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Senate To Hold Key Y2K Vote Today

The Senate Republican leadership make another attempt today to bring long-stalled Year 2000 (Y2K) legislation, a priority of industry, to a floor vote. A procedural vote is scheduled on a motion to lift a Democratic filibuster and allow floor consideration of a bill that would limit liability against companies for Y2K-related computer failures. The House passed a companion bill in early May, but two efforts by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R, Miss.) to call the Senate version up for a vote were unanimously blocked by Democrats. Sixty votes are needed to overcome the filibuster. The legislation is opposed by consumer interests and trial lawyers--both strong Democratic constituencies. President Clinton has vowed a veto of any measure that comes to his desk that resembles the House-passed version. Among other things, the House bill would cap punitive damages at $250,000 or three times the financial damages, whichever is greater; curb class-action lawsuits; give corporate officials some protection from liability; and allow firms 90 days to fix Y2K problems before they could be sued.

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