AUGUST 2009

Advocacy Efforts During August Recess

It’s August recess and for most federal lawmakers, it is a chance to return home to their local communities in order to learn more about the issues affecting their constituents.
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Proposed House Energy Bill Fully Funds LWCF

The House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee is preparing energy legislation and strongly considering full and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at the authorized annual level of $900 million. 
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LWCF State Assistance Funding Increased

In late June the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FY 2010 Interior Appropriations bill by a vote of 254-173. The bill provides $32.3 billion in discretionary funds for the Department of Interior, EPA, U.S. Forest Service and other agencies, which equates to a 17 percent increase in funding over FY 2009 levels.
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Transportation Reauthorization

On July 15, 2009, the Senate Environment and Public Works committee voted 18-1 to provide an 18-month extension for the funding for highways and other programs under the committee’s jurisdiction. The Senate Banking committee will need to pass an extension as well for programs that fall under its jurisdiction.
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Health Reform

The Administration continues to tout the importance of prevention and wellness to health reform.  The President has called for Congress to pass a comprehensive health reform bill by October. The likelihood of this occurring is uncertain at this point. Currently, there are two bills moving separately through the House and Senate. 
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Co-Sponsors Needed For No Child Left Inside Act

The No Child Left Inside Act has been introduced in the House (H.R. 2054) by Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD) and in the Senate (S. 866) by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI). This bill seeks to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, commonly called No Child Left Behind, and expand environmental education, create environmental stewards and produce graduates who are equipped to address the challenges, adjustments and opportunities of the 21st century.
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Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act

Earlier this year, Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Kevin Brady (R-TX), and Zach Wamp (R-TN) introduced the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act (H.R. 2105). This legislation promotes increased physical activity by amending the IRS code to expand the definition of a medical expense to include qualified physical activities as a form of prevention.
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Outdoor Resources Review Group Report

The Outdoor Resources Review Group (ORRG), an influential advisory group looking at the needs for land conservation and outdoor recreation in America for the next 20 years, has completed its work and issued a final report with recommendations. The report was presented to the Secretary of the Interior and the honorary co-chairs of the group, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) on July 6, 2009.
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National Capital Region Land Conservation Act, HR 2986

The "National Capital Region Land Conservation Act" amends the Capper-Cramton Act of 1930. The bill would allow appropriations of up to $50 million per year, administered through the National Park Service.
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Complete America’s Great Trails Act, HR 1912

Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) have introduced Complete America’s Great Trails Act.  The bill’s purpose is to help add missing segments and protect various scenic vistas of America’s eight National Scenic Trails.
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Administration's Rural Tour

Over the course of the next few weeks and months, top Administration officials, including Cabinet Secretaries, will fan out across the nation to hold a series of discussions on how communities, states, and the federal government can work together to help strengthen rural America.
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