Red Tape Cutting, Tightening Immunization Exemptions, Consumer Protections Also on Tap

(TRENTON) – Legislation to promote the purchasing of electric cars and charging stations through tax credits, crackdown on salaries and benefits at state and local authorities, streamline burdensome regulations to help businesses and help boost the horse racing industry and tighten immunization exemptions top Thursday’s Assembly voting session agenda.

The session is slated to begin at 1 p.m. with a Black History Month ceremony. It will be streamed live at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.

Highlights include:

• Legislation (A-3650-3651) sponsored by Assembly Democrats Connie Wagner (D-Bergen), Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex), Gilbert “Whip” Wilson and Angel Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester), Daniel R. Benson and Wayne DeAngelo (both D-Mercer/Middlesex), Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), Kevin J. Ryan (D-Essex) to provide corporate and gross income tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles and charging stations.

• Legislation (A-2505) sponsored by Nellie Pou (D-Passaic/Bergen), Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden) and Gordon Johnson (B-Bergen) to restrict the salaries and benefits at state and local authorities.

• Legislation (A-2721-2722) sponsored by John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland), Annette Quijano (D-Union) and Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) to continue helping New Jersey’s economy by cutting back on burdensome business regulations.

• Legislation (A-2051) sponsored by DeAngelo and Ruben J. Ramos Jr. (D-Hudson) to invalidate any consumer contract that requires a consumer to waive the right to file a consumer complaint.

• Legislation (A-2513-3511-3710) to continue efforts to boost New Jersey’s horse racing industry. They’re sponsored by Burzichelli, Wagner, Vainieri Huttle and John F. McKeon (D-Essex).

• A resolution (ACR-157) sponsored by Herb Conaway, M.D. (D-Camden/Burlington) and Burzichelli to require the state to tighten regulations granting immunization exemptions to school children.

• Legislation (A-444) sponsored by Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset) to disqualify school board members for crime convictions and require them to undergo background checks.

• Legislation (A-2592) sponsored by John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Coughlin and Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) to create a next-of-kin program for use after motor vehicle accidents.

• A bill (A-3468) sponsored by Peter J. Barnes III (D-Middlesex), L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex) and Vainieri Huttle to establish a civil cause of action for gender-motivated violence.

• Legislation (A-3468) sponsored by Nelson Albano and Matthew W. Milam (both D-Atlantic-Cape May-Cumberland), Burzichelli and Celeste Riley (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland) to extend lemon law protections to farm equipment.

• Legislation (A-2571) sponsored by Joan M. Quigley (D-Hudson/Bergen), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer) and Spencer to recognize three Indian tribes in New Jersey.

The complete agenda can be found at: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/leg….

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Sour over lemon law 'backflip'

THE State Opposition has accused the Government of ditching an election promise to give car buyers more protection.

The Government announced it would bring in “lemon laws” during its 2006 election campaign.

It said the laws would give consumers the right to an exchange or refund when a car they bought had a major fault that could not be repaired within a reasonable time.

Government spokesman Michael Sinclair said last week that the law would now be considered under a national consumer legislation, coming into effect from 2011.

Mr Sinclair said the Federal and State Governments were working together on the law, which would be based on the 1974 Trade Practices Act and that Victorian car buyers already enjoyed “significant protections” from the “implied provisions” of the 1997 Fair Trading Act.

“(The current laws) require goods sold to be of merchantable quality, or fit for sale and correspond with any descriptions given to the consumer,” Mr Sinclair said.

“These laws apply to motor car sales and give consumers the legal right to recover their money if they buy a lemon.”

In September last year Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson said manufacturers were required only to repair defects during the warranty period with no obligation to replace or refund a defective vehicle.

Kilsyth state Liberal MP David Hodgett asked why the Government pledged to introduce the law if the present laws gave consumers adequate protection.

“Why would John Brumby, in his first statement as Premier, confirm that the Labor Government was committed to introducing lemon laws?” Mr Hodgett said.

