Risch, Crapo Reintroduce Legislation to Split Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Source: United States Senator for Idaho James E Risch

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo (both R-Idaho), Dan Sullivan (R-Ala.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) have reintroduced the Judicial Reorganization Act, S. 2970, to split the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in order to allow for more efficient caseload processing. 

“When the Ninth Circuit Court serves nearly twice the number of people as the next-largest judicial circuit and carries five times the case backlog of the average circuit, then it should be clear to anyone with a calculator that the Ninth is overdue to be split,” said Risch. “Restructuring the Ninth Circuit will result in more manageable caseloads and allow the courts to more closely mirror the populations they serve.”

“As a result of massive population growth across several western states, the Ninth Circuit has seen an overwhelming increase in caseloads, creating a lengthy process for those seeking justice,” said Crapo. “Splitting the Ninth Circuit would provide for a more expedient route to justice for many individuals in the West.”   

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the largest in the nation with over nine states and two territorial courts, decides an extensive number of appeals annually, and accounts for nearly a third of all pending federal appeals. It takes an average of 13 months to decide a case, which is almost five months more than the national average. 

Idaho is currently part of the Ninth Circuit and its judges have influence over Western issues that affect Idahoans. The Judicial Reorganization Act would split the Ninth Circuit in two, establishing a new Twelfth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit would include California, Guam, and Hawaii, while the new Twelfth Circuit would consist of Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. S. 2970 would also authorize an additional five circuit court judge seats, allocating 21 to the new Ninth and 13 to the Twelfth to align with population size. 

Text of the bill can be found here. 

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Sens. Cramer, Murkowski, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Strengthen Diplomacy in the Arctic

Source: United States Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND)

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Angus King (I-ME) in introducing the Arctic Diplomacy Act of 2021, bipartisan legislation which will elevate Arctic issues in U.S. foreign policy by establishing an Assistant Secretary of State for Arctic Affairs who will lead and conduct U.S. foreign policy in the Arctic region and on Arctic issues.

“The Arctic is an issue of national security to our nation. It’s incredibly important the United States remains fully engaged in the Arctic. North Dakota plays a pivotal role in the Arctic, given our proximity to the region,” said Senator Cramer. “The United States is the only Arctic nation that does not have diplomatic representation in the Arctic at the ambassador level or higher. As the region gets busier, it is crucial the U.S. has a representative to play an active and influential diplomatic role in the region. Our bill provides exactly that.” 

The Assistant Secretary of State for Arctic Affairs role will be a Senate-confirmed position responsible for influencing decisions and behavior of Arctic nations, Arctic issues, and activities in the Arctic region which includes establishing an Arctic diplomacy strategy; strengthening cooperation among Arctic countries; promoting responsible natural resource management and economic development; scientific monitoring and research; protecting the Arctic environment and conserving its biological resources; and Arctic indigenous knowledge and input. 

Senator Cramer has repeatedly used his seat on the Armed Services Committee to advocate for North Dakota’s role in Arctic Missions, specifically as it relates to Over the Horizon Radar capabilities, the nuclear triad, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) efforts.  

Senators Cramer and Murkowski are joined on the bill by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

Read the bill text here.

Inhofe, Whitehouse Reintroduce RIME Act to Help Manufacturers Train Next Generation Workforce

Source: United States Senator for Oklahoma James Inhofe

Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) joined Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) to reintroduce a bipartisan proposal to help small businesses equip the next generation of manufacturers with the technical skills required for the job. S.2977, the Retain Innovation and Manufacturing Excellence (RIME) Act of 2021 would establish a pilot program to allow businesses to retain retiring employees long enough to train a replacement and transfer their institutional knowledge – tackling a growing challenge for manufacturing companies. 

The RIME Act would establish a pilot program through the National Institute of Standards and Technology to allow regional Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEPs) to apply for targeted workforce training grants provided by the Department of Commerce. The funding awarded to small manufacturers would be used to retain a departing employee for up to 90 days while they train a new employee on the specific functions of their job. The bill would authorize up to $10 million to be used for the pilot program.

“Oklahoma’s backbone is the manufacturing industry,” Inhofe said. “As small business workers retire, it is difficult to find the next generation to take their place—especially as we face an unprecedented labor shortage. By creating this pilot program to support the training of new workers, small businesses will be able to train new employees alongside outgoing staff, making it possible to pass on critical institutional knowledge. Additionally, I am especially pleased that this legislation prioritizes veterans transitioning to a new career.”

