December 5, 2017, 10:00am EST
This is a hearing to announce nominees for the Department of Education and the Department of Labor.
By Andrew Kreighbaum, December 4, 2017
The new Higher Education Act reauthorization bill introduced in the House on Friday could cause delays to campus sexual assault investigations. The bill includes a provision that would allow colleges to hold back on investigations under a criminal inquiry, if requested by police or prosecutors. Survivor advocates are confronted with a number of new campus policies this week, ranging from proposals to transform interim standard of evidence guidance into law, to possible impact to campus climate survey procedures. However; the provision involving a delay during criminal proceedings was not proposed during interim guidance and has come at a surprise to those following sexual assault response and prevention policy on campus. The bill does not specify how long the delay is alloted to be, but if it were a lengthy delay it could have a strong impact on campus resolution processes.
By Adam Harris, Eric Kelderman, and Andy Thomason, December 01, 2017
Leadership on campus continue to speak out against the congressional tax bill, versions of which have now passed in both the House and the Senate. The Senate tax bill passed early Saturday morning and will either enter into conference committee to reach a compromise with the House, or be adopted by the House as the bill stands. Both bills would reduce charitable giving donations, greatly affecting small, private colleges, and either eliminate or limit deductible state and local taxes, affecting public universities. The Joint Committee on Taxation released a report last Thursday finding that the Senate bill would add more than $1 trillion to the deficit, and the House bill would add $1.4 trillion.
By David Nakamura & Ed O’Keefe, December 04, 2017
Since the Trump Administration announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be expiring with a six month delay, advocates have been looking to the end of the year spending bill as a place to include a provision to secure the protection of undocumented individuals. A number of Democrats have indicated they will not pass the spending bill without a provision to protect DACA, and this past week Republican Representatives, Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen expressed support for the provison as well. Over two dozen other Republican policymakers will most likely pledge their support over the next few weeks. President Trump has given mixed messaging as to whether or not he will support DACA recipients, while public polling indicates a general consensus in favor of protecting qualifying undocumented individuals.
By Joseph Hong, December 03, 2017
Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions are feeling pressure after the passage of the Senate tax bill. Dr. Marybeth Gasman, Director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions stated, “in order to pay for the cuts in the Republican tax bill, there are quite a few programs on the chopping block, including some higher education programs. As many in the Republican party, including its leader Donald Trump, don’t value people of color, I worry about Minority Serving Institutions and the funding they deserve.” One especially salient issue, is the elimination of tax deductions for student loan borrowers. HBCU graduates have lower loan repayment rates than non-HBCU students. Overall, the United Negro College Fund finds that both the House and Senate tax bills were not aimed at supporting higher education.
*States in session: Washington DC, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin*
While the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has been watching for movement of TX HB 46 and TX HB 50 during Texas Special Session, both failed to move forward by the end date of 8/16/2017. These bills mimic failed legislation HB 2899, a slightly more lenient form of the original TX SB 6 Bathroom Bill. TX HB 46 would forbid “political subdivisions, including a public school district” from adopting or enforcing measures to “protect a class of persons from discrimination” in regulating “access to multi-occupancy restrooms, showers or changing facilities.” HB 50 was identical except applying only to a school district board. In the past few months other states have retreated from the conversation. Additional bills of this kind are unlikely to be introduced during the 2016-2017 legislative session.
In the past few months, we have seen 11 states consider 18 pieces of anti-sanctuary legislation that would affect college campuses. 6 states have introduced (pro) sanctuary legislation that extends to college campuses. Of this legislation, 9 pieces have failed, and 15 are pending, and 4 have been enacted. PA HB 14 was removed from the table on 06/22/2017. IL statewide legislation was enacted in August and CA SB 54, a statewide sanctuary bill was approved by the Governor on 10/05/2017.
Guns on Campus:
Upwards of 17 states are considering legislation concerning guns on campus during the current session. In the 43 pieces of legislation the Policy and Advocacy Team is tracking, 17 bills are pending, 21 have failed, and 7 have been enacted, in AR, GA, OK and TX. GA HB 280 went into effect on 07/01/2017. TX SB 11 which will allow anyone over 21 with a gun license to conceal carry was enacted on 08/16/2017. CA AB 424 enacted by the Governor on 10/14/2017.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Richard Hudson (R-TX) (Introduced 01/03/2017)
-Latest Action: House-11/29/2017 Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by the Yeas and Nays: 19-11. Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
The goal of this legislation is to extend concealed carry legislation to the federal, not just state, level.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) (Introduced 12/01/2017)
-Committees: House-Education and the Workforce
-Latest Action: House-12/01/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
H.R. 4508 or the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act was released by Rep. Virginia Foxx with the following statement:
“With six million unfilled jobs and over a trillion dollars in student debt, simply reauthorizing the Higher Education Act will help no one. A hard truth that students, families, and institutions must face is that the promise of a postsecondary education is broken. We need a higher education system that is designed to meet the needs of today’s students and has the flexibility to innovate for tomorrow’s workforce opportunities. The PROSPER Act is higher education’s long overdue reform.”
The bill text which aims to reauthorize the Higher Education Act of 1965 is available through the Education and the Workforce Committee website.
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