional reform and elections, the Senate advocates dialogue
08/10/2020 10:51:27

Haiti - Politic : Constitutional reform and elections, the Senate advocates dialogue

In a note, the Senators of the Republic advocate dialogue and consultation to facilitate constitutional reform and the organization of elections.

Note from the Haitian Senate :

“The Senate is very attentive and very sensitive to the opinions expressed by the various sectors of national life on the presidential decree of September 18, 2020 appointing the members of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-31835-haiti-flash-appointment-of-cep-members-and-mandate.html

Subjects so delicate as constitutional revision or general elections deserve to be treated with wisdom and serenity and above all with a strong dose of patriotism and a very high sense of national interest.

The halt or the delay arranged by the abstention of the Court of Cassation from receiving the oath of the advisers offers to all the actors animated by a sincere and resolute patriotism the opportunity of a deep reflection and an honest approach to the search for a constructive agreement on this great file of collective importance.

The Senate of the Republic invites all actors, protagonists and antagonists, to objectively assess the data of this perilous situation and to urgently take the path of dialogue and consultation for a lasting solution to the recurring crises which maintain the country in chaos, political instability and the pangs of poverty.

Aside any plans for reform or constitutional revision, local authorities need to regain popular legitimacy to fully enjoy their autonomy in the exercise of their mandate, and Parliament to regain its full strength to fulfill its fundamental mission of legislation and control and to restore the balance of power.

The Senate remains convinced that dialogue and consultation constitute the nourishing sap of democracy and the rule of law and remain the only way likely to bring the country back to respect for the rules of the democratic game and promote political stability, social peace and economic growth.”

HL/ HaitiLibre

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Lamont Signs Utility Reform Bill Into Law

CONNECTICUT — Gov. Ned Lamont signed Connecticut’s electric utility reform bill into law Wednesday. The law will implement performance-based incentives for electric utilities instead of a flat-rate investment. The bill received near-unanimous support in the state House of Representatives and Senate.

“Utility companies provide a critical service that can quite literally mean life or death in certain situations, and ratepayers deserve a level of respect that puts them above profits,” Lamont said in a statement. “I congratulate Senator Needleman, Representative Arconti, Senator Formica, Representative Ferraro, and subject-matter experts and stakeholders across the state on sending a bill to my desk that sets Connecticut firmly on the path toward tying utility rates to utility companies’ performance.”

The bill was spurred by a few factors. Tropical Storm Isaias knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of electric customers across the state with some people not getting power back for a week or more. Municipal leaders were particularly critical of Eversource’s communication with town crews on restoration efforts.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority opened up an investigation into Eversource and United Illuminating’s preparation for the storm. Eversource had underestimated the storm’s impact and only forecasted up to 380,000 outages when the number was more than double that, according to the CT Mirror. UI’s forecast was accurate.

Eversource and UI also came under fire for not reimbursing customers for spoiled food caused by long-term power outages despite other nearby utilities providing relief for their customers. The bill includes a mandatory reimbursement process for outages lasting more than 96 hours.

Eversource also increased its electric rate over the summer. Many customers had sticker shock over bills due to the rate increase and a record-setting hot summer. More people were also spending time at home during peak A/C hours due to the coronavirus pandemic and offices being closed.

Connecticut’s electric rates are among the highest in the continental U.S., according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Eversource’s five highest-paid executives received around $40 million in total compensation in 2019, according to reports from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Some state legislators, including legislative Energy and Technology Committee Chair Sen. Norm Needleman went as far as calling for Eversource CEO James Judge to resign after the storm response. Lamont didn’t call for Judge’s resignation and said that the company has been through several CEOs since storm Sandy, but not much had changed.

The state Office of Legislative Research has analyzed different aspects of the bill. Below is a summary of some parts of the bill:

Account credits for outages and food/medicine reimbursement
Starting July 1, 2021, Electric companies will need to credit customers $25 per day for customers that have outages for more than 96 consecutive hours.
Residential customers can also be compensated with $250 for food or medication that expires or spoils for outages lasting more than 96 consecutive hours after an emergency.
Electric utilities won’t be able to recover the costs of reimbursement through rate increases.

Financial performance incentives
The state Public

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Liquor law reform could provide Maryland a triple-dose of post-pandemic help

Two alcohol-related proposals have been floating around The Sun’s opinion pages in recent weeks that, while entirely different in nature, deserve to be unconventionally paired: Like a crisp rosé wine with an aged Gouda, they can make each other better. The first would raise the statewide sales tax on alcohol for 9% to 10%. The second would allow chain stores to sell alcoholic beverages so that you could not only buy your dinner at Safeway, you could pick up a six-pack to go with it. The former is likely to reduce sales of wine, beer and liquor; the second to potentially expand them. But it’s actually quite a bit more complicated than that and, fortunately, the implications are almost entirely positive.

