Wednesday, August 1, 2007

ECCO Watch List Washington 2007

The following is a list of bills on the ECCO Watch List for the 2007 session in Washington, DC.

First is the bill's name, a brief description, then the status and how our local representatives voted. In some cases, there may not be any locals on a particular committee.

HR 1592 Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act
The legislation was re-introducted would allow local law enforcement agencies to access federal assistance in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes based on sexual orientation and a number of other new classes. This legislation previously passed both the U.S. House and Senate by wide, bi-partisan margins. Opponents had to use parliamentary maneuvers to block its passage.

Passed U.S. House of Representatives 237-180
‘Yes’ Votes: Baca, Becerra, Bono, Harman, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, Schiff, Solis
‘No’ Votes: Calvert, Campbell, Dreier, Issa, Miller, Rohrabacher, Royce

Military Readiness Enhancement Act
Re-introduced in Congress to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Polls show the American public and service members support ending the ban; nearly 4 out of 5 service members say they feel comfortable around gays and lesbians.

Early Treatment for HIV Act (ETHA)
Senators Smith and Clinton have re-introduced this program will expand access to vital medical services for low-income HIV+ individuals before they develop full-blown AIDS. Medicaid currently offers no help until a person has AIDS.

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