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July 2012 — CDC Public Health Law News


Thursday, July 19, 2012

From the Public Health Law Program,
Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Director's Note

The Fifty Nifty is back by popular demand! We at the CDC Public Health Law News consider July the perfect month to consider how public health law affects all 50 states of our 236 year-old union. Just as the United States Constitution established the legal framework for our great nation, so too do laws in the 50 states establish the framework for modern public health practice. In this issue, we highlight this mighty framework with stories from all of our sister states. Enjoy!

Matthew S. Penn, Director
Public Health Law Program


  1. New Swimming Code Language Available for Public Comment. CDC and industry experts have developed the Model Aquatic Health Code. This is a guidance document that can help make swimming and other water activities safer. The Model Aquatic Health Code offers guidelines for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of public swimming pools, hot tubs, spas, waterparks, and other aquatic facilities. "The Lifeguarding and Bather Supervision" module of the code is open for public comment through July 30, 2012. The module contains requirements for unguarded and guarded aquatic facilities, general requirements for lifeguard training, and more. Review the Lifeguarding and Bather Supervision Module.
  2. NALBOH 20th Annual Conference: The National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH) is hosting “NALBOH 20th Annual Conference: Celebrating Achievements and Shaping the Future,” which will take place August 8-10 in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference will provide board of health members and other public health professionals with information about past public health achievements, current public health priorities, and the role of governance in shaping the future of public health. The conference features several workshops on public health law, including a workshop provided by CDC’s Public Health Law Program on “Public Health Law Opportunities and Applications in Winnable Battles.” Find more information about the about NALBOH, the conference, register and view the program for NALBOH’s 20th Annual Conference.
  3. 2012 Public Health Law Conference. The Network for Public Health Law is hosting "2012 Public Health Law Conference: Practical Approaches to Critical Challenges," October 10–12, 2012 at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Early registration at a discounted rate is open through September 12, 2012. The conference will include several concurrent sessions focusing on different public health law topics, such as prevention and promotion at the community level, changes and challenges to public health legal infrastructure, challenges to public health authority, and others. Find more information about the conference and register early.
  4. Annual meeting and policy summit: Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). Save the date for ASTHO's annual meeting and policy summit which will be held September 11–14, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas. The conference will feature a variety of public health sessions with a special emphasis on the intersection of public health and healthcare. Registration numbers are limited, please register early. Find more information about the conference and early registration.
  5. Call for proposals. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is calling for proposals regarding cross-jurisdictional sharing among multiple public health agencies. In the interest of better understanding these cross-jurisdictional sharing models, RWJF will provide two-year grants of up to $125,000 to up to 18 teams across the country that are exploring, implementing, or improving cross-jurisdictional sharing arrangements to participate in the Shared Services Learning Community. Proposals are due by August 29, 2012. Find more information about the Shared Services Learning Community and how to apply.
  6. Save the date and call for presentation proposals. The 13th National Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime will be held December 6–8, 2012 at the Agua Caliente Reservation, California. The conference will provide opportunities for tribal, federal, and state participants to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas to develop and improve strategies and programs that serve the unique needs of crime victims in Indian Country. The Tribal Law and Policy Institute is extending a special invitation to present at the workshop. Workshop presentations should demonstrate methods and strategies to promote safety and justice among crime victims by cooperating with tribal, federal, state, and private entities in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities. Proposals for presentations are due July 23, 2012. Find more information about the conference and participating in the workshop as a presenter.

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Legal Tools

  1. Prescription drug law guide. CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and CDC's Public Health Law Program have collaborated and released a legal guide dealing with state prescription drug overdose laws. CDC selected seven types of laws addressing the issue of prescription drug overdose and surveyed the laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to see if they had enacted them as of August 31, 2010. The data has been organized with regard to type of law as well as by state. Learn more about prescription drug overdose laws and read the guide.
  2. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Liability Guide. The CERT Program at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published the new "CERT Liability Guide." CERT programs across the nation support post-disaster response and help ensure that CERT efforts are as safe and effective as possible. CERT program activities can create risk and adverse consequences; perceptions about liability may become a larger barrier to CERT formation, activities, and partnerships than is justified by reality. The purpose of the Guide is to offer information and suggested techniques to help local CERT programs overcome this perception barrier. Find more information about CERT and download the guide [PDF - 1.62MB].

