Report from Governmental Affairs

101 ABA Journal Report from Governmental Affairs articles.

Advocate for important issues by engaging Congress online at ABA Day 2021
117th Congress has opportunities for bipartisan criminal justice reforms

Hundreds of criminal justice bills were introduced but ultimately died at the end of the last Congress. The good news for those seeking change is that most of the problems were specific to the 116th Congress, and the 117th presents new opportunities for progress.

You can help determine the ABA’s goals for the 117th Congress

The legislative agenda for this past year has essentially been placed on hold, so there is a plethora of unfinished business confronting the soon-to-be-organized new Congress: criminal justice, immigration, election security, gun violence, infrastructure, appropriations, health care, national security and more.

2020 Elections: A year of challenges
Congress battles over liability shields for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic
Join #ABADay Digital 2020
The status of the First Step Act one year later

U.S. House and Senate Judiciary Committee leaders have assured advocates that additional reforms are on the way, but they have held off to first focus on oversight of FSA implementation.

High school advocates renew hope for answers to civil rights-era mysteries

Racially motivated murders and crimes committed more than six decades ago during the civil rights era remain unsolved and unprosecuted. In most cases, victims and their families got no information, no justice and no closure. Ever wonder what happened? High school students in New Jersey did, and they did something about it, prompting government actions that may soon lead to the release of information about these cold cases.

ABA advocacy builds momentum for bipartisan legislation aiding homeless veterans

Recent legislative developments in the nation’s campaign to end veteran homelessness is attributable in part to the persistent efforts of ABA members working in conjunction with the ABA’s Governmental Affairs Office.

ABA Grassroots Action Center helps members connect with their representatives

The American Bar Association’s Governmental Affairs Office regularly coordinates with members of Congress on legislation of interest to the legal profession. But lawmakers want to hear from constituents rather than lobbyists when deciding how to vote.

ABA-supported Marrakesh Treaty expands access to print materials for blind people

Signatories to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works to Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled agree to adapt their domestic copyright laws to allow written works to be converted into accessible formats such as braille, large print or digital for personal use and noncommercial distribution. A total of 40 countries are party to the treaty, which also requires that the countries allow eligible people and libraries to export and import works between those countries.

ABA Day lobbying focused on Legal Services Corp., student loan forgiveness

More than 300 bar leaders from around the country traveled to Washington, D.C., this year to lobby on issues of critical importance for the legal profession. They focused on two programs that have been targeted for elimination by the Trump administration: the Legal Services Corp. and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Final version of federal tax law reflects ABA victories on key issues

The tax overhaul package signed into law in late December by President Donald Trump includes key provisions advocated by the ABA that benefit lawyers and law firms.

ABA-supported criminal justice efforts considered by Congress

Since the Second Chance Act was signed into law in 2008, more than 700 grants have provided employment training, education, housing and other support for over 137,000 former inmates transitioning back to community life after completing their sentences.

New law championed by ABA fights elder abuse and exploitation

Members of Congress came together in bipartisan agreement this fall to pass a law strongly supported by the ABA that would enhance the federal government’s response to elder abuse and financial exploitation of seniors.

Read more ...