Update: A Round-Up Of Changes To Several Pieces Of Pending Legislation

June 17, 2021

By Charlotte Spencer

Earlier this year we discussed pending legislation in an article titled, “Pending Hate Crime Legislation in Front of Congress,” published April 22, and a February 4 article titled, “More Legal Firepower Proposed in Battle Against Child Abuse.” More has happened with bills discussed in both articles since they were published. Today, we give you an update on this progress.

From Our Pending Hate Crime Legislation Article:

H.R.49 – To designate the National Pulse Memorial

This will establish a national memorial at the location of the Pulse Night Club attack. It will be known as the “National Pulse Memorial.”

Update: Since our first discussion of this bill in April, it passed the House on May 12, and passed the Senate on June 9. On June 12, President Biden issued a statement on the 5th anniversary of the Pulse shooting. In his statement he said that he would be signing this legislation into law. He also generally addressed the issues of gun violence, and violence against the LGBTQ+ community.

S.937 — COVID–19 Hate Crimes Act

This directs the Attorney General to appoint an employee or officer at the Department of Justice whose sole responsibility is to expedite review of hate crimes and reports of such crimes. It also requires the Attorney General to issue guidance for law enforcement on how to establish online reporting of hate crimes and make online reporting available in multiple languages. It also requires establishing guidance on eliminating racially discriminatory language in describing Covid-19. Additionally, it says the DOJ and the Department of Health and Human Services must issue guidance aimed at raising awareness of hate crimes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Update: This passed the Senate the same day our original article was published. It was signed by the President and became law on May 20.

New Proposed Hate Crime Legislation

S.1939 and H.R.3515  — A bill to facilitate the expedited review of antisemitic hate crimes, and for other purposes.

This was introduced to the House on May 25, and introduced to the Senate on May 27. The House bill has 56 cosponsors and the Senate bill has 24 cosponsors as of the time of writing this.

From Our Proposed Child Abuse Legislation Article:

H.R. 485 – Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

This would reauthorize the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. § 67). This act covers a lot of subtopics within child welfare including, but not limited to, abuse, neglect, adoption, addiction related issues, child abandonment, and homelessness. It also includes details on research programs, grants, other government programs, and other miscellaneous items.

For more on this act, known as CAPTA for short, click here. For the full text of CAPTA prior to the proposed amendments mentioned below click here.

Update: This passed the House in a 345 to 73 vote on March 16, and moved to the Senate. On March 17 it was read by the Senate and was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Several more bills that would amend CAPTA and create new legislation in the area of child abuse have also been introduced. They will be discussed in a future article.

The information provided in this article should not be considered legal advice or a substitute for legal advice. Biometrica is not a law firm and cannot offer legal advice.