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The Fifty Nifty United States

Public health law news from all 50 states!
  1. Alabama: Open container laws may be waived for "entertainment districts"
    A drink on the Madison County Courthouse steps? With new law, it may become a reality (07/07/2012) Steve Doyle
  2. Alaska: State health department settles patient privacy case for $1.7 million
    Alaska health department settles compliance case
    Bloomberg Businessweek (06/28/2012) Becky Bohrer
  3. Arizona: EPA proposes smog and haze producing coal plants
    EPA sets Canyon smog rule
    Arizona Daily Sun (07/04/2012) Cyndy Cole
  4. Arkansas: Unlawful burning increases wildfire risk, fire departments on alert
    In Arkansas, debris burning no. 1 cause of wildfires, arson no. 2
    Freshare (07/06/2012) Mary Hightower
  5. California: Analysis shows school lunches failed to meet at least one federal nutrition standard
    California school lunches missing the mark for nutrition standards
    Sacramento Bee (07/08/2012) Eleanor Yang Su
  6. Colorado: Massive evacuations from "firestorm of epic proportions"
    Crews go on offensive against growing Colorado wildfire
    CNN (06/27/2012) Phil Gast, Ed Payne, and Moni Basu
  7. Connecticut: Changes to state liquor sale laws could include overhaul of price-fixing limits
    Connecticut panel to consider additional changes to state liquor laws beyond Sunday sales
    The Washington Post (07/06/2012) Associated Press
  8. Delaware: Tobacco-free areas of state parks to include designated swim beaches and trails
    Delaware's state parks expand non-smoking areas (07/05/2012) Staff Reporter
  9. District of Columbia: Plan to install credit card readers in taxis could cut down on robbery
    Changes could come to D.C. taxis
    Examiner (07/06/2012) Reginald Johnson
  10. Florida: Drug test reveals marijuana traces, not bath salts in Florida face-chewing case
    Tests in cannibalism case: Zombie-like attacker used pot, not "bath salts"
    CNN (06/27/2012) Michael Martinez
  11. Georgia: Lawmakers and law enforcement push for stronger boating under the influence laws
    DNR pushes "Rules of the Water"
    The Eatonton Messenger (07/05/2012) Marla Pretty
  12. Guam: Report calls for more measures to prevent sexual crimes
    Report: Prevention needed: "Gaps" found in programs to help victims of sex abuse
    Pacific Daily News (07/09/2012) Brett Kelman
  13. Hawaii: Governor signs law which promotes children safely biking and walking to school
    Safe Routes to School bill signed into law
    Garden Island (07/12/2012) Léo Azambuja
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read the bill.]
  14. Idaho: Illegal marijuana enters Idaho from Oregon's legal medical marijuana dispensaries
    On Idaho border, Oregon's marijuana finds its way out
    NewsOK (07/08/2012) Nigel Duara
  15. Illinois: Child abuse hotline takes a message for more than 60 percent of the calls
    Report: Illinois child abuse hotline resorts to taking messages on many calls
    Chicago Tribune (07/08/2012) Associated Press
  16. Indiana: Children left in hot cars, parents charged with child abuse and neglect
    Indiana child left in hot car dies; 2012 child deaths in hot vehicles hits 10
    The Examiner (07/08/2012) Johnny Kelly
  17. Iowa: HHS awards $10 million for public health and emergency preparedness
    Iowa receives $10 million for public health and health care emergency preparedness
    Wall Street Journal (07/03/2012)
  18. Kansas: Daycare license suspended after inspection found one adult in charge of 25 children
    Kansas day care closed after failed inspection
    KAKE News (07/16/2012)
  19. Kentucky: State cracks down on prescription drug abuse, works to track ‘prescription tourists'
    States fight "tourists" trafficking painkillers
    LEX18 (07/08/2012) Associated Press
  20. Louisiana: State will not receive as much as expected in Clean Water Act fines from 2010 spill
    Louisiana won't get as much in Gulf oil spill fines as officials had hoped (07/08/2012) Mark Schleifstein
  21. Maine: Fireworks legal in Maine after 70-year ban
    Now legal, fireworks selling fast in Maine as first injury recorded
    Main Public Broadcasting Network (07/02/2012) A.J. Higgins
  22. Maryland: "Connor's Law" requires automatic external defibrillator at all public pools
    "Connor's Law" aims to protect children at pools