“Rhode Island has a proud history as a leader in American manufacturing dating back to the Industrial Revolution,” said Whitehouse. “Local manufacturers tell me one of their biggest challenges is recruiting and training a new generation of workers with the specialized skills required to bring the industry into the future.  Learning on the job is the best way for workers to learn the technical skills that advanced manufacturers need, and this bill would help them do just that.”

Small-size manufacturers have for decades relied on a generation of workers now beginning to retire. A recent survey by the Manufacturing Institute estimated that nearly half of all job openings in manufacturing will go unfilled between 2018 and 2028 as a consequence of experienced workers retiring and the resulting skills gap with younger replacements. 

Senators Inhofe and Whitehouse first introduced the RIME Act in December of 2018. Text of the legislation can be found here.  

Cassidy Announces $38 Million in Grants for Hurricanes Laura, Zeta Relief

Source: United States Senator for Louisiana Bill Cassidy

10.08.21

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will grant Louisiana $37,912,519.38 for Hurricanes Laura and Zeta relief. The Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development, the Louisiana Office of Risk Management, the Jefferson Davis CO-OP INC, and Cameron Parish will receive $35,874,089.97 for Hurricane Laura. The Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness will receive $2,038,429.41 for its response to Hurricane Zeta. The grants are reimbursement for costs related to debris removal, busses and taxis used during evacuations, building repairs, and an Emergency Operations Center.

“This is crucial help Louisiana needs to fully bounce back from Laura and Zeta,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This grant cleans up the scars left by those hurricanes in our communities.”

Grant Awarded

Recipient

Project Description

$1,080,713.93

Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development

This grant is for the costs of debris removal from blocked roadways and rights of way due to Hurricane Laura.

$7,044,537.99

Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development

This grant is for the costs of busses and taxis used for evacuations due to Hurricane Laura.

$5,646,165.13

Louisiana Office of Risk Management

This grant covers costs of building repairs at McNeese University from damage caused by Hurricane Laura.

$1,202,751.59

Jefferson Davis CO-OP INC

This grant is for the damage done to the paved parking area of The Chennault Airport and Southwest Louisiana Community College while it served as the JDEC Emergency Operations Center during Hurricane Laura.

$20,899,921.33

Cameron Parish

This grant is for the costs of debris removal due to Hurricane Laura.

$2,038,429.41

Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness

This grant is for (EOC) setup after Hurricane Zeta.

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Senator Hassan Celebrates Opening of Currier Museum of Art Exhibition

Source: United States Senator for New Hampshire Maggie Hassan

October 08, 2021

Exhibition Displays Murals of the White Mountains Commissioned Through the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration

Senator Hassan Celebrates Opening of Currier Museum of Art Exhibition

 

Exhibition Displays Murals of the White Mountains Commissioned Through the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration

 

 

Senator Hassan attends new exhibition at Currier Museum of Art.

MANCHESTER –  U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan today delivered remarks at the opening for the Currier Museum of Art’s new exhibition “WPA in NH: Philip Guston and Musa McKim.” 

Senator Hassan also toured the museum and discussed the Art for Vets program, which offers free opportunities, such as creative art activities and art-viewing for veterans, active service members, and their families. The Currier significantly expanded the program with federal COVID-19 relief funding.

“The Currier Museum showcases impressive art that helps people learn, gain new perspectives, and engage with our culture, our history, and each other,” said Senator Hassan. “I was glad to be a part of today’s exhibition opening, as well as hear more about the Arts for Veterans program, which recognizes how art therapy can help veterans who have grappled with PTSD and other challenges.”

The new exhibition features the works of Philip Guston and Musa McKim, who painted a pair of murals for the federal forestry building in Laconia, New Hampshire that were commissioned by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which established public projects and supported artists under President Roosevelt’s New Deal. The murals are each 14 feet. One depicts sustainable logging and the other showcases wildlife in the White Mountains.

