MESSAGE FROM CONGRESSMAN STENY H. HOYER

From restoring the Chesapeake to ensuring that more children in Maryland receive the high quality education they deserve, the House has been working non-stop over the past few weeks to pass legislation that makes sound investments in the priorities of this country in a fiscally responsible way. On my website you can find detailed news releases on how each of the bills we have passed impacts Maryland’s Fifth Congressional District and your community: www.hoyer.house.gov

This week we marked the 17th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As the lead sponsor of this legislation, I am proud that the law has helped ensure that American citizens with disabilities no longer live in isolation but live as independent, self-sufficient members of our communities. But the full promise of the law has not been fulfilled. In recent years, the Supreme Court has slowly chipped away at the broad protections of the ADA, creating a new set of barriers for Americans with disabilities. To redress this, I have introduced a bill - which already has more than 130 co-sponsors - to restore the original intent of the ADA. Please find more about my bill below.

This week we also saw the federal minimum wage go up from the $5.15 to $5.85. A year from now the minimum wage will go up again to $6.55, at which time 66,000 minimum wage earners in Maryland will receive a raise. The final minimum wage increase will occur in the summer of 2009, to reach the newly enacted level of $7.25. Increasing the federal minimum wage was a key goal of the new Democratic majority in Congress, and an overdue action to give millions of workers the raise they have long deserved. Read news release.

For more news from my office, please continue reading below or visit my Web site at www.hoyer.house.gov. As always, thank you for allowing me to share this update with you. If there is anything you wish to share with me or bring to my attention, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely yours, 

Steny H. Hoyer 

NEWS UPDATE

Hoyer Announces Funding for the Chesapeake Bay
In the last two weeks alone, the House has acted to make significant investments in the Chesapeake Bay. Between three recently passed funding bills, $39 million was approved for Bay preservation projects. Additionally, the House authorized more than $175 million over five years in direct conservation aid to help our farmers in their ongoing efforts to be good stewards of the Bay.
Read House Energy and Water news release
Read Interior-Environmental news release
Read Commerce, Justice and Science news release
Read Farm Bill news release

Hoyer Introduces Americans with Disabilities Restoration Act of 2007
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer led a press conference Thursday with Senator Tom Harkin and Representative James Sensenbrenner to introduce legislation to restore the full promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act, on the 17th anniversary of the passage of that landmark civil rights legislation.
Read news release
Watch news story on WUSA

Hoyer, U.S. Reps Push PAID Leave for Federal Employees
U.S. Representatives Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), and Tom Davis (R-VA) today introduced the “Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act" (H.R. 3158), bipartisan legislation that would provide all federal employees with eight weeks of paid parental leave.  Federal employees currently must deplete their annual and sick time to take parental leave.
Read news release
Read Washington Post story

Hoyer Applauds Passage of Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Act
Congressman Steny H. Hoyer applauded the passage of the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Act, designating the routes used by the British and American soldiers during the 1814 Chesapeake Campaign of the War of 1812 as a National Historic Trail. The trail extends through parts of Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, including sites in Rep. Hoyer’s district in Calvert, Charles & Prince George’s Counties.
Read news release