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Electricity Restructuring and the Constitutionality of Retail Reciprocity Requirements

Description: Retail reciprocity requirements have been included in the electricity restructuring legislation of at least four states. These requirements mandate generally that out-of-state utilities which operate in a state “closed” to retail competition cannot market power to retail consumers in the “open” state. Because state reciprocity requirements enacted without congressional authorization are probably unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Congress would have to include a reciprocity provision in federal electricity restructuring legislation if it wants to support the view that such a provision will increase competition. This report reviews the treatment of state reciprocity requirements by the U.S. Supreme Court and discusses Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause.
Date: March 9, 2000
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and the 106th Congress: A Summary of Major Issues

Description: Most congressional interest in agriculture in the 106th Congress was focused on persistent low prices for major commodities and proposals to redress declining farm income. Six emergency farm aid bills were approved, increasing agricultural spending by nearly $27 billion for fiscal years 1999-2001. These bills provided disaster relief along with short term “market loss payments”to farmers to shore up farm income. Some longer term changes also were enacted as part of emergency farm legislation, which this report discusses in brief.
Date: December 15, 2000
Creator: Jones, Jean Yavis
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fact Sheet on Congressional Tax Proposals

Description: A general tax cut (H.R. 2488), costing $792 billion over 10 years, was vetoed in September 1999. A more narrowly focused bill (H.R. 1180) extending certain expiring provisions was adopted in December. Several tax proposals have been or are likely to be considered in 2000. The largest of these was marriage penalty legislation (H.R. 6 and S. 2346). Tax provisions are also included in health care legislation and minimum wage legislation; the latter passed the House on March 9 and included distressed communities legislation and a repeal of the installment sales provision included in the extenders bill. A number of separate tax bills are also under consideration. The general tax cut proposal included across-the-board tax cuts, benefits for married couples, phase-out of the alternative minimum tax, a reduction in capital gains taxes, a phase-out of the estate tax and provisions relating to education and health.
Date: May 25, 2000
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electricity Restructuring: Comparison of Comprehensive Bills

Description: Once considered the nation's most regulated industry, the electric utility industry is evolving into a more competitive environment. Currently, the focus of this development is the generating sector, where the advent of new generating technologies has lowered both entry barriers to competitors of traditional utilities and the marginal costs of those competitors below those of some traditional utilities. This technological advance has combined with legislative initiatives, such as the Energy Policy Act (EPACT), to encourage the introduction of competitive forces into the electric generating sector.
Date: July 24, 2000
Creator: Parker, Larry & Abel, Amy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Asbestos Compensation Act of 2000

Description: This report summarizes H.R. 1283, 106th Congress, the Asbestos Compensation Act of 2000, as ordered to be reported with amendments by the House Committee on the Judiciary on March 16, 2000. The bill would create an administrative procedure for asbestos liability claims.
Date: April 13, 2000
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law

Description: Current law governing financial activity of campaigns for federal office is based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, and 1979, and the Revenue Act of 1971. These laws were enacted to remedy widely perceived shortcomings of existing law, the Corrupt Practices Act of 1925, and in response to reports of campaign finance abuses over the years, culminating in the 1972-1974 Watergate scandal. This report provides a summary of major provisions of federal law and a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions.
Date: March 8, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

Description: Virtually all political organizations are "section 527" political organizations, which means that they are tax-exempt. 527 organizations are created to influence the election or defeat of public officials. This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527.
Date: September 7, 2000
Creator: Morris, Marie B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

Description: This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527. The report will be updated as new proposals are reported.
Date: June 26, 2000
Creator: Morris, Marie B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

Description: This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527. For developments after the enactment of P.L. 106-230, please see CRS Report RS20650, 527 Organizations: Reporting Requirements Imposed on Political Organizations after the Enactment of P.L. 106-230.
Date: September 7, 2000
Creator: Morris, Marie B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

Description: Virtually all political organizations are "section 527" political organizations, which means that they are tax-exempt. 527 organizations are created to influence the election or defeat of public officials. This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527.
Date: September 7, 2000
Creator: Morris, Marie B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Elementary and Secondary School Teachers: Action by the 106th Congress