    Crofton Patch (07/08/2012) Susan Jenkins
  23. Massachusetts: Law takes effect July 1, adds ‘gender identity' to protected classes
    Mass. legislation now protects transgender community
    Edge (07/02/2012) Dan Meyer
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read the law.]
  24. Michigan: Law requires full stop at least 20 feet from school buses that are flashing red lights
    New Michigan law clarifies, strengthens illegal school bus passing law
    School Transportation News (07/06/2012) Ryan Gray
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read the law.]
  25. Minnesota: Advocates want to loosen legal requirements for opiate overdose antidote
    Minn. lags in access to opiate OD antidote
    Minnesota Public Radio (07/09/2012) Jon Collins
  26. Mississippi: Law eliminating premarital syphilis test effective July 1
    New Mississippi laws set to go into effect Sunday
    Gulf Live (06/30/2012) Associated Press
  27. Missouri: New law requires cellular providers to give location information to law enforcement
    Father of Kelsey Smith speaks out about signing of law bearing her name
    Missourinet (07/09/2012) Mike Lear
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read the law.]
  28. Montana: Obesity may qualify as impairment under the Montana Human Rights Act
    Montana high court says obesity may be impairment
    San Francisco Chronicle (07/07/2012) Associated Press
    [Editor's note: Read the Supreme Court of Montana's opinion or read the Montana Human Rights Act.]
  29. Nebraska: New law requires concussion education for coaches, parents, and players
    Officials say new concussion law will protect Nebraska athletes of all ages
    Journal Star (07/1/2012) Erin Andersen
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read the law [PDF - 12KB].]
  30. Nevada: Differences in interpretation of med. marijuana laws, goes to state supreme court
    Nevada high court to clarify medical marijuana law
    NewsMax (07/09/2012) Sandy Fitzgerald
  31. New Hampshire: 27 infected with hepatitis C in hospital cardiac cauterization lab
    N.H. hospital facing legal action over hepatitis C outbreak
    ABC News (07/05/2012) Kim Carollo
    [Editor's note: Learn more about Hepatitis C.]
  32. New Jersey: School bullying law, considered one of strongest in nation, has funding difficulties
    Anti-bullying law runs out of cash
    Matawan-Aberdeen Patch (07/09/2012) John Mooney
  33. New Mexico: Special prosecutor appointed for marriage of 15-year-old to 29-year-old
    New Mexico: Officer, 15-year-old girl's wedding raises eyebrows (06/25/2012)
  34. New York: Debate over proposed soda ban shakes up NYC
    Soda makers begin their push against New York ban
    New York Times (07/01/2012) Michael M Grynbaum
    [Editor's note: Find more information about the proposed ban.]
  35. North Carolina: Loop hole closed in workers' compensation requirements
    North Carolina passes law targeting employers without workers' comp
    Claims Journal (06/27/2012) Michael Adams
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read the law [PDF -146KB].]
  36. North Dakota: Funding suspended for 31 tribal children in foster care amid program doubts
    Officials see child welfare dangers on a North Dakota Indian reservation
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (07/07/2012) Timothy Williams
  37. Ohio: Family can petition court to force addict into treatment, if family pays total bill
    New law allows families to force addicts into treatment
    Cleveland (07/08/2012) Rachel Dissell
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read the law.]
  38. Oklahoma: State's new pseudoephedrine laws may be among toughest in nation
    New anti-meth law limits medications with pseudoephedrine
    KJRH2 (07/02/2012) Sara Goldenberg
  39. Oregon: Rape shield law guarding victim's sexual history challenged in state supreme court
    Oregon's rape shield law challenged before state Supreme Court
    Oregon Live (07/06/2012) Maxine Bernstein
  40. Pennsylvania: New law requires sudden cardiac arrest training for coaches
    Pennsylvania law aims to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest
    Penn Live (07/08/2012)
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read the law.]
  41. Puerto Rico: Drug smugglers arrested off coast of Puerto Rico, $8M in cocaine recovered
