Jan 152015
 

The most common high school sport is basketball, with about 18,000 schools fielding both boys and girls teams. Football has the most participants among high school sports with more than 1.1 million student athletes competing at 14,000 schools. Nearly 7.7 million, or 55% of all high school students, now play organized sports. Surveys have shown that in 2011, 40,000 more high school students played sports than in 2010. This was the 22nd consecutive year participation has increased in high school sports. However, the average annual increase in participation over these 22 years has been about 100,000 students per year. Educators say this recent slowdown in growth is because of reduced budgets at many schools. Studies have consistently shown that student athletes perform better in school than students who don’t play sports. Many say sports also help keep kids out of trouble, teach principles of teamwork, and impart leadership skills to participants. Even so, many school districts continue to slash athletic budgets and raise participation fees, with schools in less wealthy districts cutting these programs the most. Educators say extracurricular programs such as sports, arts and music are important elements in a complete and well-rounded education for all high school students.

Pending legislation: None

I oppose reforming current high school sports policy

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to ensure economically-challenged high schools have the ability to offer sports programs to all students who wish to participate in them

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Online betting is one of the Internet’s fastest growing sectors. As of last year, there were at least 250 casinos, 64 lotteries, 20 bingo games and 139 sports books operating online. Our 1961 Wire Act forbids betting on sports but it doesn’t explicitly prohibit other types of gaming. However, our federal government has consistently interpreted this law to prohibit all types of online gambling. Until recently, all online casinos were located in foreign lands. Placing bets with these casinos was mostly done with credit cards, debit cards and wire transfers. To stop Internet gambling, Congress passed laws that restricted the processing of these types of payments. However, these laws have not deterred millions of Americans from continuing to place bets on overseas websites. It is estimated that Americans annually account for about $45 billion, or nearly 10%, of all online gambling revenue worldwide. Some states, including Louisiana, specifically prohibit Internet gambling. Critics say online gambling sites flout local laws, entice children to gamble, and tempt adults who may be struggling with gambling addiction. They also claim these unregulated Internet casinos do not guarantee payouts to bettors and can serve as covers for money laundering operations. With prospects for new tax revenue in mind, several states including New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have legalized online gambling. Other states are soon expected to follow. Gambling industry supporters say that, in light of new state laws, our government would be better off regulating and taxing this industry rather than suppressing it.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.2282 – Internet Gambling Regulation, Enforcement, and Consumer Protection Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current Internet gambling policy and wish to defeat H.R.2282

I support legalizing all forms of online gambling except sports betting; creating an Office of Internet Gambling Oversight in the Department of Treasury to oversee online gambling operations; using state regulatory expertise for guidelines on licensing and enforcement; allowing for equal participation for casinos, Indian tribes, lotteries, and other potential operators; grandfathering online gaming entities already operating by states and tribes, and wish to pass H.R.2282

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Fan violence at sporting events is nothing new. Most spectators have experienced fans shouting obscenities, throwing objects, and harassing or fighting other fans or members of opposing teams. Security officials say alcohol is by far the biggest factor responsible for most of the stadium violence we experience at games and in parking lots. Not long ago, separate incidents at California stadiums resulted in two fans being shot and nearly beaten to death, while a third was stabbed to death. A Dallas player was struck in the head with a bottle after scoring the winning goal in a soccer match. Three people were stabbed outside Mile High Stadium after a Denver Broncos loss and another fan was killed after an altercation outside Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium. Critics say that if pro sport franchises and stadiums want revenue from beer and wine sales, they should be required to ensure spectators are not hurt by drunken fans. They also say that if alcohol is allowed at tailgate parties, stadiums should secure parking lots and refuse admission to anyone who is obviously intoxicated.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current stadium policy

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill requiring stadiums and arenas that allow alcohol during sporting events to maintain security that is sufficient to protect spectators from intoxicated or abusive fans both within the stadium or arena and its parking lots

I support identifying a legislator who will prohibit the use of public funds for construction or renovation of stadiums and arenas

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

In 1966, the first artificial turf field was constructed by placing synthetic “grass” on top of concrete slabs. Athletes complained this thin, hard surface caused serious injuries. Since then, synthetic turf has improved and evolved into its present state. Most athletic fields now contain styrene butadiene rubber, or “crumb rubber,” -tiny black crumbs made from ground-up car tires spread in between the plastic blades of fake grass. These “black dots” give the field more cushion and help prevent injury. We now have more than 11,000 synthetic sport fields in use, most contain crumb rubber, and many of these fields are used for children’s soccer activities. Crumb rubber infill is also used in playgrounds and gardens. Some college soccer coaches have recently noticed that an unusual number of their goalkeepers have contracted blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia. One coach compiled a list of 38 American soccer players diagnosed with cancer, and found that 34 were goalies. They say goalies experience the highest exposure to crumb rubber due to repeated dives and constant contact with the turf. The result is that a significant amount of these rubber particles contaminate cuts and scrapes, and get into eyes, noses and mouths. These coaches believe this is the reason their players are getting sick – most of whom have spent countless hours over many years practicing and playing on these kinds of fields. Furthermore, it is known that athletic fields are usually 10-20 degrees warmer than the ambient air temperature, causing carcinogens such as benzene, carbon black and lead to be released from crumb rubber and concentrating in the air above a field. Health problems caused by exposure to these chemicals and dusts have previously been documented in workers who manufacture tires. Some limited studies have shown crumb rubber is not a health problem, but most of these studies admit their findings are not conclusive and that more studies need to be done. Advocates say a comprehensive study of any potential health risks from crumb rubber is needed to assess its safety and continued use. The EPA has resisted this request saying that it is a matter which should be individually addressed by each state.

Pending Legislation: None

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to require the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a comprehensive study of any potential health risks from sports fields containing crumb rubber

 Posted by at 12:00 am