“Mr Brumby has done a clear backflip and in doing so has left Victorians unprotected and exposed at a time when our economic climate is at its worst.”

Campaigner says squeeze needed

CROYDON’S Helen Moss knows first hand about the dangers of buying a “lemon”.

Ms Moss has been campaigning for the introduction of lemon laws since she paid more than $71,000 for a new car in 1996, only to find it had faulty steering.

The car got fixed, but it took nearly 10 years.

“My lemon car cost me my horticultural business, my health and nearly everything I ever owned,” Ms Moss said.

“I am now on a disability pension as a direct result of the appalling behaviour of car dealers and manufacturer representatives towards me.”

Ms Moss said she was verbally abused several times during her ordeal.

“It became psychological warfare,” she said.

“These people are likely to yell, lie and abuse you because it is cheaper than to fix the problem.”

Ms Moss, well known in Maroondah’s horticultural circles, said she “thought it was all over” when the Government promised to introduce the laws at the 2006 election.

“I was really keen to get Labor elected on that promise but now I think it is appalling that they have swept it under the carpet, hoping no one notices,” she said.

“They say it now won’t come in until 2011.  I feel sorry for the thousands of people who will have to be subjected to the same thing I was in.”

Do You Know What to Request Your Lemon Law Legal professional?

Hiring a lawyer, regardless of the veracity of your claims and the sort of legal problem that you need to have sorted out can be an high priced prospect right after all attorneys are the most highly help people in the nation and this also retains genuine for legal professional who offer in instances concerning lemon laws of California. Most attorneys who cater to lemon law customers quote substantial charges since they will be managing a quite specialized make a difference that demands knowledge in a particular legal subject so it can take them really a bit of time to wade their way through the red tape and you have to foot the bill of the time invested. So ahead of you go charging into a law firm trying to get a lawyer, you want to know selected details that will assist you to get some solutions from your attorney

Let’s begin by chatting about the definition of a lemon this is a automobile that malfunctions shortly soon after buy or whilst the warranty is nevertheless in impact and even soon after numerous attempts the producer or the dealer from whom the auto was purchased fails to rectify the issue.

What do the lemon laws in California say about such instances?

In accordance to the lemon laws in California which are a element of the Song-Beverly Client Warranty Act, if a auto develops mechanical or structural faults that impede the security and the functioning of the automobile and if the producer cannot rectify this kind of defects inside a affordable variety of repair attempts the producer is obligated to possibly refund the invest in selling price and any expense that could have been incurred to procure the auto to the client or give a substitute. It is at the consumer’s discretion which option to get.

So in other words the lemon laws in California offer you shoppers protection towards unscrupulous establishments that dupe unsuspecting clients into purchasing an inherently faulty auto. The law also safeguards the interest of the individuals towards the unfair warranty practices of this kind of dealers and makers by making sure that the sellers have to disclose the actuality that the motor vehicle is a lemon purchase back again. The dealers are also obligated to supply a one yr warranty on these kinds of cars and they are not allowed to offer the car or truck with the unique defect still present. If a dealer tries to deliberately conceal this kind of details about a car he will be liable to spend compensation on these kinds of dealings and will be reprimanded by the court underneath the lemon laws in California. And this is where you will want a lemon lawyer. You also want to realize that lemon law cases are really complex so you will want to enlist the assist of an skilled lawyer.

So right here is a seem at what you ought to know prior to you get in touch with a lemon law attorney

How do you know your automobile is a lemon?