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Menendez, Booker Demand Transparency from Department of Justice on Use of State Secrets Privilege

Source: United States Senator for New Jersey Bob Menendez

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.)  sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to increase transparency and accountability surrounding the use of the government’s invocation of the state secrets privilege. While the state secrets privilege is meant to prevent disclosure of government information when national security interests are at stake, a 2009 memo by then-Attorney General Eric Holder stated that DOJ would provide periodic reports to Congress on all cases in which the Department invokes the privilege. However, DOJ has not provided the Senate Judiciary Committee with a report since 2015, and has only provided two reports since the 2009 memorandum was issued.

“While ‘periodic’ is not defined in the 2009 memorandum, it should be plainly obvious that intervals—now more than six years since the last report on file was submitted—by which DOJ has provided these reports to Congress frustrates meaningful and effective congressional oversight,” the senators wrote to Attorney General Garland in the letter. “That DOJ does not appear to have submitted periodic reports is further inconsistent with DOJ’s commitment to ensuring greater accountability and reliability in the invocation of the privilege and to strengthening public confidence.”

 

In the letter, also signed by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), the lawmakers called for the Department to provide consistent reports to Congress when invoking the privilege, and demanded DOJ begin adhering to the commitments made in the 2009 memorandum.

“The periodic reports that DOJ has committed to providing Congress (…) are critical to congressional oversight and understanding of whether it was properly and appropriately invoked. Accordingly, we write to request information about the Department’s periodic reports and referrals to the Inspector General, and to request that the Department promptly begin adhering to the commitments it made in the 2009 policy,” the senators added.


The full text of the letter can be found HERE and below.

Dear Attorney General Garland:
 
In September 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memorandum titled “Policies and Procedures Governing Invocation of the State Secrets Privilege.” This memorandum was intended to “provide greater accountability and reliability in the invocation of the state secrets privilege in litigation” and to “rebuild[] the public’s trust in the government’s use of this privilege.” To those ends, the memorandum established, among other things, a policy under which the Department of Justice (DOJ) would “provide periodic reports to appropriate oversight committees of Congress with respect to all cases in which the Department invokes the privilege on behalf of departments or agencies in litigation, explaining the basis for invoking the privilege.” In addition, where the Attorney General “concludes that it would be proper to defend the invocation of the privilege in a case,” which would “preclude adjudication of particular claims, but that . . . case raises credible allegations of wrongdoing,” the 2009 memorandum requires DOJ to refer “those allegations  to the Inspector General of the appropriate department or agency.”
 
President Biden—12 years later—has committed “to adhering to the rigorous guidance” set forth in the 2009 memorandum. We now write to request information on DOJ’s adherence to these policies and procedures.
 
The state secrets privilege was—and remains—intended to prevent court-ordered disclosure of government information “when genuine and significant harm to national defense or foreign relations is at stake and only to the extent necessary to safeguard those interests.” Per the terms of the memorandum, it should be invoked only upon a “sufficient showing that [it] is necessary to protect information the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause significant harm” to U.S. national security and be narrowly tailored for that specific purpose. The periodic reports that DOJ has committed to providing Congress pursuant to the policies and procedures established by the 2009 memorandum and, in particular, the Department’s explanation for invoking the privilege contained within these reports, are critical to congressional oversight and understanding of whether it was properly and appropriately invoked.
 
It is, however, unclear if DOJ has provided such periodic reports to Congress on a regular basis. DOJ staff have confirmed that the Department has not provided a periodic report since 2019, notwithstanding the invocation of the state secrets privilege in re Terrorist Attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 and in other cases since then. In fact, it appears that DOJ has only ever submitted two such reports—one in 2011 and one in 2015—to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary since the 2009 memorandum was issued according to records maintained by the Committee.
 
While “periodic” is not defined in the 2009 memorandum, it should be plainly obvious that intervals—now more than six years since the last report on file was submitted—by which DOJ has provided these reports to Congress frustrates meaningful and effective congressional oversight. That DOJ does not appear to have submitted periodic reports is further inconsistent with DOJ’s commitment to ensuring greater accountability and reliability in the invocation of the privilege and to strengthening public confidence.
 
