Illinois Committee Passes Bill Taking on Asset Forfeiture, Closing Federal Loophole

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (March 22, 2017) – Yesterday, an Illinois House committee passed a bill that would reform the state’s asset forfeiture laws to prohibit the state from taking property without a criminal conviction in some situations. The legislation also takes on federal forfeiture programs by banning prosecutors from circumventing state laws by passing cases off to the feds.

Details

Michigan Committee Passes Ballot Measure to Help Protect Electronic Data from Warrantless Spying

LANSING, Mich. (March 22, 2017) – Yesterday, a Michigan House committee passed a resolution that would put before voters a state constitutional amendment to protect electronic communications and data from the prying eyes of state and local law enforcement. The amendment would also effectively block a small but intrusive practical effect of federal spying within the state.

Details

Washington Senate Committee Passes Bill to Decriminalize Industrial Hemp

OLYMPIA, Wash. (Mar. 22, 2017) – Today, a Washington Senate committee unanimously passed a bill that would remove industrial hemp from the state’s “controlled substances” list. Passage into law would set the stage for people in the Evergreen State to nullify federal prohibition on the plant in practice.

Details

Final Arizona Committee Passes Bill to Prohibit Warrantless Stingray Spying

PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 22, 2017) – On Monday, a bill that would ban the use of “stingrays” to track the location of phones and sweep up electronic communications without a warrant in most situations cleared its final committee. The proposed law would not only protect privacy in Arizona, but would also hinder one aspect of the federal surveillance state.

Details

Texas Bill Would Legalize Industrial Hemp; Foundation to Nullify Federal Prohibition

Editors note: This report has been updated to reflect further analysis of the legislation.

AUSTIN, Texas (March 20, 2017) – A bill introduced in the Texas House would legalize the production and processing of industrial hemp in the state, potentially setting the stage to nullify federal prohibition on the plant in practice.

Details