Let’s start with some perspective. First, Maryland is not now an especially high alcohol tax state. A 2018 survey by the Tax Foundation ranked Maryland 31st among the 50 states in taxes on distilled spirits. The ranking on wine and beer taxes is higher (just in the top quintile) but still less than many southern states. But what Maryland does have is significant evidence of alcohol and drug abuse. Drug- and alcohol-related deaths increased 9% in the first half of this year; the coronavirus apparently contributing to the problem. Opioids represent the biggest share of that but don’t discount alcohol. Surveys suggest both sales and consumption are up substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic and with them all the associated risks — impaired driving, domestic abuse, underage drinking and on and on.

Meanwhile, Maryland is going to need at least two things if the economy is going to continue to recover. It’s going to have to address projected state budget deficits in the next two fiscal years, and it’s going to need to help boost the struggling retail economy. Some would prefer to solve the budget shortfall through cuts in services alone but given voter attachment to K-12 public education spending, that’s unlikely to pair well with school systems that are already struggling to meet student needs with online learning. Are they going to layoff teachers next year? Cut salaries? Increase classroom sizes? Delaying Kirwan’s boost to education is one thing, starving students just when they need the support most is another.

The final piece to this puzzle is the opportunity presented by expanded liquor sales. Obviously, this would loosen the headlock that liquor stores have on alcohol sales in much of the state, but disrupting that monopoly is a good thing. Not only would it be convenient for consumers, but the companies that stand to benefit from this deregulation have already promised to hire hundreds more workers. And it might even help Baltimore attract grocery stores to its food desserts while simultaneously starving those corner liquor stores that tend to attract crime. That would be a well-deserved win-win for the city.

Admittedly, this might be a bit much to ask of what amounts to some modest tinkering with Maryland’s rather convoluted liquor laws. And it won’t net

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UK government says it will reform ‘broken’ asylum system

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s interior minister vowed Sunday to stop people entering the country clandestinely and to fix what she called a “broken” asylum system, echoing commitments that have been made and broken by U.K. governments for years.



FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 file photo, Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel addresses the delegates at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, England. Britain’s interior minister vowed Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020 to stop people entering the country clandestinely and to fix what she called a “broken” asylum system, echoing commitments that have been made and broken by U.K. governments for years. Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government would bring in new laws so it could “stop those who come here illegally making endless legal claims to remain” and “expedite the removal of those who have no claim for protection.” (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)


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FILE – In this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 file photo, Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel addresses the delegates at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, England. Britain’s interior minister vowed Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020 to stop people entering the country clandestinely and to fix what she called a “broken” asylum system, echoing commitments that have been made and broken by U.K. governments for years. Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government would bring in new laws so it could “stop those who come here illegally making endless legal claims to remain” and “expedite the removal of those who have no claim for protection.” (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government would bring in new laws so it could “stop those who come here illegally making endless legal claims to remain” and “expedite the removal of those who have no claim for protection.”

Patel said in a speech to a virtual Conservative Party conference that the changes would be “the biggest overhaul of our asylum system in decades.”

She said Britain would continue to “provide safe haven to those fleeing persecution, oppression or tyranny.”

Patel’s hardline rhetoric was designed to appeal to voters concerned at a surge in the number of people crossing the English Channel from France in small boats. Thousands have made the journey this year, most over the summer.

Opposition Labour Party immigration spokesman Nick Thomas-Symonds said the Conservatives were “devoid of compassion and competence” on immigration.

Migrants have long used northern France as a launching point to reach Britain by stowing away in trucks or on ferries. Many appear to have turned to small boats organized by smugglers during the coronavirus pandemic because virus restrictions have reduced vehicle traffic between France and Britain.

Patel’s speech follows reports in recent weeks that the government considered ideas including building a wave machine in the Channel to deter boats and processing asylum-seekers on Ascension Island, a remote volcanic island more than 4,000 miles (6,435 kilometers) from the U.K.

The government dismissed some of the more far-fetched claims, but Patel said she would “explore all practical measures and options to deter illegal migration.”

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UK Government Says It Will Reform ‘Broken’ Asylum System | World News

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s interior minister vowed Sunday to stop people entering the country clandestinely and to fix what she called a “broken” asylum system, echoing commitments that have been made and broken by U.K. governments for years.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government would bring in new laws so it could “stop those who come here illegally making endless legal claims to remain” and “expedite the removal of those who have no claim for protection.”

Patel said in a speech to a virtual Conservative Party conference that the changes would be “the biggest overhaul of our asylum system in decades.”

She said Britain would continue to “provide safe haven to those fleeing persecution, oppression or tyranny.”

Patel’s hardline rhetoric was designed to appeal to voters concerned at a surge in the number of people crossing the English Channel from France in small boats. Thousands have made the journey this year, most over the summer.

Opposition Labour Party immigration spokesman Nick Thomas-Symonds said the Conservatives were “devoid of compassion and competence” on immigration.

Migrants have long used northern France as a launching point to reach Britain by stowing away in trucks or on ferries. Many appear to have turned to small boats organized by smugglers during the coronavirus pandemic because virus restrictions have reduced vehicle traffic between France and Britain.

Patel’s speech follows reports in recent weeks that the government considered ideas including building a wave machine in the Channel to deter boats and processing asylum-seekers on Ascension Island, a remote volcanic island more than 4,000 miles (6,435 kilometers) from the U.K.