Accordingly, we write to request information about the Department’s periodic reports and referrals to the Inspector General, and to request that the Department promptly begin adhering to the commitments it made in the 2009 policy. We ask that you provide written responses to the following questions no later than October 27, 2021:
 
1.      Please list the dates on which DOJ has provided “periodic reports to appropriate oversight committees of Congress” pursuant to the 2009 policy, identifying (i) the congressional committee(s) to which the report was provided and (ii) the cases in which the state secrets privilege was invoked covered in each report. Please provide copies of all previously submitted reports. If you are unable to do so, please explain why that is the case.
 
2.      Are there pending cases in which the state secrets privilege has been invoked, but which have not been addressed in a periodic report to Congress? If so, please identify these cases, produce a report on an expeditious timeline, and explain why DOJ had not previously provided a periodic report to Congress.
 
3.      Are there now-settled or otherwise resolved or closed matters in which the state secrets privilege was invoked, but which were not addressed in a periodic report to Congress? If so, please provide retroactive reports consistent with the policies and procedures detailed in the 2009 memorandum and explain why DOJ did not provide a report to Congress at the time the privilege was invoked.
 
4.      President Biden has said that his Administration will “[adhere] to the rigorous guidance” set forth by the Obama Administration in the 2009 memorandum. This seemingly includes DOJ’s commitment to provide periodic reports to the appropriate congressional oversight committees.
 
a.       Please identify all DOJ rules, guidelines, practices, procedures or similar documents that govern DOJ’s submission of periodic reports on assertions of the state secrets privilege to the appropriate congressional oversight committees. If no such rules, guidelines, practices, procedures, or similar documents exist, please identify how DOJ plans to implement this periodic reporting requirement in the future.
 
b.      If not otherwise addressed in those documents (Question 4(a)), please explain how DOJ defines “periodic” for the purpose of adhering to the 2009 memorandum’s commitment to periodic reporting.
 
c.       If not otherwise addressed in those documents (Question 4(a)), please identify which congressional committees DOJ considers to be the “appropriate oversight committees of Congress.” 
 
5.      The 2009 memorandum does not include any language committing the Department to make its periodic reports available to the public notwithstanding that DOJ adopted the policies and procedures outlined in the 2009 memorandum “to strengthen public confidence that the U.S. Government will invoke the privilege in court only when genuine and significant harm to national defense or foreign relations is at stake and only to the extent necessary to safeguard those interests.” Will the Department consider making such reports available to the public, with redactions (or using unclassified versions) where necessary to protect classified information?
 
6.      The 2009 memorandum requires periodic reports concerning “all cases in which the Department invokes the [state secrets] privilege on behalf of departments or agencies in litigation[,]” but does not address reporting concerning cases in which the Department declined another department’s or agency’s request to assert the privilege. Please identify the number of instances that DOJ has declined such requests.
 
7.      Please state whether the Department has made any referrals pursuant to section 4(C) of the 2009 memorandum, which requires DOJ to refer credible allegations of government wrongdoing to the “Inspector General of the appropriate department or agency” where invocation of the privilege precludes addressing those allegations in litigation.  If so, we request a briefing on the nature and disposition of those referrals.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Durbin, Duckworth Announce Screening Committee, Application Process For Federal District Court In Northern District Of Illinois

Source: United States Senator for Illinois Dick Durbin

10.08.21

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that they will begin accepting applications from those interested in serving as a Federal District Court Judge in the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division.  The Senators will be assisted by a screening committee whose task is to review and vet District Court candidates and advise the Senators regarding the candidates’ qualifications and fitness for the position. 

“Our constitutional responsibility to advise and consent is one of the most important duties we have in the Senate. As we make recommendations for lifetime judicial appointments, we will benefit from the guidance and insights of our distinguished screening committee,” the Senators said.  “We thank the members of the screening committee for their willingness to serve and look forward to recommending qualified and experienced individuals to the White House.”

The Senators’ screening committee in the Northern District of Illinois will be chaired by the Honorable David Coar (ret.), former U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois.  The other members of the Northern District Committee are Alejandro Caffarelli, Michael Chu, Kevin Conway, Herschella Conyers, Edward Feldman, Betty Jang, Monica Llorente, Laurie Mikva, Carlina Tapia-Ruano, Zaldwaynaka (“Z”) Scott, and Diana White.

Biographies of each member of the screening committee can be found below.

