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SARL Members and Alumni News

Opioid Crisis ‘Kingpin’ Is Oklahoma’s New Target in Lawsuit

Pew Trust | Posted on April 11, 2019

After securing a hefty financial settlement from Purdue Pharma last month, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is training the state’s legal armaments on a much bigger pharmaceutical player: Johnson & Johnson. The company already has become a popular target. Many of the more than 1,600 opioid lawsuits in state and federal courts name Johnson & Johnson, even though its analgesic products account for less than 1% of the U.S. opioid market.But Oklahoma might be charting new legal territory in its recent salvo against the multinational manufacturer of drugs, medical devices and popular brands of baby shampoo and baby powder.Hoping to unseal millions of pages of company documents, Oklahoma’s lawyers contend that Johnson & Johnson did more than push its own pills — it also profited from the prescription opioid crisis through its ownership of a poppy producer in Australia (Tasmanian Alkaloids) and a U.S. importer of raw materials used to make opioids (Noramco).  

6 states, DC sue over changes to school lunch rules

Ap News | Posted on April 11, 2019

Six states and the District of Columbia sued the Department of Agriculture on Wednesday, saying it weakened nutritional standards in school breakfasts and lunches when it relaxed the requirements affecting salt and refined grains last year. The lawsuit in Manhattan federal court asked a judge to overturn the changes, saying they were carried out in an arbitrary and capricious manner.The government “significantly weakened” nutritional standards for sodium and whole grains, according to the lawsuit, without giving the public a chance to comment on them and in opposition to nutritional requirements for school meals set by Congress.The states and D.C. said the standards should be based on recommendations of the U.S. government’s “Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” the National Academy of Sciences and scientific research regarding children’s nutrition.

Governors call for change in flood management

WOWT | Posted on April 11, 2019

The met Wednesday afternoon with members of the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA to review the status of flood recovery and map out a direction toward critical improvements need to prevent this from happening in the future. The three governors addressed reporters after their session.Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said, "We need to look at this from a regional perspective." She said it needs to be addressed in terms of the short and long term response."Governor Pete Ricketts said, "By the three of us being here it demonstrates how important it is for our states." He said, "We have to do something different along the river."Ricketts said they asked to Corps to come back to them with some answers about how to avoid this from happening again.Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said, "I think it's time we need some straight-up answers from the Corps." He said whatever options they come up with, "we need those options on the table."

Indiana animal abuse bill headed to Governor

WTHI | Posted on April 11, 2019

 A State Bill that hopes to help prevent animal abuse in Indiana has passed the House. Senate Enrolled Act 474 would establish a mandatory condition of probation and parole that would not allow any person convicted of animal abuse to own, harbor, or train a 'companion animal.'It passed the Indiana House by a unanimous vote.

Texas bill limiting pet care will not be voted on

News Channel 6 | Posted on April 11, 2019

A Texas house bill that had some advocates and pet owners concerned will now be researched instead of being put up for a vote.House Bill 3806 would have stopped non-profit, low-costs vet clinics from providing certain services to some pet owners based on their income.Monday the House Agriculture and Livestock Committee heard citizens explain how the bill, if passed, would leave many pets untreated. Local Wichita County pet owners and animal advocates echoed their concerns.

Washington beef groups back brand bill, but dairy industry says 'no'

Capital Press | Posted on April 11, 2019

Most Washington dairy farmers don’t brand cows and aren’t in the mood to pay more to support a brand program, an industry representative told lawmakers, complicating a last-ditch push to save the program aimed at marketing cattle and deterring rustlers. Other cattle groups endorsed a plan to raise fees to fund inspections by the state Department of Agriculture of cattle changing owners. Washington State Dairy Federation policy director Jay Gordon said recent meetings with members revealed strong opposition.

Washington may pursue nonlethal ways to control wolves

Capital Press | Posted on April 11, 2019

The state of Washington could spend nearly $1 million over the next two years on nonlethal ways to prevent wolves from killing livestock in the northeastern corner of the state. The bill has already passed the state House, and received approval from a key Senate committee Tuesday. It would direct the Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop different management plans for wolves in different regions of the state, with more support in areas where they are rapidly multiplying.

Alabama creates new position for rural economic development

Birmningham Business Journal | Posted on April 11, 2019

Rural Alabama will soon have a new dedicated specialist to lead the charge on economic development. The Alabama Department of Commerce is gearing up to name a rural development manager in its Business Development Division to help rural communities and counties better prepare for projects.The division includes 10 other staff members, two of whom focus on attracting investments from Europe and Asia.  

US sues California, says water policy violates state law

Capital Press | Posted on April 4, 2019

The federal government sued California on over a water policy it said violates the state's environmental protection law. The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit in Sacramento federal court to block a contentious plan approved in December to increase river flows in the San Joaquin River and three tributaries to help revive dwindling salmon populations. It was part of a larger effort to protect the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which state officials called an "ecosystem in crisis." The delta supplies water for the majority of California's people and farms. Once-thriving fish in the delta, which flows out to San Francisco Bay, have plunged from some 70,000 adult Chinook salmon returning to the San Joaquin basin in the fall of 1984 to just 10,000 in 2017.

Wisconsin's effort to stop CWD is bringing people together

Journal Sentinel | Posted on April 4, 2019

Wisconsin groups and individuals have launched a grassroots push to urge Gov. Tony Evers and the Legislature to combat chronic wasting disease.Called the CWD Action Initiative, the effort is focused on protecting the health of Wisconsin’s wild deer and elk populations.  The drive was publicly unveiled in recent days. It includes specific goals such as creating safe and convenient means for deer carcass disposal, improved CWD testing and improved biosecurity at deer farms."We seek increased attention and action by Wisconsin’s elected officials to implement effective CWD management programs that will stop and reverse the growth in disease prevalence and spread," according to the initiative's mission statement.