Any form of motor vehicle, a truck, car or truck, SUV or even an RV are covered by lemon law if there are mechanical or structural defects in the vehicle that were not disclosed to the purchaser during the time of buy. Also, there might be times when a dealership refuses to manage such concerns even when the car is beneath warranty

if dilemma happen in the vehicle and if the dealer does nit or can not repair them within a month of the automobile currently being left at the companies or he dealers workshop. In this kind of a scenario, you may well want to get in touch with an attorney. Guarantee that you document all the problems that you have had which include any at the repair store, sustain receipts of all repair efforts undertaken by the dealer or manufacturer. If you meet the qualifying perquisites under lemon laws in California, you can sue the manufacturer and the dealership will not only have to spend the invest in cost of the auto but any expense there of these kinds of as the finance expenses, which include monthly payments and down payment, registration costs, repair and towing costs and so forth. On the other hand, it is important to keep all payments and paperwork meticulously


Howard Silver is a top California Lemon Law Attorney
Los Angeles Consumer Lawyer
Consult a professional attorney in California

Attorney General Pam Bondi: Lemon Law Arbitrators Needed

TALLAHASSEE – Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced that her office is seeking applications for new appointees to the Florida New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board.  The board holds arbitration hearings throughout the state during which consumers and manufacturer representatives may appear and give testimony in an informal setting. The panel must then determine whether the consumer’s vehicle meets the legal requirements to be declared a “lemon.”

Arbitration hearings conducted by the New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board are open to the public. The process is free, fair and expeditious. Consumers are not required to be represented by attorneys to participate in the arbitration process, but may do so if they wish.

The board has 10 regions located in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach. Arbitration hearings are conducted in these cities or in nearby vicinities. A panel of three arbitrators hears each case. Hearings usually last two to four hours and are conducted during normal business hours. Arbitrators should be available at least two days each month.

A legal background, automotive technical experience, a background in engineering, experience or training in alternative dispute resolution, or general experience in reviewing and analyzing information are useful qualifications. The Office of the Attorney General is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to have the boards composition reflect the rich diversity of Florida’s population. Completion of an arbitrator application form is required for consideration.

Applications for the term commencing July 1, 2011, must be received by March 31, 2011. Applications received after that date cannot be considered for the upcoming term but will be kept on file for consideration in the event of future vacancies. The application form and more information about the Lemon Law Arbitration Program are available on the Attorney Generals home page at http://myfloridalegal.com. Interested persons also can obtain an application by contacting Kairi Kapoor at (850) 414-3500 or Kairi.Kapoor@myfloridalegal.com or by writing to:

Office of the Attorney General
Lemon Law Arbitration Program
ATTN: Kairi Kapoor
The Capitol, PL-01
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1050

Philly Dawg: Dog docket 2/14

The USDA inspector who played a pivotal role bringing down Michael Vick’s brutal dog fighting ring says it’s too early to say whether Vick should have a pet one day

Special Agent Jim Knorr, speaking for the first time since being interviewed for Jim Gorant’s book,  “The Lost dogs,”  says he doesn’t know if Vick has changed and that only time will tell.

“I would hope he has but I don’t know. Only one person knows and that’s him,” Knorr told ESPN’s Outside the Lines.

“The only way the public is going to know if he’s sincere is to revisit it 5 to 8 years from now, when he’s not playing in the NFL and getting endorsements,” Knorr said. “Is he still going into the neighborhoods, preaching to the kids?

Knorr recalled one informaant saying Vick “got high” when he and others were killing dogs and how difficult it was as a dog owner himself to keep separate his love for his own dog and the heinous case of animal abuse he was charged with investigating, 

But praised Vick’s work off the field, speaking to inner city children about the evils of dog fighting.

“If he’s sincere or not, it doesn’t really matter because what he’s doing now, he’s doing a positive thing by speaking to kids in the community about his mistakes and telling them not to go there. What he’s doing is good for the public.”


Dog fighting did not begin nor will it end with Michael Vick… three Philadelphia men got lengthy prison terms earlier this month for their role in a dog fighting ring, that also involved drugs and illegal weapons.

Ronald Williams Sr. plead guilty to animal fighting and multiple drug and weapons charges and was sentenced to prison for six to 12 years.

Ronald Williams Jr. and Michael Rains both plead guilty to conspiracy animal fighting and each received three to 23 months jail time and three years probation. All three are prohibited from owning animals while serving their sentences. The conviction and sentencing ends one of hundreds of dog fighting cases reported in the city each year. The case was heard by Common Pleas Court Judge Rosalyn Robinson.

