As of November 8, 2020, the student debt crisis reached $1,769,280,155,524. There’s no easy way to address a $1.7 trillion problem and the increasing cost of higher education, coupled with the necessity of a four-year degree, will only exacerbate the issue. From 2000 to 2016, the average annual cost of college more than doubled, from around $15,000 a year to nearly $32,000. The New York Fed most recently identified a phenomenon acknowledging that when you flood the marketplace with subsidies, like grants, loans, etc., it enables higher education to continue to raise prices. For every dollar of new public subsidy, prices for college have risen between 60 and 70 cents. There are a number of proposals as to how to address this crisis – from federal statutes to private intervention – but income sharing agreements (ISAs) have largely been left out of the conversation. ISAs are not without criticism, particularly because of concerns about excessive interest. However, many of the criticisms could and should be addressed by comprehensive regulation, as any other type of lending has been. ISAs will likely be part of the future solutions of financing education and, as a result, regulators need to pay attention.
It cannot be denied that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many novel legal and regulatory issues. One topic of major concern both domestically and abroad is how to manage the massive amounts of consumer data being collected in the attempt to quell the spread of the virus. This issue is especially complicated to address in the United States, where a convoluted patchwork of state and federal laws interact to create a relentlessly fragmented data regulation system. Now, as state and local governments, along with tech giants like Apple and Google, continue to roll out contact tracing applications, the need for comprehensive data privacy regulation is more pressing than ever.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local municipalities have issued emergency proclamations requiring small businesses to either shut down or limit their business operations. This has caused small businesses to suffer substantial profit losses. In response, small businesses have filed business interruption claims with their insurance providers to recover their profit losses. However, insurance companies have mostly rejected their insureds’ business interruption claims because there has not been a direct physical loss or damage to the insureds’ properties, which is required to grant business interruption coverage. Businesses have been forced to file lawsuits against their insurers, hoping that the courts will compel insurance companies to provide business interruption coverage to their insureds during the pandemic. Business owners have also asked their elected officials to intervene and help them by passing legislation that would require insurance companies to provide business interruption coverage.
It is clear that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon. Cases today are skyrocketing and that means restrictions like we had at the beginning of this pandemic are likely to follow. Since March, Chicago has had an array of different orders and guidelines they have followed both from the City of Chicago and from Governor J.B. Pritzker. In May, Chicago announced the “Protecting Chicago” framework which set out five phases depending on COVID numbers to guide citizens on what re-opening Chicago would look like. With the warm weather behind us, what does this mean for the future of dining for the rest of 2020?
As the United States continues to grapple with the effects of the coronavirus epidemic, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced new rules extending compliance dates and timeframes under the Cures Act. The agency’s new rules—most of which take effect on Dec. 4, 2020—are aimed at giving IT developers and health care providers flexibility in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
The current social and political climate, as well as our planet’s environmental climate, have shown the new role that corporations play in society. The pandemic and the current social upheaval seen worldwide have increased the need for real and meaningful corporate commitment to social responsibility.
The new Title IX regulations that were introduced by the Department of Education (the Department) in May are officially in effect and require school districts to implement multiple changes in their Title IX compliance practices. Title IX explains that educational programs and activities receiving federal funding from the Department must not act in a discriminatory manner on the basis of sex. These new regulations extend many new protections against sexual harassment, and aim to protect the rights of students, mainly their right to due process. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools are challenged with implementing these new regulations while navigating the obstacles brought by the virus.
The use of fracking has made the United States the global leader in natural gas and crude oil production. However, the practice is not without controversy. Activist groups have called for a ban against fracking as scientists have warned of potential health and environmental impacts, while energy lobbyists have fought bitterly against any restrictions or regulations. As it stands, U.S. regulating of fracking has been mostly left ineffectively to the states, with exemptions to federal regulations on the books. As the societal costs of fracking become better understood, regulators and policy makers must make difficult decisions regarding the practice.
Americans miss dining out. In fact, surveys indicate that sitting down in a restaurant is the most missed pastime of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the monotony of homebound living grows and already economically fragile restaurants operate at a diminished capacity, patrons and restaurants alike are flouting regulations to get back to normal. Between the pressure of dwindling stimulus loans and eager customers, regulation must be balanced with economic relief to encourage responsible and sustainable reopening.
On November 3, 2020 new rules from the Health and Human Services Department concerning information blocking in healthcare will come into effect. The rules are an implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act (“Act”) which is the latest in the government’s effort to lower costs and allow for greater patient access to electronic health information (“EHI”). The Act aims to prevent covered healthcare providers from restricting the flow of EHI in inappropriate ways. Violations of the new Act may result in considerable civil fines.