• goings on,  Texas,  Uncategorized

    To the Honorable Senators from Texas

    To the Honorable Senator Cruz, My name is Mary Margaret Healy and I live in [Redacted], Texas. I work for a local municipal court as a clerk, and I am writing to you as a citizen who has perhaps more than the average concern for the continued legitimacy of the judicial process and judicial systems in the United States. Today I write to you to demand as your constituent that you refuse to vote if the Senate holds confirmation hearings for an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. I did not vote for you in the last election, Senator Cruz, but I was not overly troubled when you…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Happy Friday, everybody! PA HB 2074 – This legislation was introduced in the House this week.  It would require Pennsylvania schools to report any and all suicide attempts and completions that occur on school grounds.  Currently, such reporting is optional.  “In essence, we require school districts to report a criminal charge from a pushing match in the cafeteria but we leave it entirely to their discretion to report that a student has tragically attempted to or has taken their life while on school grounds…Additionally, our proposal would be subject to the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 to ensure that such reporting by districts does not…

  • movie,  placeless,  reviews

    “News is the first rough draft of history”

    I went to see The Post on Friday with Ben.  I have a lot of feelings about it. It’s a wonderfully made movie.  I mean, obviously.  You don’t pick Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, Bradley Whitford and Bob Odenkirk just to make a funny little romp that goes nowhere and does nothing.  I don’t really feel like a person qualified to discuss the virtue of Spielberg’s cinematography choices, and that doesn’t really interest me too much either.  Like I said, it was a movie wonderfully made, and my tastes are such that that’s enough for me. The story is what interests me.  The story they chose to tell it, the way they…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Good morning again! Lots of oldies but goodies on the docket for this week.  Also, fun fact, I found a PDF about how a bill becomes a law in PA, which I have found helpful as I’ve been going through the heaps of legislation this week.  Find it here. PA HB 1653 – We looked at this bill when it was first introduced back in October.  It passed the house and looked like it had died in the Senate in November, but the Senate Education Committee gave it a second consideration this week and reported it as “Committed,” which is one step before a third and final passage.  Therefore, this bill looks like…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    While a lot has been happening this week in the news, not much has been happening in the legislatures regarding children or child welfare.  Here are the few items I found. PA State House Nothing that I saw. State Senate   SB 942 – This was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Halloween. This one is weird and I’m only 75% sure I understand what it’s saying.  It was introduced as a bill to establish a policy of providing legal representation for people in cases of civil forfeiture, even if those people cannot afford said legal representation.  That’s all well and good, but the bill has since become…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Whoops It’s Monday

    Missed this one last Friday! USA S. 782, aka PROTECT Our Children Act of 2017 goes before the President this week.  It was passed by the house and congress.  To recap the purpose of the bill, “The long-and-short of it is that there was a law passed in 2008 (PL 110-401) that established a National Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which expired in 2016.  This new Protect Our Children Act of 2017 reestablishes that task force and keeps it in place until 2022.  I don’t know what the first task force did, or how much of that work was lost in the intervening year since it disbanded, but evidently someone wants…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Another week, another set of legislation coming down the pike. PA State House HB 1653 – This is a bill to include students enrolled in distance education (online classes) in eligibility for state grants for higher education.  I’m not a huge proponent of distance education (but I’m biased as a former classroom teacher) but online classes make learning accessible to students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to take some of their classes, including youth who don’t have permanency or need to work during the day to make money for school.  Our youth often fit into those categories, so it is necessary that online education be an option for them, without disqualifying them from…

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