The government dismissed some of the more far-fetched claims, but Patel said she would “explore all practical measures and options to deter illegal migration.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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New California probation law celebrated by reform group founded by Jay-Z, Meek Mill and Michael Rubin

REFORM Alliance, the criminal justice reform organization co-founded by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, rapper Meek Mill, entrepreneur Michael Rubin and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, is celebrating its first significant legislative victory this week: a probation reform bill signed into law by California’s governor. 

“It’s an incredible step forward in fixing our broken probation system,” Rubin told Yahoo News in a video interview. “Today there’s 6.7 million people in the criminal justice system, 4.5 million people on probation and 2.2 million in prison. There’s been so much good work done on fixing some of the problems on the prison and jail issues, but there’s been really nobody focused on how do you fix probation? How do you fix parole?”

AB 1950, signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday, will limit adult probation sentences to a maximum of one year for misdemeanor offenses and two years for felony offenses. Advocates argue that the change will reduce needless probation violations.



Gavin Newsom wearing a suit and tie: Gavin Newsom, governor of California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)


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Gavin Newsom, governor of California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

“Americans across the country took to the streets this summer rightfully demanding more and better of our criminal justice system — and of ourselves,” Newsom said in a statement. “We heard those calls for action loud and clear.”

REFORM Alliance was inspired by Philadelphia-native Mill’s personal experiences with the probation system. Mill has spent his entire adult life on probation, going in and out of prison for technical violations without committing a crime. 

“The REFORM Alliance has a goal of getting a minimum of 1 million people that don’t belong in the system out of the system within five years from when we started at the beginning of 2019,” Rubin said. “There’s been tons of research that’s proven once someone’s after a year or two on probation, there’s really no incremental benefit. There’s just lots of costs. So what we want to do is help people that are on probation to truly rehabilitate themselves and move forward in life and step forward and not focus on just keeping people stuck in the system.”



Michael Rubin, Meek Mill posing for the camera: Meek Mill & Michael Rubin at Philadelphia Municipal Services Building. (Getty Images)


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Meek Mill & Michael Rubin at Philadelphia Municipal Services Building. (Getty Images)

Rubin hopes this California bill will push other states to also change probation and parole laws. 

“As an owner of a sports team or successful person in business, you have a huge responsibility to make a difference,” said Rubin, a part-owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. “And for me, I can tell you, sometimes you need a moment that opens your mind. To be honest, it was sitting in court with Meek three years ago when I watched a good friend of mine, who didn’t commit a crime, get sent to prison for two to four years. And that’s what got me on such a mission to help change the broken probation and parole laws. But I can tell you that the players alone, they can’t get things changed without the help of everyone

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Marijuana law reform a grassroots effort | Opinion

By John Wanless

I am writing in response to the recent opinion piece titled “The selling of New Jersey’s recreational marijuana referendum,” by Tom Haedrich.

Mr. Haedrich begins his article with: “Deep-pocketed special interests are so assured of New Jersey voters passing the upcoming recreational marijuana referendum that pungent smoke is already wafting through the halls of Trenton.” Thus, Haedrich frames the issue as if unscrupulous, rich investors were the driving force behind marijuana legalization. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Marijuana law reform has been a 100 percent grassroots movement for decades. In fact, we would beg the growers and sellers to support us, but, at best, they would just ignore us. Worse, in every state, we had to fight a loud contingent of greedy marijuana sellers who didn’t want legalization because they feared they would lose money, or even their “business.” It is not until just recently, when we are at the cusp of victory, that some black-market growers are jumping on the legalization bandwagon.

Later on, Haedrich actually puts out false information about marijuana when he asks how “pot proponents can justify legalization in the middle of a pandemic crisis with a deadly coronavirus that attacks, damages and can destroy the human respiratory system.”

Does he really not know that smoking marijuana is just one method of consuming? Edibles and concentrates are increasingly popular.

He continues: “While some claim that cannabis is no more harmful than tobacco, the two are not equal. Due to cultural ‘joint’ sharing, frequent deep inhalation, and immunity compromising factors, marijuana can be much more damaging to a person’s lungs and overall health.”

In truth, the country’s leading researcher of marijuana and lung disease, UCLA’s Dr. Donald Tashkin, conducted investigations over 30 years, initially believing there must be a causal relationship. But he finally concluded that smoking marijuana does not cause cancer or any other serious disease.

Tashkin said:  “We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use. What we found instead was no association at all, and even some suggestion of a protective effect.”

This has been confirmed by all subsequent research. Research shows tobacco use directly causes more than 100,000 deaths every year, in the U.S. alone. No one has ever died from consuming marijuana.

Haedrich must be getting his “information” from prohibitionists who deal in deception and propaganda.  Vaporization is another method of consumption that does not involve smoke and has zero impact on the lungs or the rest of the body.

Haedrich concludes: “While Biden is strongly opposed to legalization, both (he and Kamala Harris) are pledged to actively pursue decriminalization and expungement, a position that has broad and growing support throughout the country.”

Polls show 67 percent of all Americans support legalization, not just decriminalization. Kamala Harris is the co-sponsor of complete, federal re-legalization in the senate. Biden is the only one of the 20-plus Democratic primary candidates that does

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