COVID-19: Snapshot of Law and Policy in the News

Law & Policy InsightsEmergency Legal Preparedness and ResponseCOVID-19

March 11, 2020

Public health law and policy stories that made headlines recently include expanding Medicaid access post-postpartum to improve maternal mortality rates; how changes in naloxone access laws could save thousands of lives; Juul’s suspension of flavored e-cigarette product sales amid growing scrutiny of its advertising practices; how proposed food-stamp cutbacks could worsen obesity and food insecurity in the U.S.; and a landmark ruling on supervised injection sites.

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Eviction Expungement: A Civil Legal Tool to Improve Housing Stability and Health

Law & Policy InsightsHealthy and Affordable Housing

February 27, 2020

Eviction can trap families and individuals in cycles of poverty by limiting their housing options and pushing them into substandard housing or homelessness, leading to a multitude of poor physical and mental health outcomes. Eviction also disproportionally impacts people of color and poor people. Laws providing for the expungement of eviction records may help to mitigate the harmful consequences of eviction and improve access to housing.

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Food Allergies: A Call for Greater Precaution in the Food Service Industry

Law & Policy InsightsInjury Prevention and SafetyFood Safety and Security

February 12, 2020

As food allergies become more prevalent, there is increased risk of harm from serious and life-threatening reactions. However, this risk is frequently overlooked or disregarded by the food service industry. While federal law requires the packaged food industry to label any major allergens in their products, there is no mandate that restaurants do so. In response, several states have enacted legislation requiring food-service establishments to take additional food allergen precautions.

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Marijuana Delivery: California’s Looming Legal Battle

Law & Policy InsightsMarijuana Legalization

February 12, 2020
by Mathew R. Swinburne

As more states legalize medical and recreational marijuana use, they are being confronted with a broad spectrum of policy issues. One of the emerging issues is whether to allow the legal cannabis industry to deliver marijuana directly to customers. Advocates see it as an issue of access, especially for medical marijuana patients. Opponents argue that delivery will make it easier for kids to get marijuana and that the delivery vehicles will be targeted by criminals.

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As Temperatures Rise, Equitable Tree Cover can Help Mitigate the Health Risks from Urban Heat Islands and Address Health Inequities within Communities

Law & Policy InsightsEnvironment, Climate and Health

January 30, 2020
by Betsy Lawton

Trees are beautiful, but are they also a cure for climate change related health hazards? We know that trees beautify urban spaces, increase property values, reduce stress, improve mental health, and benefit communities by reducing crime rates and increasing social cohesion. But tree cover can also provide significant cooling benefits to offset dangerous temperatures during extreme heat events, which are on the rise in urban areas as a result of climate change.

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Network Now Accepting Applications for MLP Safe & Healthy Housing Cohort

Network NewsMedical-Legal PartnershipsHealthy and Affordable Housing

January 29, 2020
by Colleen Healy Boufides

Apply to join a 6-month cohort of MLPs seeking to improve the safety and quality of housing in their communities through upstream efforts, ranging from informing implementation and enforcement strategies, to spearheading impact litigation, to contributing in large and small ways to legal changes.

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