The case stems from a 2008 incident when officers from the Pennsylvania SPCA responded to a call from an officer with the Philadelphia Police violent gun task force who was conducting an investigation at a house on the 400 block of Simpson Street.

Upon entering the property, Humane Law officers found six adult dogs and four puppies. All of the dogs were heavily chained or crated in unsanitary conditions without food or water. In addition, officers found significant evidence of dog fighting including chains, a treadmill, harnesses, poles, injectable substances and breeding records. The dogs were removed and taken to the PSPCA where they have been held in protective custody.

 “We applaud both Judge Robinson and Assistant District Attorney Pat Link for their commitment to justice for the animals involved in this case. Clearly these animals were exploited and suffered as part of a criminal operation,” said PSPCA CEO Susan Cosby. “We are proud of the work our officers do to fight cruelty, neglect and abuse in the city of Philadelphia, every single day.”

We do not know what has or will become of the dogs in this case. They were held for more than two years in kennels in a shelter with likely insufficient socialization, a fate that befalls many dogs and cats in abuse cases and, tragically, most pit bulls – like Vick’s – that were involved in dog fighting cases. 


For the first time in almost two years, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has filed suit against a dog breeder who sold sick puppies to unsuspecting customers.

Costanzo “Gus” Cerino, who ran Nacoma Kennel in Lehighton, with violating consumer protection laws (specifically the state’s “Puppy Lemon Law” for selling “malnourished” dogs who were in poor health because of sub-standard veterinary care and dogs with genetic defects.

Cerino had multiple run-ins with authorities long before he was hit with the suit last week.

In 2009 he was charged with 28 counts of animal abuse relating to several horses seized from his property. His kennel, where he bred beagles, Alaskan malamutes, basset hounds, boxers, cocker spaniels, German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, Rottweiler’s, Siberian huskies, beagles and others. Dogs ranged in price from $125 to $1,000, the suit said. 

Cerino housed more than 200 dogs at a time in his northeastern Pennsylvania kennel and sold well over 500 dogs a year.

Cerino received two solid years of negative inspection reports by dog wardens before the state finally pulled his license in 2010.

Among the inspection report notations: dogs standing in water, dogs standing on rusted and broken wire flooring, frozen water bowls, Veternary exams were ordered for dogs with matting and respiratory disease. The reports make clear Cerino made no attempt to improve conditions for the dogs despite repeated warnings and citations.

In addition, the suit notes Cerino was advertising AKC registered dogs when he had no affiliation with the registry. (The AKC last year ordered him to remove their seal from his website.)

The kennel’s website also falsely advertised the kennel was “PA Preferred, Registered Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.”

The lawsuit seeks more than $6,000 in consumer restitution and penalties up to $1,000 for every violation of the Consumer Protection Law.

Ryan’s office said consumers who believe they purchased a sick puppy from Nacoma Kennel should file complaints with the Bureau of Consumer Protection by calling 1-800-441-2555 to obtain a complaint form or by visiting http://www.attorneygeneral.gov to file electronically.

Whether the consumers will ever see restitution is another matter. Cerino’s property is for sale and he has reportedly left the state.



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Valentine’s Day a busy one for civil marriages.

Tribune Staff Writer
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SOUTH BEND — Richi Sanchez is standing in the same building where men are sometimes sentenced to a lifetime in prison and is about to appear before the judge.

Minutes earlier, Sanchez said he wasn’t nervous. Not now, not on this day.

But now Magistrate Larry Ambler is speaking slowly and deliberately, lines he has said hundreds of times.

“I take you, Constance,” Ambler begins.

Sanchez follows, a line he is saying for the very first time.

“I take you, Constance …”

And so it begins, the traditional wedding vow, the ultimate confession of devotion and love.

“… to be my loving and faithful wife,” Ambler says.

