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122210_StatusofFederalLegislation

122210_StatusofFederalLegislation

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Published by Sheree Krider

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Published by: Sheree Krider on Jan 11, 2011
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Status of Federal LegislationDecember 22, 2010
Each Congress lasts for two years. The 111th Congress ends when adjourns in late December2010 (expected sometime this week). The 112th Congress began on January 3, 2011. All billspending when Congress adjourned expired and will have to be reintroduced in order to receiveconsideration.Thousands of bills are introduced in Congress every year. Only a few hundred ever become law.A bill must pass both the House and the Senate before it can be sent to the President for hisconsideration. The following bills are a sample of the bills that FAMM supports and that willexpire at the end of a year. For more information about these and other bills in the 111th and112th Congress, please see FAMM’s website,www.famm.org
 
*Please note: These bills are not laws. They did not pass.*
H.R. 6548, the Fair Sentencing Clarification Act of 2010
 Original House Sponsor: Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott*Please note: H.R. 6548 is not a law. It did not pass.*If passed, this bill would allow thousands of prisoners serving sentences under the old law to ask the courts to shorten their prison terms. The Fair Sentencing Act (FSA), a bill that eliminated themandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine and set new triggeramounts of 28 grams and 280 grams for the five- and 10-year mandatory sentence, respectively.No Senate counterpart was introduced.
S. 714/ H.R. 5143, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act
Original Senate sponsor: Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.)Original House sponsors: Representatives Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), Darrel Issa (R-Calif.),Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) and Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.)This legislation would authorize a national criminal justice commission to conduct acomprehensive review of the criminal justice system by a bipartisan panel of stakeholders,policymakers and experts that would make thoughtful, evidence-based recommendations forreform. Of all pending legislation, this proposal advanced the furthest in the 111
th
Congress. Thebill received strong bipartisan support and passed both the House and the Senate JudiciaryCommittee.
H.R. 3327, the Ramos-Compean Justice Act of 2009
Original House sponsors: Representatives Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas)If passed, the Ramos and Compean Act Justice Act would not just benefit bill’s namesakes. Thebill would empower courts to use their discretion and impose a sentence below a mandatoryminimum in cases where the mandatory minimum sentence would be greater than necessary toachieve the goals of punishment. The bill passed out of the House Judiciary CommitteeSubcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. No companion was introduced inthe Senate.
 
H.R. 1466, the Major Drug Trafficking Prosecution Act of 2009
Original House sponsor: Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)The Major Drug Trafficking Prosecution Act of 2009 would eliminate all mandatory minimumsentences for drug offenses; curb federal prosecutions of low-level drug offenders; and allowcourts to place offenders on probation or suspend their sentence. The bill was introduced in theHouse. No Senate counterpart was introduced.
H.R. 2933, the Firearm Recidivist Sentencing Act of 2009
Original House sponsors: Representatives Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.)The Firearm Recidivist Sentencing Act would amend 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) to ensure thatindividuals who carry a firearm while committing a violent crime or drug trafficking offense facethe 25-year mandatory minimum for repeat offenses only if they have been previously convictedand served a sentence for a 924(c) offense. The bill also amends Part 1 of Title 18 of the UnitedStates Code to require the government to file notice with the court when it intends to invoke theenhanced recidivism penalties in the gun statutes. The bill was introduced in the House. NoSenate counterpart was introduced.
H.R. 4328, the Literacy, Education, and Rehabilitation Act (LERA)
Original House sponsor: Representatives Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.)LERA would alter how good time credit is awarded and would expand the program to permitprisoners to earn credit for satisfactory participation in designated programs. First, LERA wouldrewrite the good time statute to make clear that a prisoner serving a sentence of more than oneyear may earn up to 54 days of good time credit per year. Second, LERA would authorize thedirector of the BOP to grant up to 60 additional credit days per year to an incarcerated individualwho successfully participates in designated literacy, education, work training, treatment andother developmental programs. The bill was introduced in the House. No companion bill wasintroduced in the Senate.
H.R. 61, the Federal Prison Bureau Nonviolent Offender Relief Act of 2009
Original House sponsor: Representative Sheila Jackson Less (D-Texas)The Federal Prison Bureau Nonviolent Offender Relief Act of 2009 would direct the Bureau of Prisons to release individuals from prison who have served 50 percent or more of his or her termof imprisonment if that prisoner (1) is 45 years of age or older; (2) has never been convicted of acrime of violence; and (3) has not engaged in any violation, involving violent conduct, of institutional disciplinary regulations. The bill was introduced in the House. No companion billwas introduced in the Senate.
H.R. 1475, Federal Prison Work Incentive Act of 2008
Original House sponsor: Representative Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.)The Federal Prison Work Incentive Act of 2008 would essentially revive the good time systemthat existed before November 1, 1987. The bill would increase earned good time, restoreindustrial good time (providing for additional opportunities to reduce one’s sentence by engagingin work opportunities), allow forfeiture of all good time credit in the event of infractions inprison, and provide for potential restoration of forfeited good time credit. The bill was introducedin the House. No Senate counterpart was introduced.
*Please note: These bills are not laws. They did not pass.*

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