Legislative Highlights Sep 1997
It is also expected that Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL) will soon introduce consumer bankruptcy legislation aimed at tightening perceived debtor abuses.
The House has passed legislation (H. R. 1596) to create 18 additional bankruptcy judgeships. The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Ninth Circuit would be split under language in a Senate appropriations bill that passed 99-0 in late July. S. 1022 would create a new 12th Circuit of Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Washington and two territories. Remaining in the 9th Circuit would be California and Arizona. A House bill (H.R. 908) would create a panel to study structural alternatives for the appeals courts.
The Senate appropriations bill also differs from the House in the levels of funding for the U.S. Trustee system. The Senate approved an increase in funding; the House version would keep funding at 1997 levels.
The Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts held a hearing in Des Moines, Iowa, on legislation to make chapter 12 permanent (S. 1024).
The Subcommittee also held a hearing on the impact of §§724(b) and 505(a) on local education funding. Witnesses representing local taxing authorities and schools alleged that the current law works a hardship on local and state governments. The "Investment in Education Act" would remove ad valorem taxes from the reach of trustees under §724(b), among other features. Legislation will be introduced in September.