July 2022


Your job and education could be determining your car insurance rate

  • July 31, 2022

I went online last week to get a car insurance quote from Mercury Insurance. I went through the process twice, once listing my occupation as engineer.

All the rest of the information was the same — my age, address, driving record, car make — but as an engineer, I was given a lower monthly rate: $247.88 instead of $262.88 and a potential yearly savings of $179.89.

My price comparison experiment was inspired by a petition filed July 18 by Consumer Watchdoga taxpayer and consumer advocacy group, protesting Mercury Insurance Co.’s request to the California Department of Insurance to bump up its auto rates.

Mercury Insurance, a major car insurance provider in Californiais asking to raise its rates on customers by 6.9%, or $131 million.

But a major factor that underlies Consumer Watchdog’s demand for a public hearing on the proposal is its claim that Mercury’s rates are not only “excessive” but “unfairly discriminatory.”

“It’s an issue that we have been fighting for many years to rectify in California where insurance companies have been illegally surcharging folks based on arbitrary job categories,” Consumer Watchdog Executive Director Carmen Balber told me.

In 1988, Californians passed Proposition 103, which required insurance rates to be based primarily on standards like driver safety and experience rather than arbitrary discriminatory characteristics, like employment status, credit score, place of residence or gender. Rate increases and other rate-setting factors now have to be approved by the Department of Insurance.

The use of gender in rate setting was officially banned in January 2019.

The department has never approved using education or occupation as a deciding metric per se, but insurance companies have found a loophole by providing discounts for what they call “affinity groups.”

Depending on the company, these discount categories include employees of the

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Mail-in ballots continue to favor Bates in Baltimore state’s attorney race

  • July 29, 2022

Though thousands of mail-in ballots remain to be counted in the Democratic primary for Baltimore state’s attorney, early returns Thursday favored defense attorney Ivan Bates, who also came out ahead of two-term incumbent Marilyn Mosby in Election Day and early voting.

Baltimore Board of Elections staff began canvassing mail-in ballots Thursday morning, launching a process that is likely to take several days as staff members laboriously tally more than 20,000 ballots sent in by city voters.

As of Thursday evening, about 10,000 ballots had been counted. Bates won more than 3,700 votes, topping Mosby’s 2,100 votes. Thiru Vignarajah, a former deputy attorney general, won the most mail-in ballots on Thursday, with just over 4,000, but the votes did not make up for his third-place performance on Election Day.

The early tally did not bode well for Mosby, who needs a significant number of mail-in ballots to make up for Election Day’s results.

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby speaks before supporters and campaign workers at Melba's Place on primary election night in Baltimore.  Mosby has to capture roughly half of the mail-in ballots in the three-candidate race to overtake Ivan Bates.  (The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby speaks before supporters and campaign workers at Melba’s Place on primary election night in Baltimore. (The Baltimore Sun via AP)

With all precincts reporting, Bates had 41% of the Election Day and early vote, while Mosby had 32% and Vignarajah lagged behind with 26%. Mosby needs about half of the mail-in ballots to go her way in order to secure a victory, a prospect that began to look less likely as Thursday’s canvass got underway.

As of Thursday morning, more than 22,000 Democratic mail-in ballots had been returned, or just over 50% of those sent out to voters. It is difficult to predict how many ballots are likely to return in the coming days, given the changes in voting patterns that took place during the pandemic.

In 2018, for example, the statewide return rate on mail-in ballots was about 70%, but in

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A new law will help families access interpreters in WA public schools

  • July 29, 2022

Navigating a special education plan or getting a child the support services they need can be complicated. So how do you communicate and advocate for your kid if you’re deaf, blind or don’t speak English?

Families say finding interpreters in a timely manner who can both speak their language — whether that’s Amharic or American Sign Language — and also understand education jargon can be challenging and frustrating.

