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Congressman Capuano's
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
8th Congressional District of Massachusetts

12,456 subscribers

March 16, 2012

Chelsea Schools

I met this week with Chelsea School Superintendent Dr. Mary Bourque to talk about some of the issues impacting the school system. Dr. Bourque attended Chelsea public schools and this is her first year as Superintendent. We spoke about funding challenges facing many of our schools as well as the future of No Child Left Behind. I voted against that measure back in 2001 and have always had concerns about whether schools would be given the necessary resources to meet the obligations set forth in the law. Like many local officials, she voiced concerns about the federal budget and how anticipated cuts in funding would impact local communities. The Chelsea school system has made tremendous strides over the years and continues to excel in key areas. I appreciated her time and her insight.

Cambridge Innovation Centerís Venture Cafe

On Thursday I spoke with entrepreneurs attending the Cambridge Innovation Centerís Venture Café. The Cambridge Innovation Center, located in Kendall Square, provides office space and support services for individuals and small businesses. The Centerís Venture Café is a weekly gathering of business persons — designers, scientists, developers and others who are interested in networking opportunities. We had a lively discussion about the economy as well as the status of legislation in Congress that could impact small business (more on that bill below). I was impressed with the optimism of the group and encouraged to see so many small businesses making progress as we continue to encourage economic recovery.


I had the pleasure of meeting with graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologyís (MIT) Center for Transportation and Logistics today. We talked about the current impasse over the federal transportation bill, the challenges facing the MBTA and the future of federal transportation funding. The students were especially interested in the difficulties over the transportation bill. The Senate has passed a bill, but the way forward in the House is unclear. As you may recall, a very flawed bill passed in the House Transportation Committee but it has not advanced. There is a great deal of opposition to it for a number of reasons. I donít expect to see floor action any time soon.

Recent Votes

Last week the House considered H.R. 3606: the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act. This bill is a combination of six other bills, some of which have previously passed in the House. H.R. 3606 essentially seeks to increase access to capital for small businesses. It does this by making changes to existing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules regarding the way that small businesses can raise money from investors.H.R. 3606 reduces many SEC reporting and registration requirements.

I could not support this bill, and in fact have already voted against three of the bills in this package. My chief concern is the loosening of SEC rules without fully reviewing the consequences of doing so. I am concerned about the billís exemptions to many current regulations and consumer protections. For example, H.R. 3606 would allow companies with up to $1 billion in annual revenues to be temporarily exempt from mandatory shareholdersí say-on-pay votes, independent auditing of their internal controls and other regulations. The bill also defines a small business as one with revenue below $1 billion. This is just too high. In fact, under this definition, Dunkin Donuts and Spirit Airlines would be considered small businesses.

I voted NO. At this writing the Senate is considering the bill. I hope that the Senate is able to tighten it and I will carefully review the bill once it comes back to the House. I want to support it and I will certainly consider supporting it, depending on what changes are made. H.R. 3606 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:





















What’s Up Next Week

At this writing, a schedule for next week is not available.

Congressman Mike Capuano
8th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Financial Services

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