Category Archives: 2018 Legislation

Websites Delete Ads

Craigslist has closed its dating ads section in the USA in response to a new bill against sex trafficking. The bill states that websites can now be punished for “facilitating” prostitution and sex trafficking. Ads promoting prostitution and child sexual abuse have previously been posted in the “personals” section of Craigslist. In a statement, Craigslist said the new law would “subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully”.

The US Congress recently passed the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. Websites are not usually held responsible for the content that members post, as long as illegal material is removed as soon as the service provider is made aware of it. But, the bill states that “websites that facilitate traffickers in advertising the sale of unlawful sex acts” should not be protected. It imposes fines and prison terms for those who own or operate a website that facilitates prostitution. The website Reddit also banned its escorts message board for the same reason.  

 

CA Allows Driverless Cars

This week the California Department of Motor Vehicles approved new rules that would allow self-driving cars to hit the road without a human behind the wheel at all.

These regulations, which take effect on April 2, 2018, will pave the way for companies like Waymo, Uber, GM, and others to continue autonomous vehicle testing on the roads of the Golden State and likely will lead to the technology becoming mainstream.

In 2014, California was the first state to have rules for testing autonomous vehicles on public streets. But many felt that those regulations were too restrictive and unable to adapt to a technology that is rapidly maturing. As a result, testing programs have flourished in other states, like Arizona.

“This is a major step forward for autonomous technology in California,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said. Safety is our top concern and we are ready to begin working with manufacturers that are prepared to test fully driverless vehicles in California.”

Among other requirements imposed as part of the permitting process, companies must show that there is a link for remote control, allowing the car to be operated from afar.

Autonomous vehicle makers must also provide a “law enforcement action plan” that includes instructions as to how to contact the remote human operator and how to disengage the AV mode, among other requirements. The rules do not say what type of data law enforcement will be able to access from AVs. Consumer Watchdog, a group that has routinely opposed AV technology, slammed the new rules this week. “A remote test operator will be allowed to monitor and attempt to control the robot car from afar,” said John M. Simpson, the group’s privacy project director. “It will be just like playing a video game, except lives will be at stake.”

 

New Laws in Arizona 2018

The start of 2018 means new laws taking effect in Arizona.

Employees are happy about an increase in the minimum wage, but some business owners are worried about now having to pay their workers $10.50 an hour. “It costs me approximately four thousand dollars a month employing twelve to fifteen people, that’s a big hit for a small business owner to take,” said Frank Silverman of Midtown Tavern.

After being signed into law by President Donald Trump a new tax law is set to take effect. The law doubles the standard deduction, doubles the child tax credit, and gets rid of the nearly $4,000 personal exemption. However, none of these will have an impact on your next tax return. None of the new tax laws affect the 2017 taxes.

Looking ahead, there’s a new proposal emerging for the 2018 ballot allowing the recreational use of marijuana. The initiative, sponsored by a medical marijuana dispensary, would expand the list of conditions for which a doctor could recommend a patient be allowed to use the drug. It also would make it easier and cheaper for patients to get marijuana, including allowing a large percentage of them to grow their own plants as long as they have the correct marijuana insurance.

Proponents, the operators of the Independent Wellness Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Apache Junction, need 150,642 valid signatures on petitions by July 5, 2018, to put the measure.