News + Resources
After weeks of negotiations, the most recent iteration of the Build Back Better Act, was released by Congress on November 3, 2021 and represents a notable shift from the earlier House Ways and Means tax proposals released on September 13, 2021 (this previous version of the tax proposals was discussed in our September 29, 2021 Client Alert). The House plans to pass the final version of the Act the week of November 15. Please note that this is proposed legislation – subject to change.
To read more, download the Client Alert below.
On November 5, 2021, Jay Carson, on behalf of Wegman Client The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The brief urges the Court to protect citizens from excessive fines in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
The issue arose when Andrew Stevens and Melanie Copenhaver filed suit in federal district court against the City of Columbus. The suit was in response to the city’s citation of Mr. Stevens and Ms. Copenhaver’s property which had been landscaped, but had not been approved by the city’s Historic Resources Commission. The city’s citation has a hefty price tag of between $100 and $1,000 per day. The suit challenged the excessive fines and the ordinance which allows for the city to determine acceptable landscaping. In July of 2020, the district court ruled against Stevens and Copenhaver denying their request for injunctive and declaratory relief. Thus, prompting Stevens and Copenhaver to appeal this decision to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The amicus brief urges the Court to reverse the district court’s ruling in favor of the City of Columbus. The brief describes why excessive fines not only don’t work and are in direct violation of the Eighth Amendment, but also how these types of fines are an intrusion of one’s privacy. “Although the right to be free of excessive fines is ancient, governments-whether through king or court or legislature – have often yielded to the temptation to abuse their power to levy fines . . . The guarantee against excessive fines has provided a check against governmental overreach for forty generations.”
On Thursday, November 4, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released its emergency rule requiring that businesses with more than 100 employees must determine the vaccination status of each employee and prohibit unvaccinated employees from entering the workplace – unless the employer adopts a plan requiring nonvaccinated employees to provide a negative COVID test on a weekly basis and wear masks while on the job. Download to read more.
Jay Carson Files Amicus Brief Urging the Ohio Supreme Court to Uphold Governor DeWine’s Authority to Encourage Ohioans to Return to Work
On October 12, 2021, Jay Carson, on behalf of Wegman Client The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief with the Ohio Supreme Court. The brief urges the court to allow Governor Mike DeWine the authority to withdraw from the Federal Unemployment Compensation Program which would result in economic development.
In March of 2021, Governor Mike DeWine announced his decision to withdraw from the Federal Unemployment Compensation Program encouraging Ohioans to return to work. In response to that decision, Candy Bowling filed a suit in Franklin County alleging that a 1930s statute requires the governor to accept all federal money offered. The Court ruled in favor of the governor upholding his right to opt out of the program. Soon after, the Tenth District Court of Appeals reversed the decision which allowed for the $300 per week unemployment bonus to be reinstated and paid retroactively.
The brief “focuses on the important public policy implications this case holds for Ohioans and why this case presents an issue of great public interest,” particularly the negative impact the compensation program has on economic development in Ohio.