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Fewer New Laws, Disability Regulations and Bottled Water Bans

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Fewer New Laws, Disability Regulations and Bottled Water Bans

The current Congress has passed the fewest number of new laws in twenty years.

The U.S. Justice Department finds that more than 100,000 apartments in New York City alone may have to be redesigned for the disabled.

Canadian officials ban bottled water sales at city-run facilities and buildings.

More headlines: listen to the CEI Weekly Podcast.

1. POLITICS

The current Congress has passed the fewest number of new laws in twenty years.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: President Fred L. Smith on the pros and cons of political change:

“…effort is no guarantee of success. A Republican team roared into Washington in 1994 with an ambitious reform agenda, but became mired in the bogs of Washington. Yet this is not necessarily cause for pessimism. America’s political system has a built-in propensity for inertia—and that’s to the good. It slows positive change, but it also slows negative trends. The Founders enshrined checks and balances into the Constitution to ensure that we would look carefully before rushing into new areas.”

 

2. LEGAL

The U.S. Justice Department finds that more than 100,000 apartments in New York City alone may have to be redesigned for the disabled.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Special Projects Counsel Hans Bader on the impact of the ruling:

“The language of the Americans with Disabilities Act is both vague and extremely complicated, causing huge headaches for employers, landlords, and public accommodations. Today’s New York Times brings word that the Justice Department is demanding that apartment buildings in New York City constructed since 1991 be redesigned, at enormous expense, to accommodate small numbers of disabled people. The irony is that the building owners already spent hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure compliance with New York City’s own disabilities-discrimination law, Local Law 58, which was viewed by many as being more exacting than the ADA. Now, 100,000 apartments may need to be redesigned in New York City alone.”

 

3. HEALTH

Canadian officials ban bottled water sales at city-run facilities and buildings.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of Risk and Environmental Policy Angela Logomasini on the important differences between tap and bottled water:

“Federal law demands that bottled water regulations be ‘at least as stringent’ as tap water regulations. In fact, FDA bottled water regulations are nearly identical to EPA tap water regulations. Regulatory differences arise when the tap water regulations—which must address potential contamination from the pipes unlike bottled water—do not make sense for bottled water. Regulatory standards aside, tap water and bottled water are not the same. If anything, tap water poses greater risks than bottled water (although the vast majority of tap water remains quite safe) because it is transported via pipes in which it can become contaminated.”

 

Listen to the CEI Weekly Podcast here.