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[Fwd: Victories: Rehab Act, Campaign Reform]

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Wed, 05 Aug 1998 06:29:56 -0700
Message-ID: <35C85E54.B371891D@gorge.net>
To: E & O <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Please excuse my posting this large file to the list but the first item
on it about the latest round in the "it's the law" aspect of our effort
is something we must jump into with both feet.

The Access Board is meeting in San Francisco around the first of Oct.
and contacting all its members is on my to-do list.  In the same sense
that the standards for accessibility in the wheel chair world are
written with the help of an outside private agency, so must we lobby
hard for WAI to serve that function in Web accessibility matters.

THIS IS WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD.  The standards by which all
future decisions as to what constitutes accessibility on the Web are
going to be set by this board.  We must see to it that those standards
are those we promulgate.

attached mail follows:

                 Justice For All


       Victories: Rehab Act, Campaign Reform

HR 1385, the Workforce Investment Partnership Act, 
which includes the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, passed out 
of committee last week and is on its way to the President for 
The revised Section 508 of the Rehab Act will require Federal 
agencies to procure and use accessible electronic and information 
technology, unless it poses an undue burden to do so. It directs the 
Access Board to develop and publish electronic and information 
technology standards in 18 months.
It also requires agencies to evaluate their technology access in 6 
months (meaning by 12-31-98), and the Attorney General must submit a 
report to the President in 18 months on Federal info tech access, and 
biennially thereafter. There is also an individual right of action in 
filing complaints, using the same procedure as to file 504 
This is a big victory for people with disabilities in the area of 
technology access!  Now that standards are imminent with a known date, 
people inside and outside the Federal government can work to make 
agencies comply, and you outside agitators --I mean advocates!-- can 
hold our feet to the fire. This also gives all the industry folks a 
target date for that "someday soon" that they're going to make their 
next release accessible.
You can get the text of the bill at the Thomas Congressional Record 
web site at:     
The conference was held on July 16, the conference report was 
released on July 29, the Senate agreed on July 30, and the House 
agreed on July 31. Agencies are now working on the signing statement, 
and we expect the President to sign the bill this Thursday or Friday.
Lastly, a big thank you to those who gave input, prodded us, 
beseeched us or other entities to get standards in place or move the 
legislation, or just took an active interest in relaying this info to 
your communities. Now the real work begins!
For more info:
Jennifer C. Mechem
Disability Policy/Section 504 Coordinator
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue S.W., Room 2468
Washington, DC  20202
(202) 401-3586 phone
(202) 401-3582 TTY
(202) 205-5760 fax

Republicans joined Democrats on Monday in endorsing the 
bill, which could deprive both political parties of 
millions of dollars in contributions by banning 
unregulated gifts.

The House voted 237-186 for legislation sponsored by
Reps. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Martin Meehan, D-Mass.
That relatively strong vote made the bill the favorite to
come out on top in an unusual procedure in which the House
is considering several proposals, with the one getting the
most votes winning.

The GOP leadership has promised to finish work on the
issue by the end of the week, when the House leaves for its
August recess.

"This is truly a historic opportunity to restore
integrity to the political process," Shays said in urging
support for the legislation. Fifty-one Republicans joined
185 Democrats and one independent in backing it. Voting in
opposition were 175 Republicans and 11 Democrats.

The Shays-Meehan bill has survived months of
challenges as opponents put forth amendments designed to
crack the unity of the bipartisan coalition supporting it.
But the biggest challenge of all, Senate unwillingness to
take up the issue, lies ahead.

Shays-Meehan would ban unregulated contributions to
political parties, known as "soft money," at both national
and state levels and would expand disclosure requirements.
It also regulates so-called issue ads, which purport to
educate voters but are clearly meant to get voters to vote
for or against a candidate.

To survive to this point, Shays-Meehan had to survive
"killer" or "poison pill" amendments to limit union
political activities, weaken the "motor voter" law that
encourages voter registration and water down language
regulating issue ads.

But even if Shays-Meehan comes out on top in the
House, its prospects in the Senate are not good. A similar
Senate bill, sponsored by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and
Russell Feingold, D-Wis., was pulled earlier this year after
supporters failed to get the 60 votes needed to end debate.
`No side can get 60 votes.'

McCain, in a statement, said he was still well short of 
getting that 60 votes and that reviving debate in the Senate 
would be "an exceedingly difficult task at best." But he 
said passage of Shays-Meehan might convince a supermajority 
of senators that the time has come "to reform a campaign 
finance system that a clear majority of Americans believe 
is corrupt."

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., has said
he has no intention of returning to the issue this year.

But Shays said he won't give up. "It's been
resurrected from the grave. This bill won't die," he said.
"I intend to speak to every senator who will speak with me.
The Senate has the opportunity of a lifetime."


Thanks to all who called, wrote, faxed and emailed:
We won in the House.  On to the Senate!  Please call your
Senators to urge their support for campaign reform.
Ask them to ask Senator Lott to bring it up for a vote!

The final vote for the Shays-Meehan's campaign 
finance reform esterday was 237 for (185 Dem., 51 Rep.) 
and 186 against (11 Dem., 175 Rep.)!  For all who 
have asked how their Rep voted go here:

While we're at it, please save the following for educating Congress:
To email your Representative to either commend or reprimand him/her, look
them up here:

To find out who your Representative is, go here:

To write your Senators and urge them to take up this legislation and
support it ASAP, go here:

For more information on campaign finance reform, see these sites:
other resources:

The Center for Responsive Politics:

Common Cause homepage:

Public Campaign homepage:

Fred Fay
Chair, Justice For All

Justice For All Free Subscriptions:

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with the following in the body of the message:
		subscribe justice
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Thank you.
End of document.

Received on Wednesday, 5 August 1998 09:30:23 UTC

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