Application Process:

Applicants for the federal district court must submit a cover letter, resume, and a completed copy of this questionnaire to applications@durbin.senate.gov by 5 p.m. CT on Monday, October 25.  Applicants are requested to incorporate their cover letter, resume, completed questionnaire, and any attachments to the questionnaire into a single PDF document if possible.  Please note that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the affidavit accompanying the questionnaire is not required to be notarized.  

The application questionnaire is nearly identical to the one used by the Senate Judiciary Committee and will help provide insight into candidates’ backgrounds and qualifications.  The screening committee will review candidates and advise the Senators, who will make recommendations on potential nominees to the President.  Once the President submits a nomination to the U.S. Senate, the nominee will be reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Senator Durbin chairs, and will receive a vote in the Committee.  If a nomination is approved by the Judiciary Committee, the nomination will be sent to the full Senate for consideration.  

Screening Committee for the Northern District of Illinois:

The Honorable David H. Coar (Ret.) (committee chair):  Judge Coar served as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois for sixteen years, from 1994-2010.   He had previously served the Northern District for eight years as a United States Bankruptcy Judge and for three years as a United States Bankruptcy Trustee.  Judge Coar taught for over a decade at DePaul University College of Law as an Associate Professor of Law and additionally served as Associate Dean.  He has also worked in private practice and as an arbitrator.  Judge Coar received his B.A. from Syracuse University, his J.D. from Loyola University Law School, and his L.L.M. from Harvard Law School.  He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps Reserves.

Alejandro Caffarelli:  Mr. Caffarelli is the founding shareholder of Caffarelli & Associates Ltd in Chicago.  He is a former President of the National Employment Lawyers’ Association – Illinois affiliate, as well as a former Executive Board member for the Hispanic Lawyers’ Association of Illinois.  In 2014, Mr. Caffarelli was appointed by Judge Rubén Castillo to the Pro Bono Advisory Committee for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  Since 2005, Mr. Caffarelli has also volunteered to help indigent workers through the ARISE-Chicago community organization, and currently serves on the ARISE Legal Advisory Board.  Mr. Caffarelli received his B.A. from the University of Michigan and J.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Michael Chu: Mr. Chu is a partner at the Chicago office of McDermott Will & Emery and sits as the chair of the firm’s Racial and Ethnic Diversity Subcommittee.  He is also the local head of McDermott’s Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Chu is the immediate past board chair of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago (2013-2020) and is a former president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (2004-2005). He received his B.S. from the University of Illinois in 1989 and his J.D. from the William and Mary Law School in 1992.

Kevin Conway:  Mr. Conway is a partner at the law firm Cooney & Conway in Chicago. His practice focuses on mesothelioma, mass tort, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury cases.  He is a fellow of the International Society of Barristers and the American College of Trial Lawyers, and is a past president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. He is also past chairman of the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund, past president of the Celtic Legal Society of Chicago, and a board member for Lawyers for the Creative Arts. He received his B.A. and J.D. from Loyola University in Chicago.

Herschella Conyers: Ms. Conyers is the Lillian E. Kraemer Clinical Professor in Public Interest Law and the Director of the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. Before joining the law school, she served as an assistant public defender, supervisor, and 6th District Deputy Chief in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender.  Her work included conflicts and capital litigation. She is also actively engaged in criminal and juvenile justice policy and is currently the Chair of the Juvenile Justice Initiative. She is emerita faculty and former board member of the National Criminal Defense College. She received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Edward Feldman:  Mr. Feldman is a partner at the Chicago law firm Miller Shakman Levine & Feldman LLP, where he has worked since 1988.  His practice focuses on complex civil litigation and professional responsibility matters.  He previously served as law clerk to U.S. District Judge Marvin E. Aspen and then worked for two years as a clinical fellow at the Northwestern University Legal Clinic.  He has served as an adjunct law professor at Northwestern since 1988 teaching trial advocacy and ethics.  He is a past Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Professional Responsibility Committee and of the Board of Directors for the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.  He received his B.A./B.S. from the University of Illinois and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. 

