Creating Public Health Law
11/21/2019 4:06:10 PM
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8 1.5 spaced (2696 words)
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Several legislators in New York State have placed the following topics at the top of their legislative agendas for the upcoming session: curbing the obesity epidemic, expanding tobacco control, and creating healthier housing. Prior to the start of the session they are interested in understanding the regulatory frameworks that will define the legally permissible scope and reach of any proposed policy interventions. Each of you must develop a comprehensive report to assist a specific lawmaker in his or here fforts to develop public health policy proposals that are likely to withstand legal challenges.The report itself should:(a)clearly present a policy proposal that will address the public health issue at hand;(b)clearly articulate any legal challenge(s)that the proposal may provoke;(c)identify the legal framework(s)that will govern the dispute;(d)clearly present the arguments, resolution, and implication of all relevant court cases (for the sake of this exercise, Supreme Court cases and cases from any state court that has addressed the same or similar issue will be relevant);(e)conclude with a well-developed model policy that is likely to pass judicial review. Final reports should be no longer than 8pages(1.5 line spacing, 11 point font or larger)and should be the product of individual effort. Getting StartedThe following resources may be useful as you begin to develop your report:FindLaw (http://public.findlaw.com/): legal news, commentary and additional law-related resources. Easy way to find court opinions if you know party names.Project VoteSmart (http://www.votesmart.org/index.htm): voting records of state and national public officials, including state supreme court and US Supreme Court justicesLexisNexis PICK ONE TOPIC: AcademicTopic1:The Obesity Epidemic and RestaurantRegulationConcerned about the obesity epidemic and the related health implications and costs, communities around the country are looking at ways to encourage healthier eating. On average, Americans eat as many as a third of their meals in restaurants. Consequently, many local and state governments are looking for strategies to improve the health of the food offered in restaurants. For example, prior to the adoption of the Affordable Care Act –which mandates that chain restaurants provide nutrition information to consumers –New York City, San Francisco, and Philadelphia adopted laws requiring certain restaurants to disclose calorie counts on menus. Other cities have used their zoning power to limit the availability of fast food. Los Angeles recently adopted a zoning law that restricts the density of stand-alone fast food restaurants in an area within the city. Concord, Massachusetts, and Calistoga, California, have banned fast food restaurants entirely.Other communities have focused more on programmatic efforts. Somerville, Massachusetts, for example, has implemented a “healthy restaurant program,” offering incentives to restaurants that agree to provide consumers with a certain number of entrées that meet particular health standards. In exchange for offering consumers the healthier meals, restaurants receive benefits, such as training and free publicity. Regardless of the approach, community members need to understand the regulatory framework that governs restaurants so their approach conforms to the law. Restaurants are regulated by federal, state, and local laws. Understanding this framework can ensure that communities adopt strategies that comport with the law and therefore have a stronger likelihood of success. New York State Senator Coogans has commissioned atask force to develop areport. Topic2:Regulating Electronic SmokingDevicesE-Cigarette use is on the rise in cities across New YorkState and both local and state governments would like to regulate the use and sale of Electronic Smoking Devices (also known as electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or electronic nicotine delivery systems) and their component parts. By restricting the use of electronic smoking devices in places where smoking is prohibited, they hope to protect their residents from involuntary exposure to the secondhand byproducts of electronic smoking devices, such as vapor; reduce the likelihood that children will associate the use of electronic smoking devices with healthful behavior; and reduce the likelihood that smoking in public places and places of employment will become “re-normalized.” By regulating how electronic smoking devices and their component parts are sold, cities and counties can help promote compliance with local laws regulating business practices, and reduce youth access to electronic smoking devices. New YorkState Representative Morris would like a comprehensive report on legallegislative optionsthat go further than any existing legislative or regulatory efforts. Topic 3:Health and Rental HousingInspectionsPoor housing can contribute to -or even cause -a wide array of health problems for children, adults, and the elderly. When compared to owner-occupied housing, rental housing is more likely to be in substandard condition. Depending on the type and location of the rental unit, tenants are frequently at higher-than-average risk of being exposed to significant health problems due to lead poisoning, as well as contracting asthma and other respiratory conditions from exposure to mold, pests, and other allergens. Elderly residents can experience increased rates of injury or mortality. Commonly, rental code enforcement is complaint based: at the request of a tenant, a code enforcement officer is dispatched to perform an inspection of a unit or property. If the complaint is validated, the officer will beginenforcement proceedings. New YorkState Representative Windows would a like a report that presents legal alternatives to the current case-by-case approach to rental code enforcement; a policy that is likely to increase compliance and address the issue of sub-standard housing more systematically.
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