A new, comprehensive Washington state law that passed this spring will make it easier for students and families facing language barriers to access free, high-quality interpretation and support services. It also supports a training and credentialing program for interpreters working in educational settings, much like existing programs for medical and social services interpreters. Advocates say the legislation will have far-reaching effects, including increased family and student engagement, which leads to higher rates of academic achievement and graduation and overall self-esteem.

“This bill is so exciting and so complicated,” said Kaitie Dong, leadership development and education manager for OneAmerica, a local nonprofit immigrant and refugee advocacy organization. She said it centers “the experiences and voices” of students and families with limited spoken English skills.

There are federal laws, like Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, that give people rights to communication aids like interpreters and teletypewriter services.

But efforts to formalize language interpretation training and practice in schools stalled in the Washington Legislature for at least the past eight years. Then in 2022, a new version of the bill received broad community and bipartisan support and passed 86-12. The new law focuses on spoken and signed language interpretation, and supporters hope its passage will pave the way for more resources and funding for written translations.

Bill co-sponsor Rep. Tina Orwall, D-SeaTac, credited

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Cannabis Legalization In 2022? Green Thumb And Tilray To Benefit (OTCMKTS:GTBIF)

  • July 29, 2022

Marijuana Legalization Concept In The United States High Quality

Darren415/iStock via Getty Images

Cannabis stocks have been trending higher heading into the release of a cannabis legalization bill. The bill is very similar to the draft presented one year ago and there is arguably little hope for it to pass the Senate vote. But there is symbolic value in the act in that it may pave the way for a less comprehensive bill but still with incremental legislative progress. In this report, I discuss what the legalization bill may entail, as well as how it impacts cannabis stocks. I also discuss two companies that may benefit from outright legalization.

Cannabis Legalization in 2022

One year ago, the Senate Democrats unveiled a draft of their cannabis legalization bill. On Thursday, they unveiled the official Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. The bill included discussion ranging from a 25% tax on large businesses to providing protections for financial firms to work with cannabis operators. I should clarify that the bill appears to be more about “decriminalization” than legalization (though the latter will be used in most headlines – and I will use the term legalization elsewhere in this article). The key difference is that this bill would decriminalize cannabis on the federal level, but the states can decide whether or not to legalize it themselves.

That means that this bill will not legalize cannabis in states that do not want to legalize it – but it could still prove to be a key catalyst in driving further state adoption of legal cannabis. My personal view is that cannabis is a secular trend that is inevitable – whereas the average person views it as an addictive and dangerous drug, I instead appreciate its wide range of medical uses (it has done wonders for my insomnia and chronic pain) and lower risk relative

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How a conservative bloc, unrestrained by public opinion, is leading the US Supreme Court

  • July 28, 2022

In front of the steps of the US Supreme Court — nearly a week after the landmark overturning of Roe v. Wade — the president of the National Organization of Women handed out pro-choice placards and pledged to keep fighting for abortion rights.

Christian Nunes also had some strong words about the top court, calling it “compromised” and out of step with public opinion.

“They’re not ruling in favor of the people. They’re ruling in their own moral viewpoints,” Nunes said.

That the recent decisions by the conservative majority court may not be in tune with average Americans is backed up by recent polls and surveys. But those rulings also signal a newly unapologetic and muscular court, willing to buck the national mood.

“They’re using their conservatism in a powerful way and they’re acting like they’re in a hurrysaid Stephen Wermiel, a constitutional law professor at American University Washington College of Law.

“For a long time, we’ve been looking at a conservative tugboat. And now we’re looking at a conservative runaway freight train.”

A CBS News/YouGov poll found 59 per cent of Americans disapproved of the court’s recent overturn of Roe v. Wade, compared to 41 per cent who approved. (Jacquelyn Martin/The Associated Press)

That freight train has pushed through some strongly conservative-minded decisions over the past weeks. Along with overturning Roe v. Wade, the 6-3 conservative majority effectively expanded gun rights in New York state and ruled that a high school football coach had a constitutional right to pray on the field.