Betty Y. Jang:  Ms. Jang is General Counsel at Tegria.  Previously, she has served as an executive at several corporations, practiced at a national law firm, was an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, and began her career as an assistant public defender with the Office of the Cook County Public Defender. Ms. Jang has volunteered as a scholarship evaluator for the APIA Scholars program, is an alumnus of the United State of Women’s Galvanize Chicago Program, and has held numerous Board positions in local, state, and national bar associations.   She received her B.A. from the University of Illinois and her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Monica L. Llorente:  Ms. Llorente teaches at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law and the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences.  She has served as an advocate for children’s rights in several national campaigns and has represented children in need in various judicial and administrative proceedings. She is currently the Education Co-Chair of the ABA Children’s Rights Litigation Committee.  Ms. Llorente has also served as a board member of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. Before working at Northwestern, she practiced law at Baker & McKenzie in Chicago. She received her A.B. from Duke University and her J.D. from the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.  

Laurie Mikva:  Ms. Mikva is a clinical assistant professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.  She previously worked as an attorney at the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, and also served as an assistant public defender in the Champaign County Public Defender’s Office and the Office of the Maryland Public Defender, Appellate Division. She is a Commissioner on the Illinois Court of Claims, and she also serves on the Board of Directors for the Legal Services Corporation and on the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.  She received her B.A. from Beloit College and her J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Carlina Tapia-Ruano: Ms. Tapia-Ruano is the principal and founder of the Chicago office of Tapia-Ruano & Gunn PC. She has practiced in the field of immigration law for over thirty years, focusing on family and employment matters. She is a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and former chair of the Chicago Bar Association Section on Immigration Law. Ms. Tapia-Ruano is a current adjunct professor at IIT-Chicago Kent School of Law and has also taught at DePaul University College of Law. She received her B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University and J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.

Zaldwaynaka (“Z”) Scott:  Ms. Scott is currently the President of Chicago State University, a position she assumed in 2018.  From 1987 to 2003, she worked as a federal criminal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, serving in various management positions including Chief of the General Crimes Section.  After her service at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she served as Executive Inspector General for the Office of Governor of Illinois (2003-05) and worked as a partner in the Chicago office of Foley & Lardner LLP.   She also served for four years in the Office of the Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago (1983-87).  She has taught as an adjunct instructor at Northwestern University School of Law, the University of Chicago Law School, and The John Marshall School of Law.  She received her B.S. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and her J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington.  

Diana White:  Ms. White worked at Legal Aid Chicago (formerly LAF) for more than 20 years, 10 of them as Executive Director.  She retired in July 2017. Legal Aid Chicago is the largest provider of free legal services in civil cases in the metropolitan Chicago area.  Its full-time staff of more than 100 attorneys and paralegals provides legal help that gets people living in poverty back on their feet and strengthens communities throughout Cook County.  Previously Ms. White was a partner at Jenner & Block and a law clerk to Chief Judge Walter Cummings on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.  She received her B.A. from Smith College and her J.D. from the University of Chicago.

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Dr. Rand Paul Honors Kentucky Mist Moonshine of Whitesburg, Kentucky, as Senate Small Business of the Week

Source: United States Senator for Kentucky Rand Paul

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 8, 2021
 Contact: Press_Paul@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343

 

 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, recognized Kentucky Mist Moonshine of Whitesburg, Kentucky, as the U.S. Senate Small Business of the Week.
 
Dr. Paul entered the following into the Congressional Record:
 
Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, each week I recognize an outstanding Kentucky small business that exemplifies the American entrepreneurial spirit. This week, it is my privilege to recognize Kentucky Mist Moonshine, of Whitesburg, Kentucky, as the Senate Small Business of the Week.
 
Kentucky Mist Moonshine is a family business nearly a century in the making. In the 1920s, during Prohibition, Little Henry Holbrook started distilling and bootlegging corn liquor in the Appalachian Mountains. Despite a 17-year stint in a federal penitentiary, Henry continued bootlegging moonshine until he passed away in the 1980s. Decades later, in 2015, his grandson Colin Fultz decided to turn the Holbrook family tradition into a legal business. Using trade secrets and recipes passed down for generations, Colin perfected his family’s signature moonshine recipe for mass production. Working out a deal with the local city government, he restored and outfitted an historic building in downtown Whitesburg to operate his craft distillery. In 2015, Kentucky Mist Moonshine opened its doors.
 
