Capitol to Capitol | July 11, 2022


Join NCSL for Special Briefing on State, Federal Housing Policy

This congressional briefing, featuring Rep. Nadine Nakamura (D-Hawaii), Jennifer Schwartz from the National Council of State Housing Agencies and NCSL’s Cameron Rifkin, will highlight state and federal housing policy, along with federal COVID spending, the LIFELINE Act and housing policy collaboration among the states. Register Here

NCSL Contacts: Jon Jukuri and Deanna Ross

USDOT Proposes Rule Requiring States to Measure Transportation Emissions

The Federal Highway Administration proposed a rule that would require states and metropolitan regions to set targets for carbon dioxide emissions reductions and report on their progress. In its proposal, the agency said 24 states and Washington, D.C., are already setting transportation emission targets. The agency proposed a similar rule in 2016, though it was never implemented. Should the rule be finalized, it will almost certainly face a lawsuit in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year limiting the federal government’s power to regulate carbon emissions. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Ben Husch

DOE Announces $2.3B Grid-Resiliency Formula Program

The Department of Energy announced the start of its new $2.3 billion formula grant program aimed at improving the resilience of states’ electric grids against wildfires, extreme weather and other natural disasters. States must apply annually to the DOE for their funding, with grants made according to a formula that includes such parameters as population, land area and the historical precedence for experiencing disruptive events. States can use the funds, which were included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, on a range of projects, including hardening the grid, building distributed energy resources and setting up microgrids. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Ben Husch

Department of Education Proposes Regulations to Expand, Reform Loan Forgiveness Programs

The regulations include changes to targeted loan relief programs, including borrower defense to repayment, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), and total and permanent disability discharges. The changes would eliminate interest capitalization when a borrower enters repayment, exits forbearance, defaults on a student loan or exits other income-driven repayment plans.

Under PSLF, the department would allow more payments to qualify, including partial, lump-sum and late payments, and would accept certain deferments and forbearances. The regulations also propose creating a formal reconsideration process for borrowers whose applications are denied.

Under borrower defense, the regulations propose allowing for the consideration of groups of borrowers, increasing the limits on when borrowers can file a claim and expanding the types of misconduct by a college that can lead to an approved claim. Borrowers who attended a school within 180 days of its closure would have their loans automatically discharged within a year if they did not complete their degree elsewhere.

The proposed regulations would allow for a broader set of disability statuses recognized by the Social Security Administration to qualify for discharge and ease monitoring requirements for those who receive discharges. Read the department fact sheet of changes here and a full version of the proposed regulations here.

NCSL Contact: Austin Reid

Department of Education to Recruit 250,000 Tutors and Mentors

A three-year effort through the newly created National Partnership for Student Success will support and expand high-impact tutoring, mentoring and other programs to make up for instructional time lost during the pandemic and support student mental health and overall well-being. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Austin Reid

Treasury Likely to Delay Tracking of Crypto Trading Information

The January date requiring firms to begin tracking client trading data such as gains and losses will likely be delayed, mostly due to the administration struggling to draft rules. This means the Internal Revenue Service will have to wait longer to collect similar data it requires from stock and bond trading. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, enacted last November, requires cryptocurrency firms to begin recording their clients’ transaction data in 2023, with reports to be sent to the IRS and investors the following year. NCSL is monitoring the development of these regulations and their potential impact on states. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Erlinda Doherty

White House Issues Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Services

The order builds on actions taken by the administration regarding access to services, including protecting the safety and privacy of patients and improving coordination of federal efforts through the creation of an interagency task force. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Molly Ramsdell

In Every Edition

Read the June 27 Capitol to Capitol.

NCSL's Advocacy in Washington

NCSL’s Washington staff advocates on behalf of state legislatures before Congress, the White House and federal agencies in accord with the policy directives and resolutions that are recommended by the NCSL Standing Committees and adopted by the full conference at the annual NCSL Legislative Summit Business Meeting. As a result of the advocacy that is guided by these policies’ positions, NCSL is recognized as a formidable lobbying force in state-federal relations.

NCSL Staff in Washington, D.C.

  • Molly Ramsdell | 202-624-3584 | Director | Budget and Revenue |  Health and Human Services
  • Susan Frederick | 202-624-3566 | Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Safety
  • Nicole Ezeh | 202-624-3568 | Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Safety
  • Ben Husch | 202-624-7779 | Natural Resources and Infrastructure
  • Kristen Hildreth | 202-624-3597 | Natural Resources and Infrastructure 
  • Jon Jukuri  | 202-624-8663 | Labor, Economic Development and International Trade
  • Deanna Ross | 202-624-8680 | Labor, Economic Development and International Trade
  • Austin Reid | 202-624-8678 | Education
  • Erlinda Doherty | 202-624-8698 | Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce