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In the U.S. Senate, contemplating more power for the AGs

Wondering about legislation that would grant more authority to state attorneys general to enforce federal laws, we find two bills in the Senate, neither of which appear to be Congressional priorities.

  • S. 139, the Data Breach Notification Act, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): To require Federal agencies, and persons engaged in interstate commerce, in possession of data containing sensitive personally identifiable information, to disclose any breach of such information. Section 9, "Enforcement by State Attorneys General." Civil penalties of as much as $1 million per violation. Here is the bill text in .pdf.
  • S. 419, the Secondary Metal Theft Prevention Act of 2009, sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (and Hatch): "To require secondary metal recycling agents to keep records of their transactions in order to deter individuals and enterprises engaged in the theft and interstate sale of stolen secondary metal, and for other purposes." Sec. 8 is "Enforcement by State Attorneys General." Text is here.

A serious problem when commodity prices were high, theft of copper and the like. So it SHALL be against federal law for a metal recycler to purchase:

(a) DO-NOT-BUY LIST.--Unless the seller establishes by written documentation that the seller is the owner, or an employee, agent, or other person authorized to sell on behalf of the owner, it is unlawful for a secondary metal recycling agent to purchase for recycling any secondary
metal that is--
(1) marked with name, logo, or initials of a railroad, an electric, gas, or water company, a telephone company, cable company, or a public utility or that has been altered to remove,

conceal, or obliterate such a name, logo, or initials through burning or cutting of wire sheathing or other means;
(2) marked with the name of a city, county, or State government entity;
(3) a street light pole or fixture;
(4) a road or bridge guard rail;
(5) a highway or street sign;
(6) a water meter cover;
(7) a storm water grate;
(8) unused or undamaged building construction or utility material;
(9) an historical marker;
(10) a grave marker or cemetery urn or vase;
(11) a utility access cover; or
(12) a bulk container for beer with a capacity of 7.75 gallons or more.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.