Description: The quality and quantity of public elementary and secondary school teachers are of increasing concern to the 106th Congress. Although states and localities are responsible for most aspects of teacher preparation, recruitment, and employment, the federal government supports a wide array of programs for teachers. Several of these programs are being considered for amendment and extension by the 106th Congress including the Eisenhower Professional Development program and the Class Size Reduction program. The 106th Congress has before it a wide array of legislative proposals to address teacher issues. Action has occurred on several proposals. This report tracks such action and will be updated as it occurs.
Date: August 22, 2000
Creator: Stedman, James B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coastal Zone Management Reauthorization: An Overview

Description: Congress is considering legislation that would reauthorize the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. This overview summarizes the programs created by this act and its amendments, and outlines issues associated with reauthorization. These issues include reauthorizing funding, altering grant programs, changing the National Estuarine Research Reserve system, funding to implement nonpoint water pollution requirements, protecting private property rights, expanding program evaluation efforts, and examining effects of personal water craft on the coastal requirement. A reauthorization bill has been reported by the House Resources Committee (H.R. 2669, H. Rept. 106-485), and floor action is anticipated soon. In the Senate, no action has been taken.
Date: March 14, 2000
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Debate in the 106th Congress: Comparison of Measures Under House Consideration

Description: On September 14, the House passed H.R. 417 on a vote of 252-177, as amended by three perfecting amendments: Bereuter/Wicker #6; Faleomavaega #1; and Sweeney #21. This report features two tables. Table 1 summarizes and compares the ten perfecting amendments, current law, and the Shays-Meehan proposal. Table 2 summarizes and compares current law, the Shays-Meehan bill, and the three substitute amendments.
Date: January 12, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Air Act Issues in the 106th Congress

Description: The Clean Air Act and its 1990 amendments appear to have contributed to a marked improvement in air quality nationwide. Of nearly 100 metropolitan areas not meeting air quality standards for ozone in 1990, more than two-thirds now do so. Even greater progress has been achieved with carbon monoxide: 36 of 42 areas not in attainment in 1990 now meet the standard. Nevertheless, EPA remains concerned about air pollution. In 1997, the Agency promulgated major revisions to its air quality standards for ozone and particulates, an action that would require most states and urban areas to establish additional controls on a wide range of pollution sources. The revised standards were challenged by numerous parties and the courts have remanded the standards to EPA. Implementation is currently in limbo, pending resolution of appeals by the Supreme Court.
Date: November 14, 2000
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Alternative Transportation Fuels and Vehicles: Energy, Environment, and Development Issues

Description: This report reviews several issues relating to alternative fuels and vehicles, mainly to combat dependence on petroleum imports and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report discusses the advantages and drawbacks of various alternative fuels and vehicles, as well as related legislation.
Date: December 5, 2000
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Bills in the 106th Congress: Comparison of Shays-Meehan, as passed, with McCain-Feingold, as considered

Description: On September 14, 1999, the House passed the Shays-Meehan bill--H.R. 417, the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 1999, as amended, by a vote of 252-177. Senate sponsors of the companion measure, S. 26 (McCain-Feingold), revised their proposal and, on September 16, introduced S. 1593, containing just four sections of H.R. 417 and S. 26. The Senate debated S. 1593 from October 13-20, culminating in unsuccessful cloture votes October 19 on two amendments: Daschle amendment 2298, substituting text nearly identical to the House-passed H.R. 417; and Reid amendment 2229 (a perfecting amendment to no. 2298), substituting text of S. 1593 as offered, plus McCain amendment 2294 (adopted October 14), which added certain disclosure requirements. This report compares provisions of the House-passed bill with the one considered by the Senate in October 1999. No further updates are planned.
Date: January 12, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Economic Sanctions: Legislation in the 106th Congress

Description: This report tracks legislation relating to the use of economic sanctions in pursuit of foreign policy or national security objectives. Separate sections are given to the areas of greatest activity: sanctions imposed against India and Pakistan; exemptions of food and medicine exports; and sanctions reform. A separate table is included listing sanctions measures that were introduced but received no consideration, including measures pertaining to export controls, nonproliferation, drug certifications, and the sanctions regimes leveled, or proposed to be leveled, against Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Serbia and Montenegro, and other countries.
Date: December 15, 2000
Creator: Rennack, Dianne E
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

American Inventors Protection Act of 1999

Description: After several years of consideration, on Friday, November 19, 1999, Congress gave final approval to a bill which makes major changes to the patent laws. On this day the Senate passed the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 as part of the Intellectual Property and Communications Omnibus Reform Act of 1999, attached by reference to the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2000. This report summarizes major provisions of the patent reform bill.
Date: February 28, 2000
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department