Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore suspended for defiance over same-sex marriage – The Washington Post

By Mark Berman 

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Alabama’s top judge was suspended from the bench without pay for the remainder of his term, the state’s Court of the Judiciary said Friday.

This is the second time Roy S. Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, has been effectively pulled from office, following his ouster in 2003 over his refusal to obey judicial rulings ordering him to remove a Ten Commandments statue from the Alabama Judicial Building.

A complaint was filed by the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission charging Moore with violating judicial ethics in issuing an order in January stating that probate judges in the state “have a ministerial duty not to issue” marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In a 50-page judgment Friday, two days after Moore appeared for a hearing in the case, Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary found him guilty of failing to comply with the law, uphold the integrity of the court and “perform the duties of his office impartially.”

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U.S. Just Made It a Lot Less Difficult to Sue Nursing Homes – The New York Times

By JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG and MICHAEL CORKERY

The federal agency that controls more than $1 trillion in Medicare and Medicaid funding has moved to prevent nursing homes from forcing claims of elder abuse, sexual harassment and even wrongful death into the private system of justice known as arbitration.

An agency within the Health and Human Services Department on Wednesday issued a rule that bars any nursing home that receives federal funding from requiring that its residents resolve any disputes in arbitration, instead of court.

The rule, which would affect nursing homes with 1.5 million residents, promises to deliver major new protections.

Read entire NYTIMES Report…

 Follow this link to view the full text of the new rule.

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Register for the STAR credit

STAR Program 2016 Legislative Changes

The New York State Tax Department recently contacted the NYSBA to highlight changes to the longstanding School Tax Relief (STAR) program. As a result of 2016 legislative changes, new homeowners will now receive a STAR Credit check instead of receiving a property tax exemption. The amount of the benefit will remain the same. Click here for a link to the new legislation.

New homeowners no longer apply to their assessor for the benefit. Instead, they register directly on the Tax Department’s website (tax.ny.gov/star). New homeowners who do not have access to the Internet can instead call the New York State Tax Department at: 518-457-2036.

Many of you who are involved with home closings have traditionally provided new homeowners with STAR applications, which they in turn provided to their assessors. Now that the process to establish eligibility for STAR has changed, the New York State Tax Department is making a printable fact sheet for new homeowners available online. Since most new homeowners will no longer use a paper form, you may wish to provide them with a copy of the fact sheet.

The New York State Tax Department extends their thanks to our members for assistance in helping to ensure that new homeowners receive the school tax relief they are entitled to.

Questions concerning these changes may be directed to the New York State Tax Department by calling: 518-457-2036.