On Thursday, in a blow to the fight against climate change, the court also ruled 6-3 that the Clean Air Act does not give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

“I would say that [the conservative

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TLRY, ACB stocks rally as Senate meeting reignites legalization hopes (NASDAQ:TLRY)

  • July 28, 2022

Symbol for Marijuana Legalization.  Dice form the word

Focusiert/iStock via Getty Images

Cannabis companies based in the US and Canada are rising in the morning hours Wednesday ahead of a Senate hearing to discuss the federal decriminalization of marijuana.

The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, chaired by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), is expected to meet on Tuesday for the discussion.

The meeting titled “Decriminalizing Cannabis at the Federal Level: Necessary Steps to Address Past Harms” is expected to take up a long-anticipated measure that the Senate Democrats planned to introduce this week to legalize marijuana at the federal level, Marijuana Moment reported.

Notable gainers in the cannabis space include: Canopy Growth (CGC), Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), Aurora Cannabis (ACB), GrowGeneration (GRWG), TerrAscend (OTCQX:TRSSF), HEXO Corp. (HEXO), Sundial Growers (SNDL), OrganiGram Holdings (OGI), Cresco Labs (OTCQX:CRLBF) and Cronos Group (CRON)

Other tickers of interest: Trulieve Cannabis (OTCQX:TCNNF), Columbia Care (OTCQX:CCHWF), Green Thumb Industries (OTCQX:GTBIF), MedMen Enterprises (OTCQB:MMNFF), Acreage Holdings (OTCQX:ACRGF) (OTCQX:ACRHF) (OTCQX:ACRDF), Ayr Wellness (OTCQX:AYRWF), Verano Holdings (OTCQX:VRNOF) and Verano Holdings (OTCQX:VRNOF), Jushi Holdings (OTCQX:JUSHF).

Cannabis-related ETFs, AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (YOLO), Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (CNBS), ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ), AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (MSOS), and Global X Cannabis ETF (POTX) are also trading higher .

However, the US Multi-State Operators represented by MSOS, along with many Canadian Licensed Producers, are in a sharp selloff this year, as shown in this graph.

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Tight State’s Attorney race has Ivan Bates in the lead, followed by Mosby

  • July 27, 2022

BALTIMORE — A sea of ​​red at Melba’s Tuesday night, all in support of States Attorney Marilyn Mosby vying for her 3rd term as the city’s top prosecutor.

Voters at the poles for the primaries weighed in on the heated race.

“I wanna elect someone who’s actually listening,” said one person.

Mosby’s facing off some familiar opponents, Ivan Bates and Thiru Vignarajah. She beat them both in 2018 securing her second term.

“I like the incumbent candidate, but I want somebody who I think can really focus on the issues and not have distractions,” said Michelle Moore, Baltimore City voter.

As top prosecutor, Mosby has a legal battle of her own, aside from this primary, she’s currently facing federal perjury and false mortgage application charges.

We’ve spoken with her attorney A. Scott Bolden several times since those indictments came down, and she maintains her innocence and stated those charges stemmed from “political” and “racial animus.”

Voters like Doug Fireside are aware of Mosby’s indictment and his focus is on the job itself.

“I’m thinking about the credibility factor, that is the candidate who I’m picking representing the people and someone who’s trust worthy, somebody who will get the job done, somebody who follows through on the promises,” said Doug Fireside, Baltimore City Voters.

While Baltimore’s persistent battle with gun violence is fresh on voters minds, Fireside is more concerned with the cases and if they’re being strongly prosecuted in court.

“It’s not the crime so much because that’s not the person who is charged with changing crime but it is, those are the cases that are being brought ones that go to trial and result in convictions,” said Fireside.

Meanwhile, around Baltimore, WMAR-2 News also had cameras at both of Mosby’s democratic challenger’s watch parties.

