Sunday, December 22, 2013

Black Sheep Sunday ---- aka U S Congress - Another Rider That Doesn't Belong

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward with help from the Legal Genealogist and Peggi
Rossi CSGA Legislative Watch Chair

Remember a few days ago, I was telling you about the Legal Genealogist Blog and that SSDI might be blocked off to researchers. I was encouraging you to bookmark her blog and keep up with the legal items that have to do with genealogy that may affect your ability to research or hinder it. I hope that you have done that. It just keeps you informed.

Bad news!

Well, Congress passed the budget yesterday and included in it is a restriction on access to the Social Security Death Index (SSDI). It is now headed to the President for signature and unfortunately he will probably sign it.

I just to not understand how something totally unrelated to the budget could be attached and pass through. I know I know it happens all the time, but why, why should it happen, why do we allow it to happen? What can we do to prevent this type of behavior? Shouldn't each bill be passed on its own. Why aren't the Senators and House Reps looking out for the people - stop with the favors and playing politics. Pay attention to what you are doing. NO RIDERS!! No more.

The bill reads:

"The Secretary of Commerce shall not disclose to any person information contained on the Death Master File with respect to any deceased individual at any time during the 3-calendar-year period beginning on the date of the individual's death, unless such person is certified under the program established under subsection (b). . ."

Peggy Rossi California State Genealogical Association Legislative (CSGA) Watch Chair writes..........
"It could be worse as access was not completely cut off but it will make it more difficult to find folks who died recently, particularly for those who do heir searching, etc. Go to Legal Genealogist and read today's entry for more details on that.

I went on to FamilySearch this morning and copied off all SSDI entries for deaths from 2010 to 2013 for my more unusual family names (obviously Smiths would be too much). There is nothing in the bill that says what is already out there must be removed but it could end up being interpreted that way so it might be good idea to access what you can now. This bill will take effect immediately upon the President's signature."
ALSO read Newsweek online article written by Leah McGrath Goodman/ Dec 18 2013

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