    CG nabs smugglers, $8M in cocaine off Puerto Rico (06/11/2012)
  42. Rhode Island: State passes Homeless Bill of Rights
    RI homeless bill of rights praised as US model
    FoxNews (06/27/2012) Associated Press
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read the law [PDF - 35KB].]
  43. South Carolina: Judge throws the book, woman convicted of DUI sentenced to read Bible
    Judge orders woman convicted of drunk driving to read the Bible and write a summary
    Business Insider (07/09/2012) Abby Rogers
  44. South Dakota: Starting July 1, bar owners and employees subject to stricter felony penalties
    South Dakota bar law goes into effect July 1
    KSFY (07/06/2012)
  45. Tennessee: Kissing and holding hands may be banned under "gateway to sexual activity" law
    Tennessee passes law against "gateway sexual activity," critics suspect holding hands qualifies as sex
    International Business Times (06/25/2012) Laura Matthews
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read the law [PDF - 45KB].]
  46. Texas: Judge rules atmosphere and air are protected under "public trust" doctrine
    Texas judge rules atmosphere, air to be protected like water, may aid climate change lawsuits
    The Washington Post (07/11/2012) Associated Press
  47. Utah: Police officers accused of pocketing speeding fines from non-residents
    Utah speed traps spur police probe
    Fox News (07/07/2012)
  48. Vermont: Sticky situation in "all natural" syrup with synthetic ingredients suit
    Vermont law firms sue Log Cabin, Birds Eye over "fraudulent" all-natural labels
    Seven Days (06/20/2012) Ken Picard
  49. Virginia: Protective orders available for "any act of violence, force, or threat" under new law
    Virginia expands the scope of protective orders
    U.S. Politics Today (07/05/2012)
  50. Virgin Islands: Tourism Department works to make website and island ADA compliant
    Tourism tweaks website to assist hearing and vision impaired viewers
    Virgin Islands Daily News (06/18/2012) Daily News Staff
  51. Washington: Superior court judge grants injunction on tax of roll-your-own cigarettes
    Franklin County judge overrules Olympia on Cigarette Tax
    Tri-City Herald (06/26/2012) John Trumbo
  52. West Virginia: Parents seek waives and lobby legislature on school immunization requirements
    Parents seek exemptions for W. VA vaccinations
    Times-News (07/08/2012) Lawrence Messina
  53. Wisconsin: State's highest court limits town's liquor license renewal's definition of premises
    Supreme Court clarifies Wisconsin's liquor license law, sides with resort
    State Bar of Wisconsin (07/09/2012) Joe Forward
  54. Wyoming: Statewide ban on fires after all 23 counties enact restrictions
    All 23 Wyoming counties enact fire restrictions
    KULR8 (07/09/2012) Associated Press

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About Public Health Law News

The CDC Public Health Law News is published the third Thursday of each month except holidays, plus special issues when warranted. It is distributed only in electronic form and is free of charge.

The News is published by the CDC Public Health Law Program in the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support.


Access past issues or subscribe to the CDC Public Health Law News. To make comments or suggestions, send an email to


News content is selected solely on the basis of newsworthiness and potential interest to readers. CDC and HHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented from other sources. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or HHS. Opinions expressed by the original authors of items included in the News, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or HHS. References to products, trade names, publications, news sources, and non-CDC Web sites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or HHS. Legal cases are presented for educational purposes only, and are not meant to represent the current state of the law. The findings and conclusions reported in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of CDC or HHS. The News is in the public domain and may be freely forwarded and reproduced without permission. The original news sources and the CDC Public Health Law News should be cited as sources. Readers should contact the cited news sources for the full text of the articles.

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