Vignarajah met with supporters, campaign

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Recreational Vehicle Insurance Market Size And Forecast -Farmers Insurance, USAA, GEICO, MetLife, Liberty Mutual, Safeco Insurance, Liberty Mutual, State Farm,

  • July 26, 2022

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The report is classified into multiple sections which consider the competitive environment, latest market events, technological developments, countries and regional details related to the Recreational Vehicle Insurance. The section that details the pandemic impact, the recovery strategies, and the post-pandemic market performance of each actor is also included in the report. The key opportunities that may potentially support the Recreational Vehicle Insurance are identified in the report. The report specifically focuses on the near term opportunities and strategies to realize its full potential. The uncertainties that are crucial for the market players to understand are included in the Recreational Vehicle Insurance report.

As a result of these issues, the Recreational Vehicle Insurance industry has been hampered. Because of the industry’s small number of important enterprises, the Recreational Vehicle Insurance area is heavily targeted. Customers would benefit from this research since they would be informed about the current Recreational Vehicle Insurance scenario. The most recent innovations, product news, product variants,

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Governor Lamont Signs Legislation Enacting a Comprehensive Consumer Data Privacy Law

  • July 23, 2022

Press Releases

Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont Signs Legislation Enacting a Comprehensive Consumer Data Privacy Law

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has signed into law Public Act 22-15which enacts a comprehensive series of protections for consumers that provide them with greater ability to safeguard their personal data that is collected when they interact with companies online.

Most notably, the law requires companies to publicly share a privacy policy that tells consumers what data of theirs is being collected and how that data is being used, and gives consumers an option to opt out of selling or sharing that data to others. In addition, it requires consumers under the age of 16 to provide consent to data collection. Companies will be prohibited from discriminating against consumers who choose to exercise these rights.

The law also requires companies to lessen the amount of data they collect and only use that data for the purposes they are collecting it for, therefore having less data breaches and identity theft.

Connecticut becomes the fifth state to enact this kind of law protecting data privacy, following similar ones recently enacted in California, Colorado, Utah, and Virginia. The governor explained that while he prefers that Congress enact a similar data privacy standard at the federal level, he is hopeful that this growing coalition of states adopting these protections will result in companies defaulting to these standards nationwide.

“Digital commerce is now a way of life for nearly all of us, and every time we stream a television show or movie online, every time we go for a walk while wearing a fitness tracking device, and every time we purchase something from our favorite website, our actions are being logged and frequently sold and shared with others,” Governor Lamont said. “Consumers have a

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Flora Growth CEO Meets With Colombian Senator as Bill to Legalize Recreational Cannabis Is Introduced

  • July 23, 2022

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Flora applauds new Colombian bill to legalize recreational cannabis in the country proposed to the legislature on July 20

Bill proposed to Colombian legislature sets the framework for a recreational market, including regulation from INVIMA

Flora CEO Luis Merchan met with Sen. Gustavo Bolivar, the bill’s author, to discuss the impact on national and international trade

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. & TORONTO — Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) (“Flora” or the “Company”), a leading all-outdoor cultivator, manufacturer and distributor of global cannabis products and brands, announced today that the Company met with the author of a new bill to legalize recreational cannabis on the day the legislation was introduced to Congress.

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Flora’s Chairman and CEO Luis Merchan met with Colombian Sen. Gustavo Bolivar prior to the bill’s introduction to Congress on July 20. Bolivar, the key author of the bill, and Merchan discussed the top tenants of the bill, the bill’s implications for companies such as Flora in Colombia and what legalization means for the country’s burgeoning domestic and international cannabis markets. Video of the discussion between Bolivar and Merchan can be found here.

Highlights of the discussion include:

  • Highlights a flourishing cannabis industry in Colombia, including both domestic trade and international exports
  • The future of cannabis regulations, including the potential of a new government entity solely focused on cannabis regulation
  • Cannabis pharmaceuticals and the need for government regulations
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