Leahy’s Judiciary agenda notable for what it lacks


Patrick LeahyGun violence and immigration reform are two hot topics in Washington at the moment, and both will be prominently featured on the agenda of the Senate Judiciary Committee under the gavel of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). There will be a media aspect to the violence topic, but radio broadcasters will be interested in what isn’t on the agenda.

We refer, of course, to taking up the issue of a performance royalty on terrestrial radio.

Protecting children from violence in the media is a likely topic connected to Leahy’s interest in doing something about gun violence. And he mentioned reauthorizing satellite broadcast services this year.

Other than that, here are his priorities, in the order he mentioned them in a speech at the Georgetown University Law Center:

* Immigration Reform
* Gun Violence, including a look at “how we manage the exposure of children to violence in popular media”
* First Responders (benefits, bulletproof vests)
* Forensic Reform (labs and practitioner standards)
* The Violence Against Women Act
* Defending Civil Liberties And Privacy
* The Public’s Right To Know (including freedom of the press)

Secondary Topics:
* Privacy in regards to emerging technology and the internet
* Cybersecurity
* Satelllite TV reauthorization
* Book accessibility for the visually impaired
* Incentivizing innovation
* Filling judicial vacancies

RBR-TVBR observation: Of course, this doesn’t mean that discussion about some version of the Performance Rights Act won’t appear on the agenda during the course of the year. But for radio it is very nice to know that it isn’t a top-of-mind or even a back-burner topic going in.

However, there was talk of delving into this topic at the House Judiciary Committee at the end of 2012, so that could provide an incentive for it to show up in the Senate as well. We’ll keep our eyes on Senate Judiciary’s plans as the year progresses.