By Abbie Gruwell
Senator David Carlucci (R-N.Y.) visited Washington, D.C., to help NCSL showcase state leadership in privacy and consumer protection.
Carlucci met with both majority and minority staff from the Senate Commerce and House Energy and Commerce Committees, which have both released bills or proposed legislation on privacy. States have introduced hundreds of privacy bills in 2019 and 2020, including comprehensive and targeted legislation, as California’s Consumer Protection Act enters its first months of implementation.
As co-chair for NCSL’s Communications, Financial Services, and Interstate Commerce Committee as well as the Executive Subcommittee on State-Federal Relations, Carlucci helped develop NCSL’s new data privacy and security policy, which encourages federal consultation of states.
NCSL has been a policy leader in data privacy, highlighting the expertise and deliberative consideration of states in developing legislation. Although Congress has indicated its intention to pass a federal data privacy bill that would preempt states, no deal has been reached. NCSL showcases state legislator leadership by bringing legislators to D.C. to highlight their experience and share state research, which has served as a resource for congressional staff in developing federal legislation.
During his meetings with House and Senate committee staff, Carlucci provided feedback on their proposals and discussed how NCSL can promote consultation with states. Although neither chamber has scheduled hearings on privacy legislation, progress on a federal bill is ongoing, and the sides will need to reach agreement on the degree of state preemption, definitions and applicability, and whether or not to include a private right of action.
Carlucci was able to share how his involvement in developing NCSL’s policy on data privacy demonstrated why it is so important for states to act on the issue in the void left by Congress. He discussed how the federal proposals may affect New York’s SHIELD Act, a data security bill set to go into effect this month.
He also met with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to discuss spoofing and robocalls, state-federal collaboration and the FCC’s new proposal for a three-digit mental health hotline. The FCC released a report detailing the obstacles and cost of transitioning to a three-digit number. Staff also discussed net neutrality as states are responding to recent litigation and discussed the FCC’s role in disaster response communications.
Carlucci shared cellular and broadband connectivity challenges in his district, an issue NCSL has been actively working on for several years. This discussion was a great example of how NCSL advocacy is enhanced by legislators sharing issues important to their constituents.
Abbie Gruwell is senior committee director for NCSL's Communications, Financial Services, and Interstate Commerce Committee in the State-Federal Affairs Division.