Cremation and the Indigent

The state of Oregon took one step closer last week to providing a more sound financial protection for the state’s professional funeral directors.Oregon’s HB 3243,which was referred to the subcommittee on Human Services on Friday, June 12, addresses many of the weaknesses in current law that directly affect funeral homes that provide funeral services for the indigent.

As It Is Today

Current Oregon law has led to a system that has convoluted custody and cost obligations when it comes to the state’s deceased, a broken system of reimbursement for the funeral directors who undertake end-of-life care for the indigent, and a regulating body that is not expert in this particular field. Continue reading Cremation and the Indigent

School Administrator accused of DUI after the Field Trip

A Sevier County school employee is currently facing a DUI charge for she was driving 14 children to a swimming party in Maryville whilst intoxicated – authorities said.

According to The King’s Academy, Toni Gioioso had worked at the school as an administrative assistant from the past 16 years.

Gioioso was stopped around about 11:50 am by the Sevier County deputies when they received a call for “reckless driving” on the highway 411 on Thursday. She was driving a King’s Academy van, according to the president Walter Grubb and headmaster.

The Deputies noted that Gioioso was crossing the double-yellow lines several times, nearly hitting several people almost killing them. When authorities turned on their emergency lights, she passed through many safe stopping locations before she finally stopped on the Chapman. Continue reading School Administrator accused of DUI after the Field Trip

US Rep Rodney Davis Intends to Reintroduce the Opportunity KNOCKS Act

Recently, US Representative Rodney Davis ® spoke with students at the Richland Community College Workforce Development Institute about his plans to reintroduce his Kindling New Options for Career and Knowledge Seekers (KNOCKS) Act in the House. The Act seeks to enable people to collect unemployment benefits while in an educational facility where they were being retrained for a new job. According to Davis, workers who have been dislocated from their job should have the opportunity to retrain and transition without worrying they will lose unemployment benefits.  Continue reading US Rep Rodney Davis Intends to Reintroduce the Opportunity KNOCKS Act

Criminal Justice Reform and Asset Forfeiture Looks to Be a Big Part of the 2016 Campaign

The discussion recently surrounding legal reform has been one of excitement and surprise, given that the leading proponent of this is a Republican by the name of Rand Paul.

From newsrooms to blog, the catch phrase “Only Nixon could go to China” is being applied to Paul on this issue and many hope the adage will ring true. Currently, Paul has several bills being passed around the Senate floor that apply to criminal justice. One of the more popular bills with the public regards the treatment of non-violent offenders and offers reform by way of reducing sentences, removing federal mandatory minimums, restoration of voting rights and gun ownership. The other has focused on his desire to reduce the use of asset forfeiture on the part of the government prior to trial. Paul believes that this is a violation of the principles of “presumption of innocence.” Continue reading Criminal Justice Reform and Asset Forfeiture Looks to Be a Big Part of the 2016 Campaign

Supreme Court Case Recaps

As the Supreme Court came back in session last week, the media focused on their denial to hear any of seven separate petitions regarding same-sex marriage and their interjection into Wisconsin’s voter ID laws. For those paying closer attention, however, there were some interesting happenings during week 1 of oral arguments. G. Todd Houck, provides some case recaps below.

Criminals Have Rights

Many people assume (wrongly!) that incarceration following a conviction by the state includes complete forfeiture of one’s rights. While a convicted felon’s rights are severely curtailed, the United States Constitution provides that each of us possesses certain rights that cannot be granted nor taken away.

The state of Arkansas argued last week against allowing inmates, regardless of their reasoning, for growing even a half-inch of facial hair. Citing security reasons, such as hiding contraband or easily manipulating one’s appearance post-escape, the state of Arkansas was met with derision by Justice Samuel Alito, who assured the state’s lawyers that a small comb would sufficiently flush out any contraband. “If there’s anything in there, if there’s a SIM card in there or a revolver or anything else you think can be hidden in a half-inch beard, a tiny revolver, it’ll fall out,” the justice proffered to a smattering of laughter in the gallery.  Continue reading Supreme Court Case Recaps

Laws and Policies Aims to Increase Happiness?

Laws and policies are described in many dictionaries and it is possible to find many descriptions and ideas of what is the true purpose of laws and policies. Theodore Roosevelt has said, that “No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.”

The first question to oneself was – what is happiness? Am I happy? And what has made me happy. All these questions, I believe, many people have asked themselves. Meeting people every day also made the author come to another question about happiness. There are people who have a lot of money and they can afford to spend it as it please, going on vacations in the middle of winter and spending these vacations in five star hotels. Many of these people also are art collectors and enthusiastic theatre visitors. But many of these do not enjoy theatre, opera, art or music, making them loses a way of broadening one’s horizons. I have been raised in an environment that does not allow not attending theatre and opera because it makes people more intelligent. You do not always have to be extraordinary smart to be intelligent. And even with little money and interest in it, it is possible. I believe that it is more important than money, but I have been challenged by this idea very often. Even Oscar Wilde has written: “When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.”  Continue reading Laws and Policies Aims to Increase Happiness?

Why the Minimum Wage Hurts Everyone and Causes Unemployment

Supporters of a higher minimum wage incorrectly believe that it will help teenagers and minorities. This post is a somewhat brief overview of why and how the minimum wage and the raising thereof actually hurts low-skilled workers in terms of unemployment.

On the surface level, raising the minimum wage increases the cost of labor across the board and makes it more expensive for firms to hire workers. At first glance (the only glance Washington ever takes), raising the minimum wage is very attractive to the average person and to politicians. It’ll put more money in the pockets of a low-skilled laborer, they say. Upon analysis using some basic principles of economics, however, the proposition seems the opposite of beneficial. Continue reading Why the Minimum Wage Hurts Everyone and Causes Unemployment

The Alarming Rate of Drinking and Driving Facts That Will Make You Cringe

The alarming rate of drinking and driving in Georgia

The Georgia Governor’s Office for Highway Safety tracks the number of traffic related deaths occurring statewide. In 2008, there were 1,459 occurrences in the state of Georgia, with 416 of those fatalities being alcohol impaired related fatalities. There are 159 counties in the state of Georgia. Of those 159 counties, Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Cobb counties experienced the highest number of alcohol fatalities. Below are the 2008 statistics involving Metro Atlanta counties where driving under the influence (“DUI”) was a factor. Continue reading The Alarming Rate of Drinking and Driving Facts That Will Make You Cringe

Benefits of Hiring a Business Attorney For a Startup

Every startup is different, but all startups have a few things in common. Most notably, startups typically have limited finances and learn to cut corners when possible. When forming a startup, it can be tempting to forego hiring an attorney until you get into a situation when you feel you absolutely need legal representation. Unfortunately, that’s typically months or years too late – by then you’ve missed out on valuable legal aid and advice during the critical early days of your startup. The benefits of hiring an experienced business attorney for your startup typically outweigh the costs, and include things like:

Help with Critical Initial Decisions When Forming Your Company

When you’re forming a business, it’s not just important to get the documents worded and executed properly; it’s also critical to make the right decisions about where and how you’re forming your company. Do you need an LLC or an S-Corporation? What are the costs and benefits of starting your business in New York vs. California? (Here’s a hint – forming a LLC instead of a corporation in New York costs your company a $1,600 “publication fee.”) When you hire an experienced business attorney right from the beginning, you get vital advice about those critical early decisions in your startup – decisions that can make or break your company down the road. Continue reading Benefits of Hiring a Business Attorney For a Startup