Legislation (or “statutory law”) is law which has been promulgated (or “enacted”) by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it. (Another source of law is judge-made law or case law) The term may refer to a single law, or the collective body of enacted law, while “statute” is also used to refer to a single law. Before an item of legislation becomes law it may be known as a bill, and may be broadly referred to as “legislation” while it remains under consideration to distinguish it from other business. Legislation can have many purposes: to regulate, to authorize, to proscribe, to provide (funds), to sanction, to grant, to declare or to restrict.
In some jurisdictions legislation must be confirmed by the executive branch of government before it enters into force as law. Primary legislation may delegate to the executive or other parties limited powers to make secondary legislation, such as Rules, Regulations and Orders which implement its policy in detail.
Under the Westminster system, an item of primary legislation is known as an Act of Parliament after enactment.
Legislation is usually proposed by a member of the legislature (e.g. a member of Congress or Parliament), or by the executive, whereupon it is debated by members of the legislature and is often amended before passage. Most large legislatures enact only a small fraction of the bills proposed in a given session. Whether a given bill will be proposed and enter into force is generally a matter of the legislative priorities of government.
Legislation is regarded as one of the three main functions of government, which are often distingished under the doctrine of the separation of powers. Those who have the formal power to create legislation are known as legislators; a judicial branch of government will have the formal power to interpret legislation (see statutory interpretation); the executive branch of government can act only within the powers and limits set by the law.
The EPA Act 2005 passed mercury vapor legislation that essentially outlawed the production of these more harmful lights and light fixtures in the United States. As of January 1, 2008, mercury vapor lights cannot be made, marketed, or imported to the United States because of this act. Unfortunately, because of their affordability and bright white light, many mercury vapor lights are still in use today as security lights and outside lights that people use to light up their property. When it comes to the family of HID (high intensity discharge) lighting, mercury vapor was certainly the black sheep of the family. Not only is mercury a very poisonous substance, but these lights had the worse efficiency of all of the different bulbs available.
The EPA Act 2005 made people look to other light sources for what they needed. It didn’t matter if they wanted easy maintenance, a bright white light source, or just an affordable lighting solution for their needs. Mercury vapor lamps had all of that and more. High pressure sodium and metal halide are now the most commonly used HID light sources for outside lights, security lights, and more. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it is actually better for the environment that things are working this way. However, there is still a gap in the markets for those people who are looking for affordable, easily maintained lighting fixtures that offer that pure white light that they got from the mercury vapor lamps.
As time goes on, the EPA will probably keep finding new ways to make lights safer and less toxic to people by finding another method of conduction or way to produce light so that mercury doesn’t have to be used at all. When it comes to getting the light that you need, nothing is more important than having safe light, and mercury vapor lights just weren’t that safe. They had much more mercury than standard fluorescent bulbs, and could be toxic when broken. Many people are trying to offer solutions for those who want the same quality of light that they got from mercury vapor, but it is slightly difficult because there isn’t really a comparable product out there.
Since this legislation was enacted, many people have turned to the rest of the HID lighting family to find effective solutions for their lighting needs. The closest that people have come is in metal halide, which provides a very white light compared to the rest. However, this light is expensive and not nearly as low-maintenance as mercury vapor was. Until there is some type of new innovation, people will have to settle for what’s out there for them to choose from. After all, getting rid of the mercury vapor lights was a step to get the planet in a healthier direction, so people should be seeking out healthier light sources for their needs from here on out. With the huge emphasis on going green, many people have already started converting to the cheapest lighting solutions that they can find that have the lowest impact on the environment, and it’s only a matter of time before more people join the cause.
Last month House Banking Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said loan-modification programs may be helping more people but they aren’t anywhere near the level they should be. These programs are coming in the form of the Obama’s Making Home Affordable (MHA) and HAMP, plus many more loan modifications options that are offered by the banks/servicers. In general, homeowners are very much in agreement with Barney Frank’s assessment about Loan Medications and Loan Work Out Programs.
Earlier this year, the “cramdown” legislation, passed the Senate but not the House. The “cramdown” permitted bankruptcy judges to modify primary home loans; basically it gave them the authority to force the bank to do a Loan Modification. The reason it didn’t pass the House is that mortgage lenders promised they’d take care of the problem and help families avoid foreclosure through Loan Modifications.
So far, banks/servicers are not taking care of the problem and are far from the Governments expectations of providing Loan Modifications to homeowners. Too many homeowners that should be qualifying for the Loan Modifications are still being denied. Banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America are at the top of the list for not meeting Government expectations on loan modifications. Remember, these banks received millions of dollars of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money or easier to say, tax payers tax money that was implemented during the Bush Administration!
Those in the banking/servicing industry must understand that if there are not a significant number of loan modifications to stop this problem that there is a strong argument to revive the bankruptcy “cramdown” legislation. It seems extremely strong that the way the servicers are handle loan modifications that it is not sufficient enough to handle the current problem. It will surely strengthen the comeback of the “cramdown” legislation and this time it would probably pass.
Last month many cities hits double digit marks for unemployment. This can only follow with more and more homes needing loan modifications to avoid foreclosure as unemployment correlates to the number of foreclosures.
In addition, those close to retirement have found that their retirement is gone, lost by Wall Street. Or they had to borrower from retirement to pay their mortgage because they couldn’t get a loan modification. Some have even borrowed money from their credit cards and have racked up a significant amount of debt to just pay their mortgage.
Some homeowners have filed for bankruptcy to relieve themselves of all debt but their home mortgage so that they can qualify for a loan modification.
“This article is brought to you by Gus Woltmann”.