ADA Approved

Posted January 20, 2004 at 6:04pm

The Senate will begin providing closed captioning for Judiciary Committee hearings next month, an experimental program that if successful could eventually be expanded to include other panels.

Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and ranking member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) told other members of the panel of plans to launch the pilot program last week.

Hatch and Leahy said the panel will use voice recognition technology, which they said has not yet been used in the Senate and is fairly new in the marketplace. Maverick Realtime Solutions Inc. has been hired to institute the pilot program.

Hatch and Leahy did not provide a timeline for the program, but noted, “Upon completion of the pilot project, a report will be published by the Secretary of the Senate on the feasibility and cost of providing closed captioning to all Senate committees.”

Golden State Pick. Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown barely has had time to enjoy his retirement from politics. On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appointed Brown to a two-year term on the Election Assistance Commission’s board of advisers.

Created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002, the commission serves as a national clearinghouse and resource for the compilation of information and review of procedures with respect to the administration of federal elections.

Following the 2000 election debacle, California voters, and San Franciscans in particular, took steps to revamp their voting systems. Moreover, voters in San Francisco adopted an instant runoff voting system for local elections, whereby voters can rank lists of candidates for positions such as mayor and city supervisor.

Doctor’s Fee. House Administration Committee officials have set the 2004 annual fee for use of the Attending Physician’s Office at $453.32.

“Through an analysis of several databases on health care statistics, an independent consulting actuary produced a formula to calculate the annual fee,” states a Jan. 14 “Dear Colleague” letter from Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio).

The physician’s office provides services such as physical therapy, routine exams, laboratory and X-ray work, pap smears and prescriptions.

Members are required to pay the physician’s fee only if they use the office.

— Mark Preston, Amy Keller and Jennifer Yachnin