Today, Kentucky Mist Moonshine is renowned for its moonshine, whiskey, and vodka. The company has grown at a significant clip, experiencing 105% growth from 2019 – 2021. Featuring over twelve varieties of moonshine, their spirits are made from an original recipe free of artificial flavors or additives. Their products are sold throughout the United States, and have drawn praise nationwide. Every batch is made in Kentucky under Colin’s watchful eye. The Kentucky Mist Moonshine team has grown to fifteen employees, and expanded to include three locations in Orange Beach, Alabama, and North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Additionally, the distillery supports local Kentucky artisans and regional small businesses, selling hand-crafted goods at each of their locations. Uniquely, Kentucky Mist Moonshine makes fruit-infused moonshine and donates the fruit byproducts to local farmers for livestock feed.   
 
Like many small businesses, Colin is actively involved in his community. Kentucky Mist Moonshine is part of the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, while Colin serves on the local board of tourism. Locally, Kentucky Mist Moonshine has sponsored several Letcher County Central High School sports teams. They regularly participate in local and regional events, including the annual Mountain Heritage Festival. Kentucky Mist Moonshine is a member of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Kentucky’s premier bourbon and distilled spirits trade association. Their whiskey, vodka, and moonshine have earned multiple awards at industry and trade shows. The company’s success has been profiled in several regional and industry publications. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky Mist Moonshine stepped up to manufacture hand sanitizer for local hospitals and clinics. During the summer, they hosted a series of concerts at their facility to support local artists and build community after a year of lockdowns.       
 
Kentucky Mist Moonshine is a remarkable example of the resilience and adaptability of locally-owned small businesses. Small businesses, like Kentucky Mist Moonshine, form the heart of towns across Kentucky, and play a critical role in Kentucky’s bourbon and whiskey industry. Congratulations to Colin and the entire team at Kentucky Mist Moonshine. I wish them the best of luck, and I look forward to watching their continued growth and success in Kentucky.

 
As Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Paul continues the tradition of honoring America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees proposed legislation on matters relating to the Small Business Administration and investigates all problems relating to America’s small businesses.
 
 

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Manchin, Capito Announce Funding For HIV Care, Support Services And Medication

Source: United States Senator for West Virginia Joe Manchin

October 08, 2021

Charleston, WV – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $4,739,494 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program to support several recipients in West Virginia. This funding will be used to improve the quality, availability, and organization of HIV health care and support services in West Virginia.

“The growing drug epidemic has contributed to a recent increase in infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded this crisis by preventing West Virginians from receiving the healthcare services they need,” Senator Manchin said. “Earlier this year, I questioned Dr. Fauci and Dr. Walensky on the drug epidemic and HIV/AIDS outbreak in West Virginia and urged immediate federal action to address this epidemic within a pandemic. I am pleased HHS is investing in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program to expand access to treatment and care, and I will continue to fight for resources to help West Virginia combat the drug epidemic ravaging our state in every way possible.”

“Just this past year, we have seen HIV numbers increase in our state, underlying the need for continued support and funding like this through HHS’s Ryan White Program. It’s encouraging to see this funding heading to West Virginia to improve the quality and availability of HIV/AIDS treatment for our communities that need it most. Recently, I sent a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra urging him to add West Virginia to the department’s Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative. I will continue to advocate for the medical resources West Virginians need,” Senator Capito said.

Individual awards listed below:

·      $3,633,624 – The State of West Virginia: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B

·      $470,864 – CAMC Health Education & Research Institute: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C

·      $407,048 – West Virginia University: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C

·      $227,958 – West Virginia University Research Corporation: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part D



Manchin, Capito Announce $300,000 For Wetlands Protection

Source: United States Senator for West Virginia Joe Manchin

October 08, 2021

Charleston, WV – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, both members of the Appropriations Committee, today announced a $299,362 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to support wetlands protection.

“West Virginia is home to endless, beautiful and diverse public lands and areas, including our unique wetlands. I am pleased EPA is investing in West Virginia to provide training and improve wetlands monitoring, assessment, and mapping. I will continue to advocate for funding and resources to protect our public lands and keep the Mountain State wild and wonderful,” Senator Manchin said.

“I’m glad to see this investment heading to our state, which will assist WVDEP in updating wetland mapping for 23 counties and supporting community conservation trainings,” Senator Capito said. “This kind of citizen involvement is critical for monitoring in our natural spaces and fostering a statewide appreciation of our outdoors.”