Articles Posted in Legislative Information

THOMAS was launched on January 5, 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress. The leadership of the 104th Congress directed the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information freely available to the public. Since that time THOMAS has expanded the scope of its offerings to include many features and content including those listed below.:

Bills, Resolutions Activity in Congress Congressional Record Schedules, Calendars Committee Information Presidential Nominations

Now, fifteen years later in response to user feedback and in celebration of its fifteenth anniversary, THOMAS has been updated for the second session of the 111th Congress.

Updated to November 25, 2009

Over the past months we have posted a variety of items related to the quest for health care reform in the United States. See our last posting at “Health Care Update as of the Beginning of October 2009. The quest continues. During the last month the House of Representatives passed HR 3962(Affordable Health Care for America Act) on November 7 and the Senate has at least agreed to begin debate on their bill HR3590 (Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act) on November 21.. Given the historical record of attempts at health care reform these are remarkable achievements but we still do not know if the end is in sight.

Rather than engage in extended discussion on this posting we will concentrate identifying selected documents related to the two bills mentioned above and close by mentioning a few recent news articles of interest. First the documents:

Through various means, both web based and print, we are monitoring as best we can discussions related to the ongoing health care discussions. Below is an edited and excerpted version of some information we received recently from GalleryWatch in Washington, DC. We would like to share it with you. This updates our earlier posting on the Criminal Law Library Blog


You might have noticed over the past little while that the Senate Finance Committee has been marking up a bill to reform our health care system.( see links following this discussion to the October 1 version of the bill from the Finance Committee and to a list dated October 5, 2009 of technical corrections to that bill).

Today Sept. 16, 2009, Senator Max Baucus of Montana, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, released the first draft of the committee’s long awaited proposed legislation to overhaul the country’s health care system. The proposal is the result of more than a year of preparation and more than three months of intense negotiations between a small group of Democrats and Republicans led by Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, the chairman of the Finance Committee.

The following are a few highlights of interest included in this 223 page proposal:

The bill includes a slimmed down price-tag of $856 billion over 10 years. Earlier versions of the health care legislation had come in costing $1 trillion or more

According to the Editors of The Crime Report, the movement to ban shackling pregnant prisoners is gaining momentum. On August 26, 2009, Governor David Paterson of New York signed a bill (now NY Chapter 411 2009) banning the practice for all but the most unruly inmates. What is happening in your state?

Only six states-California, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Texas and Vermont-have legislation regulating the use of restraints on pregnant women. Women detained in 44 states, the District of Columbia and the Federal Bureau of Prisons lack such legislative protection. Some state departments of corrections did not provide details on what type of restraints may be utilized during labor, nor did they provide their policy.

(Research provided by Amnesty International and The Rebecca Project for Human Rights.)

In its 2009 session, the Wyoming Legislature passed the Transparency in Government Act making information as to how state funds are spent readily accessible to the public. The Act requires the creation of a public finance website by January 1, 2010. The website will provide free access to financial reports, financial audits, budgets or other financial documents that are used to allocate, appropriate, spend and account for government funds. The Act also directs that an archive of all information posted will be maintained.

From e-mail by Kathy Carlson, Wyoming State Law Librarian.

Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, a Republican since 1966, said on Tuesday April 28 that he will switch to the Decmocratic Party and will run as a Democrat in 2010, thus presenting Democrats with a possible 60th vote and the power to break Senate filibusters.

Here is a link to Senator Specter’s statement made earlier today 4-28-09

On March 30, 2009 we posted information on this blawg about the historic agreement reached by New York lawmakers regarding reform of the Rockefeller drug law. Since that time there has been significant activity related to his effort including the signing of Chapter 56 of 2009 by the Governor on April 7, 2009. Although Chapter 56 is considered as primarily related to budget matters it contains significant material related to the Rockefeller Law reform initiatives.

For your information this posting includes links to those parts of the aforementioned legislation which appear to be relevant to the Rockefeller Drug Law reform issue. The links are to items I have posted on the New York Supreme Court Criminal Term Library Blog: for Part AAA of Chapter 56 of 2009.

Information for this list was obtained from the New York State Legislative Retrieval System (LRS):

2009 CHAPTER LIST AS OF April 10, 2009 – Listed by Chapter Law Number, Highest number listed at top.

NOTE: Provisions regarding Rockefeller drug reform are included as Part AAA of Chapter 56A.

Contact Information