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May 2000Vol. 1, No. 3Legislative Updates

Following are short summaries of current congressional bills of interest to professionals working in child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption. To learn more about any of these bills, visit Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress, at

Improving Child Courts. S. 2271. This bill would amend the Social Security Act to improve the quality and availability of training for judges, attorneys, and volunteers working in the nation's child abuse and neglect courts and for other purposes related to the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.

Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Finance, 3/22/00

Adoption Assistance Act. S.2227 and H.R.2733

These nearly identical bills are both titled "Federal Employee Adoption Assistance Act." The bills would reimburse Federal employees up to $2,000 in adoption expenses per adopted child. Qualifying expenses would include adoption fees, court costs, and attorney fees.

Status: S. 2227 was referred to the Senate Subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services, 4/4/00. H.R. 2733 was referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service last August.

Punishing Sex Offenders. H.R.4047.

This bill would amend title 18 of the U.S. Code to provide life imprisonment for repeat offenders who commit sex crimes against children.

Status: Referred to House Subcommittee on Crime, 4/4/00

Crimes Against Children. H.R.4045.

This bill, also known as "Matthew's Law," would amend the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 to strengthen penalities for crimes of violence committed against children younger than 13.

Status: Referred to House Subcomittee on Crime, 3/31/00

Status: S. 1485 and H.R. 3667 are now before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims.