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July 31, 2001

Section 31 Update

By Gregory Bresiger

It's now up to the new Senate Majority leader.

The work of several years of lobbying by the Security Traders Association now hinges on the view of Tom Daschle, leader of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate. He now is the key man on the fate of Section 31(a) reform, which would reduce stock transaction fees as well as provide pay parity for the staff of the SEC. The measure already easily passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and a slightly different version previously passed in the Senate. The delay in the legislation has been caused by the differences between the House and the Senate bills.

"We cannot overemphasize our strong support for both provisions of this legislation," STA officials wrote in a letter to Daschle. The Bush Administration has indicated the president will sign the measure into law if the Congress gives final approval. As Traders Magazine went to press, STA officials were hoping that their battle to reduce these fees was about to be successfully concluded. In several previous Congressional sessions, STA's efforts failed to reduce the bothersome fees, which the trading industry charges have become de facto taxes.