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Council Legislative Update
On September 11, 2003, I was informed the House of Representatives would be sending to the floor, H.R. 1829, the FPI competition in contracting act of 2003, sponsored by Congressman Hoekstra R-MI). We have been fighting this type of legislation for years and this was the first time it had made it to the schedule of the U.S. House.
I asked for all localâ€™s on September 12 to get active and lobby their district congressional offices and to plan on coming to DC if called upon. On September 17th, the Council asked for all locals to participate in a Lobby Day on September 23rd in Washington DC.
As a result of these activities and the combined effort of other outside groups who are also opposed to this legislation, the bill was pulled off the House of Representatives schedule for the week of September 15th.
The bill is currently in limbo. We donâ€™t know when or how it will be brought up next. The Small Business Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives will be holding a hearing on the bill, October 1, 2003 at 2:00 PM.
We are monitoring the situation and will be mobilizing through this session of Congress. However, we need all Correctional Workerâ€™s help. We need you to get active calling your member of Congress. Ask your Local Union leadership for their phone numbers. Sign the letterâ€™s being brought to union meetings and other events to fight this issue.
Also, another important issue is our staffing levels. We have started a campaign in the U.S. Senate to increase our appropriations. Localâ€™s that lobbied against H.R. 1829, also lobbied to increase our funding levels from the pitiful and unsafe, 91 percentage that the Justice Department has left us at. We are appalled that while DEA, FBI, and U.S. prosecutors are increasing their numbers, we are being left to hang. Some institutions are down to 86 to 87 percent staffing levels. It is unacceptable and it is wrong. Again, we need every memberâ€™s help on this. Call your two State Senatorâ€™s and tell them to add money to the appropriations for Prisons. Community safety is being held in the balance.
I want to personally thank those locals who came to Washington. I think we should have had all 100 locals represented, but we did do well. We made our mark on Capitol Hill for two days worth of work. Now, everyone must keep up the pressure.
Council of Prison Locals, AFGE
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