The D.C. Circuit Court, as you know, upheld the FCC's disastrous net neutrality repeal a few weeks back -- but it also nullified that repeal's block on net neutrality laws at the state level. That means, among other things, that California's 2018 net neutrality law -- which some unscrupulous Assembly Democrats tried, but failed, to gut in mid-2018 -- is now in effect, protecting that state's nearly 40 million residents (nearly one-eighth of America's population) from big telecom greed games like blocking, censoring, and throttling websites, or demanding tribute for the "privilege" of having your web content delivered more quickly. Washington, Oregon, and Colorado have also passed laws protecting net neutrality, and a little more than half of the rest of America's states have legislation pending, but haven't passed bills. Hence Fight for the Future helps you tell your state government to protect internet freedom by passing strong net neutrality legislation. Remember: the more states that pass it, the more likely the big telecoms will give up.
Meanwhile, H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, is not bad -- it would finally allow Medicare to negotiate prices for some drugs (including insulin products since insulin rationing is all over the news and two dozen other highly-prescribed drugs) and would set a ceiling on their prices that doesn't exceed the average price of drugs in six developed countries that all pay a lot less for drugs than we do, but it could be more vigorous, so Social Security Works helps you tell your Congressfolk to "strengthen and pass" the Lower Drug Costs Now Act. You will have room for comments -- which might include your preference that such a bill allow Medicare to negotiate for all its covered drugs, or allow Medicare to manufacture generic versions of drugs for which it can't get a good price. S. 99, the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act, and S. 377, the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act, would do more than H.R. 3, and though I don't let the perfect murder the good, I don't hold back on communicating my will to my representatives, either.
In other news, our EPA has decided to allow farms to spray antibiotics on certain citrus trees. They imagine that spraying antibiotics will stop "greening" -- which, among other things, literally turns citrus fruits green and renders them inedible -- but if you know that an infected insect causes greening (one of two types of psyllid), you might already be skeptical, and indeed, the solutions most likely to mitigate greening (monitoring, keeping insects away, removing infected trees) all require a lot of workers, whereas spraying antibiotics all over your citrus groves doesn't. But spraying also doesn't do very much good -- so says a study conducted by University of Florida researchers, and though they add that injecting antibiotics into trees works better, again, they would need to pay workers to do that! And of course spraying antibiotics on trees like this could actually do us all a lot of harm, by making superbugs even more resistant, until we're all worried that the next cut could kill us. Hence Penn PIRG helps you tell our EPA to listen to the science and stop antibiotic spraying on citrus farms.
Finally, Pennsylvania residents, take note: HB 1739/SB 580, the Family Care Act, would establish a paid family leave insurance program in the state of Pennsylvania. Like the FAMILY Act at the federal level, the Family Care Act would pay for the program by instituting a small payroll tax -- 0.588%, which is a little over half of one percent, not "five percent" or "50 percent," "liberal" media! Yes, I really will never let that go; people should lose their jobs over such mistakes (or should I call them "mistakes"?). Benefits seem a bit low to me, but at least it would compensate more of your salary at the lower end -- workers would get 90% of "the portion of a covered individual's average weekly wage that is equal to or less than 50% of the Statewide average weekly wage," and then 50% of the portion above that. It's not "class warfare" to do that, but common sense: folks with lower income literally can't afford to take days off to take care of sick family members, or sick selves. So Moms Rising helps you tell your PA state legislators to support working families by passing the Family Care Act.