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Congressman Capuano's
E-UPDATE
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
7th Congressional District of Massachusetts


12,360 subscribers

February 26, 2016

Lawsuits

On Thursday the House considered H.R. 3624, the Fraudulent Joinder Prevention Act of 2015. Under current law, there are some claims that can be heard in either state or federal court. In many of these cases, plaintiffs choose state courts because the process often takes less time and costs less money. Defendants, in many cases large corporations, often choose federal courts where the process can take much longer. H.R. 3624 amends a long-standing legal practice called the “fraudulent joinder doctrine”. This doctrine allows a federal court to turn a case over to a state court under certain circumstances. H.R. 3624 weakens this authority by allowing defendants to challenge the court’s jurisdiction decisions, which will draw cases out even longer. A corporate plaintiff would have more resources than, for example, a worker injured on the job. Under this legislation, the corporate plaintiff could initiate a separate legal action challenging the venue before the merits of the specific case are even considered. The Administration has stated that this legislation would be vetoed. I voted NO. H.R. 3624 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

229

10

0

6

DEMOCRAT

0

179

0

9

TOTAL

229

189

0

15

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Natural Resources and Recreational Use

Today the House considered H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act. This is yet another attempt to undermine the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This legislation requires the Interior Department and the U.S. Forest Service to accommodate hunting, fishing and recreational shooting on federal lands that are under their jurisdiction. It prevents the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating the lead found in bullets, fishing tools or hunting equipment and prohibits the Army Corps of Engineers from monitoring firearm use on properties they manage. H.R. 2406 protects and expands the interests of hunters and other recreational sports participants at the expense of the environment. I voted NO. H.R. 2406 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

230

4

0

11

DEMOCRAT

12

157

0

19

TOTAL

242

161

0

30

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

ROCA

On Monday I spent some time with staff from Chelsea-based ROCA. This organization serves high-risk young people, primarily in the Greater Boston area. Programming focuses on those who are at risk of incarceration, who are struggling with substance abuse, who have dropped out of school or who may be navigating life as a young parent. Executive Director Molly Baldwin briefed us on their Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Pay for Success project, now in its second year. Through this innovative program, the state pays social service agencies based on their level of success addressing a specific problem. In Massachusetts, the program is focused on young men who have been in the juvenile justice system. The goal is to reduce the percentage of those individuals who end up in prison.

ROCA explained how they are learning a lot about the partnership between nonprofits, government, and private funders and how this collaboration can help more young people stay out of harm’s way. Roca is adapting their successful and innovative Intervention Model to high-risk young mothers. Staff tells us that this is a population overlooked by virtually all existing programs, and the work they are doing with young men informs their efforts designing a young mothers model. ROCA also briefed us on their FY15 Performance Benchmarks and Outcomes report, as well as their recently released report on young adult justice. I thanked ROCA for their comprehensive update and for making a tremendous difference in the lives of so many young men and women.

What’s Up Next

The next House votes are scheduled for Monday February 29th. At this writing, a list of bills to be considered is not available.

Mike


Congressman Mike Capuano
7th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Ethics
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Financial Services

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