“… to be my loving and faithful wife,” Sanchez says.

On they go.

In good times and bad. In sickness and health. In joy and sadness.

In the quietness of the courtroom, Sanchez forgets a word, a line. But the ever patient Ambler repeats it, and on they go.

Soon, Constance Burns will repeat the same lines back to her husband-to-be.

There will be an exchange of rings. A kiss. Applause from the gathered family and friends.

Ambler instructs the young couple – he in a suit coat, she in a dark blue knee-length dress – to sign the wedding certificate, and suddenly it’s official.

Husband and wife.

Court of love

Today, of course, is Valentine’s Day.

Depending on your perspective it’s the ultimate holiday for romantic love, or a marketing ploy invented by candy and greeting-card companies.

But naysayers should know this: Today, at the St. Joseph County Courthouse, more than a dozen weddings are scheduled, making it one of the busiest wedding days of the year and a testament to the day’s hopeful promise of everlasting love.

Except, of course, for the people who will forget to show up.

Ambler, who has been marrying people as magistrate for the past seven years, says it’s common for “no-shows” at courthouse weddings. He’s come to expect it, he said, as part of the beauty of the arraignment.

“Maybe it’s cold feet, maybe they forgot,” Ambler said.

Unlike the mega weddings that bridal magazines, expo shows and retailers try to set as the standard for today’s nuptials, the courthouse offers something much more important for many couples.

Convenience. Simplicity. Spontaneity.

Ambler says he’s had couples call first thing in the morning, saying they woke up that morning and decided to get married. He’s married couples who came to the courthouse for their marriage license and discovered they could finish the process the same day.

“They’ll call up here and ask if they can be married right now,” Ambler said. “It can take less than 30 minutes for the whole thing.”

Because weddings have to be scheduled around regular courtroom work – trials, sentencing, lawsuits – not all requests can be instantly accommodated. But Ambler admits it’s probably the closest thing to a Las Vegas-style “all night” chapel to be found in South Bend.

“I’ve had people show up in formalwear, I’ve had people show up in shorts,” Ambler said. “I’ve married people in front of 40 or 50 people, but more often when it’s just the couple. You never really know until they show up.”


Heather Lloyd is wearing jeans and a short-sleeved cardigan sweater. Fabian Sanchez is in slacks and a button-down pin-stripped shirt.

Standing in a second-floor courtroom last week, they recited their vows in front of Ambler and one of Fabian’s friends, acting as best man.

Both have been married before, and the thought of a large church wedding just doesn’t make sense.

“We decided to go ahead and get married now, and then to have the reception later, when it’s not so cold and nasty out,” Lloyd said.

Ambler says he doesn’t necessarily ask couple’s reasons for getting in the courthouse, but he knows practicality is often a concern.

“A lot of people tell me they’re getting married now, but that they’re going to have a church wedding later,” Ambler said.

Although he keeps no statistics, Ambler said he marries a lot of “students,” young people who seem like they can’t wait to tie the knot.

“They’re the ones who always say they’re going to have the ceremony later,” Ambler said.

But Ambler admits not all weddings seem to be attended by people madly in love, sometimes even after the act becomes official.

“I received a call from a groom once, a half an hour after the wedding, saying he hadn’t wanted to get married and asking if he could have the papers back,” Ambler said. “But there wasn’t anything I could do. It’s not like with buying a car, there’s no lemon law.”


Despite those sorts of the calls, and the doubt that sometimes comes with marrying people he has just met, Ambler views his role as a love enabler with a bit of optimism.

As far as he knows, Ambler has never had a couple that he has married appear before him in a divorce proceeding.

But odds are it will happen one day.

Ambler said that most days, in his role as magistrate, his mornings can start with a dozen child support or custody hearings, followed by divorce trials.

“I’ll have a trial for ending a marriage, and things can get nasty,” Ambler said. “It’s not a happy environment.”

Then, during his lunch break or an afternoon lull, he’ll stand before two smiling, gushing people, about to pledge their undying devotion.

“That’s the fun part,” Ambler said, and helps to ward off the cynicism his job could bring.

“How long they’ll stay married, who knows?” Ambler said. “But it’s nice to (be in) a little different atmosphere than what I normally deal with.”

Before the ‘I do’

Although he knows of no specific law that forbids it, Ambler said he couldn’t in good conscience marry someone who was inebriated or who clearly didn’t understand what they were about to do.

If he’s uncertain of someone’s understanding before the ceremony, he believes it’s his duty to stop them from getting married.

“If they were under the influence, or if you had someone who didn’t speak English, you want to make sure they understand what they are about to do,” Ambler said.

But really, when it comes to getting married, does anyone fully understand what they are about to do?

Last week, there was no need to ask Richi Sanchez and his bride, Constance Burns, that question, because the answer was in their eyes.

The same for Fabian Sanchez and his bride, Heather Lloyd, who smiled so big after Ambler pronounced them husband and wife, that there was no denying their affection.

It might be at a courthouse. It might be because of convenience, or spontaneity or simplicity. In the end, it might not work out.

But, still, there’s no denying it.

“I’ve never,” Ambler said, “had to tell someone no, that I wouldn’t marry them.

“Not yet.”

#commentList .latestHeader, #commentList .moreLinks { width: 600px; }

Nothing like the sanctity of marriage Beavis! lol

My wife and I were engaged … when we woke up one morning and decided to speed things up a bit by getting married in the court that day … so that I wouldn’t get deported before the “real” wedding … and it wasn’t until after the wedding that it hit us … I was born in the US … and serving in the Navy … so nobody was going to deport me … unless I was in another country with the Navy and the other country decided to send me back … for like spray painting on the wall like that one dude in Singapore … those folks don’t joke around … you can get a bag of popcorn and a soda … and have a seat to watch them caning these fools out in the open … it’s good times, let me tell ya … we need something like that … and I need a cup of coffee … don’t know what this all means … but have a Happy Valentines Day folks!!!

Toscano, Bell see bills advance

RICHMOND — It was a struggle, but Del. David J. Toscano managed to bring a state environmental advocate together with the state’s largest power company to work on a proposal to expand solar power in the state.

Now he needs to get the Virginia Senate to see the light.

Toscano, D-Charlottesville, sponsored a bill that allows the State Corporation Commission to approve solar energy pilot projects through Dominion Virginia Power. The bill, which was approved by the House of Delegates, represents the hard work of people who “often don’t see eye-to-eye,” the delegate said.

Both Dominion Power and the Piedmont Environmental Council support the bill.

Lawmakers are midway through the General Assembly session that has been less contentious than last year’s session. Legislators aren’t forced to cut billions of dollars from state programs and agencies. Instead, they have focused on transportation, stimulating job growth, watershed protection, foreclosure problems and illegal immigration.

Toscano’s bill is a “good first step for the commonwealth to try out solar generation,” said Robert Marmet, senior energy analyst for the environmental council.

The bill is a good opportunity for private individuals and will let homeowners in rural areas use solar panels that can feed into the electrical system, Marmet said.

“We think once Dominion has tried some of these projects, it will find they work very well,” he said.

While in the past the environmental council has thought the power company hasn’t adequately addressed environmental concerns, it said the legislation is a “big step by Dominion” in working toward solar energy, Marmet said.

The bill headed to the Senate on Tuesday, where it was referred to the Committee on Commerce and Labor.

“I’m fairly optimistic it will do well,” Toscano said, adding that anytime a compromise can be reached between the power company and the environmental council, a bill stands a good chance of passing.

Toscano said the budget rolled out as he expected, with the House being less supportive of public education, he said.

“I have not been very surprised of the way things have gone so far,” Toscano said.

While he championed the solar energy debate, Toscano said he has spent most of session working behind the scenes, trying to preserve public education funding.

