Recent CRS reports

Recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports from Open CRS:

Legal Issues Relating to State Health Care Regulation: ERISA Preemption and Fair Share Laws, RL34637 (pdf, 18pp/124kB), August 26, 2008

Fair share laws require employers to pay for employee health coverage or contribute to a state or local fund for medical expenses for uninsured residents. Can fair share laws be preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)? This report covers cases brought in Maryland, Suffolk County (NY), and San Francisco challenging fair share laws under ERISA, with varying outcomes, and discusses the fair share requirements of Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act, "the most comprehensive health care reform legislation ever enacted by a state."

The Controlled Substances Act: Regulatory Requirements, RL34635 (pdf, 19pp/128kB), August 22, 2008

Through the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), administered and enforced by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the federal government regulates the production, possession, and distribution of controlled substances for medical, scientific, research, and industrial purposes. This report focuses on the non-criminal requirements of the CSA, noting the penalty provisions applicable to authorized persons handling controlled substances.

Governmental Drug Testing Programs: Legal and Constitutional Developments, RL34624 (pdf, 23pp/152kB), August 19, 2008

This report discusses workplace, employee, preemployment, student, and suspicionless drug tessting, and federally mandated workplace drug testing programs.

Text and Multimedia Messaging: Emerging Issues for Congress, RL34632 (pdf, 16pp/1.58 MB), August 22, 2008
The increasing use of text and multimedia messaging has raised several policy issues: applicability of CAN-SPAM Act to unwanted wireless messages; refusal of some carriers to allow users to disable text messaging; carrier blocking of Common Short Code messages; deceptive and misleading Common Short Code programs; protecting children from inappropriate content on wireless devices; mobile cyberbullying; and balancing user privacy with “Sunshine,” Open Government, and Freedom of Information Laws.
The report discusses the foregoing, as well as using Short Message Service for law enforcement and emergency response.

Wireless Technology and Spectrum Demand: Advanced Wireless Services, RS20993 (pdf, 6pp/72kB), August 12, 2008
From the perspective of spectrum management, a significant difference in the technologies is that 3G, 4G, and WiMAX services operate on designated, licensed frequencies, while Wi-Fi shares unlicensed spectrum with other uses. Policy issues before Congress include the competitive impact on commercial wireless carriers when municipalities offer wireless broadband services, promoting the development of broadband wireless access, and assuring the availability of appropriate spectrum for both licensed and unlicensed applications.
CRS reports on various bills in the 110th Congress relating to broadband.

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