National news: “Stolen valor” laws, daylight savings time legislation, Ferguson riot expenses


Two states seek stronger consequences for “stolen valor” laws

New Jersey and Massachusetts proposed laws that heighten the consequences for individuals caught falsely claiming to be military veterans. The current federal law, commonly known as “stolen valor” law, makes it a crime to claim veteran status untruthfully in order to receive benefits. Lawmakers of both states pushed for stronger retribution for the dishonorable action because no arrests have been made under current law. The states seek to reinforce the idea that stolen valor is equivalent to committing fraud. Offenders face one to five years in prison and a $1,000 fine if the bill is passed.

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States consider abandoning daylight savings time

U.S. legislation in 10 states challenged the half-century-long practice of daylight savings time. Under the Uniform Act of 1966, all states except for Arizona and Hawaii adopted the practice of moving clocks one hour ahead in the spring and back one hour in the fall. The goal was to preserve daylight by extending the amount of sunlight in the evening. Opponents of the law believe the change disrupts health and safety in people’s lives more than it helps them. Others say changing the uniformity of the biannual time change would prove confusing for travel and communication.

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Ferguson unrest costs taxpayers $22 million

Due to conflict in Ferguson, Missouri since the death of Michael Brown in August 2014, total costs to state residents are $22,600,898. Most of the expenses went to the National Guard and Missouri Highway Patrol in efforts to control the riots and violent protests. The figure does not include damage to buildings and businesses burned or looted in the unrest. St. Louis itself spent almost $2.8 billion and St. Louis County has spent $6.4 million with the state aid from taxpayer funds covering the rest.

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