Public education fared better in the Senate’s version of the budget. The Senate called for providing $100 million more for kindergarten through 12th grade education than the governor’s budget. The House version of the budget recommended allocating $66 million to provide a 2 percent bonus for teachers.

Toscano also said he hopes the House and Senate can provide more state money for public education as they begin to negotiate differences in their budgets this week, he said.

“I would like to think that education is one of the major issues for everyone down here,” he said.

Toscano also tried to bring more transparency to the budget process — an effort that ultimately failed.

His bill would have required members of the General Assembly to issue reports along with the budget that identified any non-state funds. The bill also would have required legislators to identify any budget item that represents legislation that failed in either house during the regular or special session.

The House Appropriations Committee, however, killed the bill.

“Sometimes it’s difficult for people to embrace too much change at one time,” Toscano said.

However, he said the bill scored a “big, big victory” for transparency because, while it wasn’t heard last year, it was granted a hearing during this session.

Toscano said he would try to introduce the bill again next year, or have it incorporated as a rule.




Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle, is trying to protect Virginia residents from cyber-bullying, sex offenders and prison inmates.

Seven of Bell’s bills have been passed to the Senate for consideration, but he is especially proud of his cyber-bullying bill, he said.

Bell’s cyber-bullying bill adds sending text messages to Virginia’s obscene phone call statute. It also clarifies that the law covers messages made or received by wireless devices, Bell said in an e-mail.

“The new law would apply to anyone, but obviously has special relevance in schools,” Bell said, adding that he hopes the bill will help educators handle cyber-bullying in schools.

Teens use wireless communication, like texting, to spread rumors instantly, making it hard for educators to intervene in a problem before it escalates, Bell said.

The bill passed in the House 99-0 and moved to the Senate where it was assigned to the Senate Courts Committee.

Bell also sponsored legislation that would increase the penalties for inmates who assault a contractor working in a Virginia prison. The bill would provide the same penalty for assaulting contractors as for assaulting a correctional officers.

Bell said the bill was brought to him on behalf of nurses who work in prisons.

“The Department of Corrections has been able to save money by using contractors for services within prisons, but we need to make sure these employees are safe,” he said in an e-mail.

The bill passed in the House 99-0 and moved to the Senate Courts Committee.

Not all of Bell’s bills, however, received the House’s approval.

Bell, who is in his 10th year in the House, sponsored a bill that would have expanded Virginia’s “lemon law” to include company cars.

In Virginia, consumers can return a car within 18 months of the manufacturer’s limited warranty going into effect if the vehicle has a recurring significant problem, a policy often referred to as a “lemon law.”

However, opponents of the bill said the law was only meant to protect individual consumers, not companies. The bill was tabled by the House finance committee.

Virginia Statehouse News is a nonprofit, nonpartisan project of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity dedicated to providing transparency at the state government level and to hold government officials accountable.

Car Warranties: Common Issues and Misunderstandings

There is a lot of fine print when it comes to car warranties. Here are some common issues and misunderstandings when it comes to the ever important car warranty.

Statutory Warranties

Most states have some form of a Lemon Law, where buyers will be protected from cars that have significant manufacturing defects. Some state’s laws will apply to new cars only, used cars and new cars equally or separately to new cars and used cars. The defect often has to be significant or a series of defects that together are significant. For the statutory warranties, you will need to keep detailed and accurate records of everything related to the car.

Extended Warranties

Extended warranties are most often seen on used cars or on new cars that are almost out of factory warranty. One of the major issues with the extended warranties is that some companies that provide these will require you to pay out of pocket for the repair and submit the bill for potential reimbursement.

Another big issue that is often the warranty is tied to the use of a particular repair shop. If that shop is inconvenient or goes out of business, you may be out of luck for any reimbursement or coverage.

New Car Warranties

The type of coverage is set out in the agreement of sale. The bumper-to-bumper warranty may be 10 years/10,000 miles, whichever is first, but there are other items in the fine print. The fine print is what limits the items in the warranty. For instance, tires will obviously not be covered. Most manufacturers place different time limits on the overall car, the power train and the corrosion protection.

