Entries in Bill (4)


Gulf of America: Mississippi Bill Would Rename Gulf

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(JACKSON, Miss.) -- If a bill passes in Mississippi, maps and textbooks may need to be re-written.

Democrat state Rep. Steve Holland proposed a bill that would rename the Gulf of Mexico to the “Gulf of America.”

“For all official purposes within the state of Mississippi, the body of water that is located directly south...shall be known as the ‘Gulf of America’,” the bill states. The bill, if passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, would go into effect July 1.

Still, that may be a tall order. There is a Republican majority in all branches of government in Mississippi and Holland does not agree with Republican viewpoints on immigration.

“They are trying to really discriminate against immigrants, which offends me severely,” Holland told ABC News.  “I just thought if we’re gonna get into it, we might as well all get into it, it’s purely tongue and cheek.”

Holland said the bill, meant to mock other bills drilling down on immigration, is getting a lot of attention, which was the point in the first place. He does not expect it to go anywhere.

“It’s to bring the attention that things are going south with legislation in this country and not the kind of south I would like,” Holland said.

Not everyone thinks House Bill No. 150 is the most appropriate way to draw attention to the issue of immigration.

“I was just astonished that someone would propose a bill such as that,” Bob Quasius, President of Cafe Con Leche Republicans, told ABC News.  The group, self-described as dedicated to making America and GOP a friendly place for immigrants, released a letter asking Holland to withdraw the bill.

“Later we heard that he [Holland] was saying that it was just a piece of satire -- it’s not a good topic for satire and it never should have been introduced as a bill,” said Quasius.

Quasius does not believe the bill is drawing the right kind of attention and brings Holland’s credibility into question in as well as wasting taxpayer funds.  The group has not yet decided if they will take further action. They want to give Holland more time to withdraw the bill.

“We’re still asking for him to pull the bill, apologize and move on,” he said.  “The bottom line -- he submitted a bill that is unacceptable and an embarrassment.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Jersey Murder Triggers Bath Salts Crackdown

Polka Dot Images/Thinkstock(CRANFORD, N.J.) -- The arrest of a New Jersey student who has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend has intensified a statewide push to ban the sale of a designer drug marketed and sold as bath salts.

William Parisio, 22, is being held on $400,000 bail after the beaten body of his girlfriend, Pamela Schmidt, also 22, was found in his basement bedroom in Cranford, New Jersey.

Parisio, who had recently dropped out of Rutgers University, had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder on his 19th birthday and had been in and out of drug rehabilitation programs.

His mother, Dianna Parisio, called the police after discovering Schmidt's body around noon on Sunday.  She told authorities that her son had recently been taking bath salts, sold over the counter and increasingly used as a cheap, legal high.

Two members of the New Jersey state Assembly had already been planning to introduce legislation modeled after a similar bill in New York aimed at halting sales of bath salts in the state.

"This is just such a senseless tragedy.  It's absolutely heartbreaking.  I wish we had had this in place so that this tragedy could have been prevented," Assemblywoman Linda Stender, who is co-sponsoring the legislation, told ABC News.  "This innocuous 'bath salt,' which has the active ingredient MDPV in it, is like playing a game of Russian roulette because you don't know what the effect is going to be on a person."

Stender's bill would make it a third-degree crime punishable by three to five years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines to manufacture, distribute or possess products containing any trace of the chemical.

The phony bath salts are usually manufactured in Europe, China and India and sold in individual bags -- about $20 for a two-gram pouch -- on the Internet, in convenience stores and on the street.  They come branded with names like Ivory Wave, Ocean, Charge +, White Lightning, Scarface, Hurricane Charlie, Red Dove, Cloud-9 and White Dove.  Symptoms can range from a racing heart to headaches to a paranoid psychotic impact.

The powders cause intense cravings for more even though they can trigger extreme paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, hypertension and, in some cases, suicidal thoughts.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Christmas Miracle' for 9/11 Responders?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The first responders still suffering health effects more than nine years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks could get a "Christmas miracle" this year, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Saturday.

Senate Republicans last week derailed a bill that would provide $7.4 billion in health care and compensation to 9/11 responders and survivors, but Gillibrand this weekend voiced confidence that the Senate will pass the bill in the next week, now that lawmakers have agreed on how to pay for the measure.

"We have the votes we need," Gillibrand said Saturday at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "We've had indications from several Republicans that they very much want to vote for this bill.

"They would like to vote for a stand-alone bill," she said. "There is general agreement on a new pay-for that we're going to offer, so the hope is to get to the bill as soon as the START bill is completed."

The bill was put to a test vote on Dec. 9, but supporters found themselves three votes short of the 60 needed to proceed to debate and a final vote. The measure failed 57-42.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Congress Approves Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

Photo Courtesy - ABC News Radio(WASHINGTON) -- The House passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 on Thursday by a vote of 264-157. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had joined Democrats on Wednesday to call for the swift passage of the bill.

The $4.5-billion bill, which passed unanimously in the Senate last August, would expand eligibility for school lunch programs, establish nutrition standards for all school meals, and encourage schools to use locally sourced food. It would also raise the reimbursement rate to six cents per meal, marking the first time in over 30 years that Congress has increased funding for school lunch programs.

Passage of this legislation helps to advance the Obama Administration's goal of addressing the childhood obesity problem within a generation -- a sentiment at the heart of the first lady's "Let's Move!" campaign.

Despite their support, some Democrats opposed the way the Senate bill is funded, since it would take $2.2 billion away from food stamp programs. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., fought back against critics who questioned the legislation’s hefty price tag. "Some folks will say, ‘How can we afford this bill at the moment?,’" she said. "How can we afford not to pass it? Leaving millions of children hungry and malnourished now in the name of budget cutting is penny wise and pound foolish."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio