Thursday, June 30, 2016

FDA Should Broaden Use Of Real-World Data, Report Says - Law360

OTHERWISE: FDA Should Broaden Use Of Real-World Data, Report Says - Law360

Paternalism, Self-Governance, and Public Health: The Case of E-Cigarettes by Wendy E. Parmet :: SSRN

Paternalism, Self-Governance, and Public Health: The Case of E-Cigarettes by Wendy E. Parmet :: SSRN

This article develops a normative framework for assessing public health laws, using the regulation of e-cigarettes as a case study. Although e-cigarettes are likely far less dangerous to individual users than traditional cigarettes, it remains uncertain whether their proliferation will lead to a reduction of smoking-related disease and deaths or to increased morbidity and mortality. This scientific uncertainty presents regulators with difficult challenges in determining whether and how to regulate e-cigarettes. This article presents a normative framework for analyzing such questions by offering three justifications for public health laws: impaired agency, harm to others, and self-governance. Each justification responds to the common charge that public health laws are impermissibly paternalistic. The self-governance rationale, which is the most robust, and most reflective of public health’s own population perspective, has been the least theorized. This article develops that theory, examining the basis for the justification as well as its limitations. The article then applies its normative framework to the regulation of e-cigarettes, focusing on the FDA’s so-called deeming regulations, which at the time the article was written were pending but have since been promulgated in a substantially similar form...The article supports the FDA’s ultimate decision to ban the sales of e-cigarettes to minors and to require the disclosure of warning labels based upon the impaired agency rationale. However, the scientific uncertainty renders the harm rationale inadequate. As a result, the regulations’ pre-market review requirement must rely on the self-governance rationale for its normative justification. Given the lack of clear legislative guidance and political engagement, the article concludes that the pre-market review provisions are normatively problematic: if public health advocates want to claim the mantle of self-governance, they must take it seriously.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Another All-Out Brawl Over School Funding Is Brewing In Kansas

Another All-Out Brawl Over School Funding Is Brewing In Kansas

Having directed lawmakers to make education funding fairer to poor areas, the Kansas Supreme Court will next consider the larger issue of whether the state spends enough overall on its schools. The justices could rule by early next year; a trial-court panel said the state must increase its annual aid by at least $548 million.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and the GOP-dominated Legislature's leaders already have committed to rewriting school funding laws next year. Besides overhauling how money is distributed among the state's 286 local districts, they also want to rethink academic standards and use state funds to improve students' performance.

Kansas is likely to remain mired in the budget problems that have plagued it since Brownback persuaded lawmakers to slash personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013. Any large increase in school spending — whether to comply with a court order or smooth the way for a new funding formula — would require lawmakers to reconsider his signature tax cuts.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Democrats to Christie on his school funding shake-up: No way |

 Democrats to Christie on his school funding shake-up: No way |
One might think that Abbott XXI settled the fight over parity in New Jersey' education expenditures.  That would be wrong.  Gov. Christie has proposed a new Constitutional amendment that would equalize education spending - eliminating all remedial measures. - gwc

by Susan Livio

TRENTON — The sweeping overhaul of the school funding formula Gov. Chris Christie announced on Tuesday requires the New Jersey Legislature to let voters adopt it by amending the state constitution in November 2017.
But judging from the immediate reaction from the Democrats who control the Statehouse, the governor should expect a bitter fight.
"This plan is unfair, it is unjust and it is blatantly unconstitutional," according to a statement by state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and state Sen. Theresa Ruiz (D-Essex), chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee.
The governor announced the "Fairness Formula," a plan that would provide every school district with $6,599 per student and scrap the court-ordered methodology that favors low-income urban school districts.
Christie said the proposal would give three-quarters of all districts an increase in state aid, translating into a huge dose of property tax relief. For a state with the highest property taxes in the nation, the idea is likely to gain interest, especially as he plans to campaign for it in towns across the state.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Separated at Birth - Thomas Edsall - The New York Times

Do the courts have any responsiblity for this? Any role in changing it?  Should they?

Separated at Birth - The New York Times

by Thomas Edsall

report recently released by the Russell Sage Foundation — “Opportunity, Mobility, and Increased Inequality” — concludes
that 60 percent of those born into a bottom-quintile family will themselves be in the bottom two quintiles of the income distribution at age forty, and that 56 percent of those born into a top-quintile family will be in the top two quintiles of the distribution at age forty.
If we focus just on the least well off, the United States today is moving toward “increasing inequality of opportunity,” with the gains over the past several decades for those in the bottom of the income distribution modest, at best, or non-existent.