GAC Committee Approves DC Family Court Reform Other Bills Are Adopted And Sent To The Senate Floor

WASHINGTON – Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., presided over a Committee business meeting Wednesday at which several pieces of legislation, and one nomination, were adopted unanimously and sent to the full Senate for a vote.

            Chief among the bills acted upon was a reorganization of the District of Columbia’s family court system, which would create a specialized court within the Superior Court whose judges would be family law specialists.  The Committee also adopted legislation that would allow federal employees to retain for personal use frequent flyer benefits they accrue while on government business trips, a bill allowing judges to redact certain information on financial disclosure forms that might compromise their security, and a bill to streamline government-required paperwork for small businesses.

            Following are the measures passed out of Committee:

•                      S. 1498, which would allow federal employees, foreign service officers, members of the uniformed services, family members and dependents of such employees to retain for personal use promotional items received as a result of official government travel.   H.R. 2456, a House version of the bill, was also reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute.

•                      S. 1382 and H.R. 2657, the House and Senate versions of the District of Columbia Family Court Act of 2001, were reported with identical amendments in the nature of a substitute.  These bills would reform the family bench of the District of Columbia Superior Court to provide more efficient and consistent legal services for abused and neglected children in the nation’s capital.

•                      H.R. 2336, an act to make permanent the authority to redact financial disclosure statements of judicial employees and judicial officers in the interest of their safety.

•                      H.R. 1499, District of Columbia College Access Improvement Act, was reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute.  The bill would expand the D.C. Tuition Assistance Program, which provides D.C. residents with grants for college, including grants to allow them to attend public colleges nationwide at in-state rates.

•                      S. 1271, Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2001, as amended, which would help small businesses deal with the demands of federal paperwork requirements.

•                      H.R. 2199, District of Columbia Police Coordination Amendment Act of 2001.

•                      H.R. 2061, an act to amend the charter of Southeastern University of the District of Columbia.

•                      H.R. 2559, an act to amend chapter 90 of title 5, United States Code, relating to Federal long-term care insurance.

•                      Four Post Office Naming Bills

•                      Odessa F. Vincent to be an Associate Judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.