An update on the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which passed the House on April 29 by 249-175. A Senate vote is expected this week, possibly as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday, when it is amended to an unrelated tourism bill, according to the Washington Blade.
"Lawmakers are expected to pass the measure by amending S. 1023, or the Travel Promotion Act, said the source. The bill is geared toward establishing a national travel promotion program to communicate U.S. travel policies and to promote travel to the United States. 'The idea is that that will be an amendment to the tourism bill that's going to be on the floor this week in the Senate, and we're thinking that the vote will happen probably [Tuesday] or Wednesday,' said [their] source...More details on the passage of hate crimes legislation are expected later Monday at press conference on Capitol Hill."
The bill, sometimes called the Matthew Shepard Act, has languished under a largely Republican Congress since 1997. In may 2007 it passed the House of Representatives 237-180 and later passed the Senate 60-39. President George W. Bush vetoed the bill.