New car warranties also tend to come with one larger caveat. Most of the longer car warranties only apply to the original owner. That means that when you sell it, or even possibly if you just transfer the car to a family member, the warranty no longer applies. This may cause an issue with resale value.

Implied Warranties

Caught in the Web: Reactions to Lakers' 92-86 victory over Boston, and why …

The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola reports Kobe Bryant may return to Italy if he doesn’t agree with the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement. Isola quotes an unnamed teammate who said that Bryant recently threatened, “I’ll play in Europe” when they were discussing the potential of an NBA lockout this summer and the ramifications of a new agreement.

Game stories

The Times’ Mike Bresnahan calls the Lakers’ 92-86 victory over the Boston Celtics the most important win of the season.

The Boston Globe’s Julian Benbow explains how the Celtics folded down the stretch.

The Orange County Register’s Kevin Ding argues that the Lakers passed a huge test by beating the Celtics.

The Daily News’ Elliott Teaford details the Lakers’ ability to rally against the Celtics. 


The Times’ Bresnahan reports that Lakers Coach Phil Jackson asked longtime friend and sports psychologist George Mumford to talk to the players several hours before the Lakers-Celtics game.

The Orange County Register’s Ding talks about the eight stitches Lamar Odom had to the head.

The Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy provides a timetable for Delonte West’s return.

The Daily News’ Teaford looks at Jackson’s reaction to Jerry Sloan’s decision to step down as Utah’s head coach.


The Associated Press reports that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s recent tweet that he’s “cancer free” is a misstatement and that it’s at a “minimum.”

The Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett talks about Ray Allen breaking Reggie Miller’s record for the most three-pointers in NBA history.

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix focuses on Allen’s work ethic.

ESPN Boston’s Peter May highlights Allen’s career.


The Times’ Bill Plaschke expresses giddiness over the Lakers’ win over Boston.

The Times’ Mark Heisler looks at Sloan’s departure.

NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner spotlights the Lakers’ toughness against Boston.

The Daily News’ Vincent Bonsignore points out why the supposed trade talk involving Carmelo Anthony and the Lakers is ridiculous.

The Boston Herald’s Ron Borges praises Allen’s longevity.

ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg argues that the Celtics shouldn’t worry too much about their loss to the Lakers.

ESPN Los Angeles’ Dave McMenamin notes Bryant’s second-half dominance against Boston.

ESPN Los Angeles’ Ramona Shelburne says the Lakers’ patience during adverse moments finally paid off.

Sports Illustrated’s Ian Thomsen argues that the Lakers took advantage of Boston’s depleted lineup.

Fox Sports’ Billy Witz says Andrew Bynum’s effort showed why the Lakers need him.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski maintains that Bryant has set out to prove his critics wrong once again.


The Boston Globe’s Gary Dzen highlights Allen’s record-setting night.

ESPN Los Angeles’ Brian Kamenetzky breaks down the Lakers’ victory over the Celtics.

Celtics Blog’s Jeff Clark says he feared that Boston would lose.

Lakers.com’s Mike Trudell offers a running diary.

Forum Blue and Gold’s Darius Soriano argues that the Lakers played smarter than the Celtics.

Silver Screen and Roll’s Dexter Fishmore likes how the Lakers worked the ball on offense.

Tweet of the Day: “That @Lakers performance tells me that the players don’t want Melo and definitely want Bynum to stay” — landondonovan (Galaxy and U.S. forward Landon Donovan)

Reader Comment of the Day:“How awesome is it that the 100th win of the Lucky Barstool was against the Celtics on their home court? Pretty … awesome. I treated the bar to a shot of Jameson with the win and we toasted to the Lucky Barstool (now 100-18). Awesome. ” — Jon K.

— Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Kobe Bryant works in the post against the Celtics’ Ray Allen in the second half Thursday night in Boston. Credit: Elise Amendola / Associated Press