Our criminal justice system is broken. More than 2.3 million people are incarcerated in America, of which 450,000 individuals have never been convicted of a crime. The most common reason why people are held in jail during pretrial is due to their inability to pay bail. Throughout the nation, those with money can buy their freedom while poor defendants stay behind bars awaiting trial. Further horrifying, many people decide to plead guilty solely to get out of jail because they cannot afford bail. I urge you to join me in changing this unjust system by cosponsoring H.R. 4611, the “No Money Bail Act of 2016.”
Earlier this year, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its proposal to downlist the Florida manatee from endangered to threatened. While they say that this decision would not lessen protections, the implications are quite clear. In February, a Florida House appropriations subcommittee unanimously passed a bill to “study the effectiveness” of manatee protections, citing the FWS proposal as evidence that the manatee population has recovered.
In recent months, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued a sweeping new rule establishing lower nationwide standards for ground-level ozone.
Please join me in cosponsoring H.R. 4535, the Keep It in the Ground Act. This legislation would stop new leases, and end nonproducing leases for coal, oil, natural gas, oil shale, and tar sands extraction, on all federal lands. It would stop new leases and end nonproducing offshore drilling leases in the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. It would also prohibit all offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic.
On September 7, 2015, President Obama signed an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to provide 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked (or up to 7 sick days a year).
Please join me in supporting the Transparent Environment in School Testing for Lead Act or TEST for Lead Act. The TEST for Lead Act addresses a major water testing gap and adds a much needed update to the Safe Drinking Water Act. While some school districts voluntarily test their drinking water for lead contamination, there is, surprisingly, no Federal requirement that schools test regularly or test at all.
You and your staff are invited to an afternoon of music and conversation with The Pursuit of Harmony, comprised of Michael Hunter Ochs, a Jewish American songwriter/producer, and Alaa Alshaham, a Muslim Palestinian songwriter/commentator.
Did you know that the Post 9/11 GI Bill, as currently written, jeopardizes some units in the reserve component the ability to maintain readiness and causes undue financial stress? 38 CFR 21.9625(k) provides that an individual who is released from active duty status may begin receiving the Post-9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) on the first day of the month following the date the individual is discharged. In addition, an individual who is released from active duty status may begin receiving the tuition and fees benefit on the first day of the enrollment period following the date the individual is discharged and begin receiving the books and supplies stipend on the first day of the month following the date the individual is discharged.
During Women’s History Month and on the heels of Black History Month, during the year of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, we write to highlight the importance of ensuring that our national parks and monuments recognize and celebrate the diversity of American history.
In 2006, Congress passed the Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Act with unanimous bipartisan and bicameral support to address the public health crisis of underage drinking. Ten years after the passage of the STOP Act, it is clear that its comprehensive approach is making a difference: According to the 2015 Monitoring the Future survey, alcohol use by 8th, 10th, and 12th graders are at their lowest levels in decades.