Capitol to Capitol | July 18, 2022

7/18/2022

NCSL Hosts Briefing on Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

NCSL issue specialists broke down the recently passed federal legislation and explained its impact on states. The new law contains provisions addressing access to mental health resources in schools and the greater community, background checks, illegal firearms trafficking, and grants to support these programs. Watch here.

NCSL Contacts: Austin Reid and Susan Frederick

ORR and IRC Brief NCSL’s Immigration Task Force on Ukrainian and Afghan Refugee Resettlement

NCSL’s Task Force on Immigration and the States held a virtual briefing with representatives from the Office of Refugee Resettlement and the International Rescue Committee to learn more about federal and nongovernmental efforts to resettle Ukrainian and Afghan refugees. The speakers gave insight on how state legislators have used policy to increase the efficacy of resettlement efforts in their states. Some of these policies include opening in-state tuition rates to refugees, providing funding for English-language education services, updating state credentialing regulations for refugees with foreign credentials, and providing funding for caseworkers and for immigration legal services. More information on the NCSL task force can be accessed here.

NCSL Contacts: Nicole Ezeh

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

All telephone service and text providers in the United States and the five major U.S. territories were required to activate the 988 suicide and mental health crisis call line by July 16. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Lauren Kallins

DOJ Creates Reproductive Rights Task Force

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the formation of a Reproductive Rights Task Force. Led by Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, the task force is charged with monitoring and evaluating all state and local legislation, including enforcement actions that threaten to “infringe on federal legal protections relating to the provision or pursuit of reproductive care, impair women’s ability to seek reproductive care in states where it is legal, impair individuals’ ability to inform and counsel each other about the reproductive care that is available in other states, ban Mifepristone based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy, or impose criminal or civil liability on federal employees who provide reproductive health services in a manner authorized by federal law.”

The task force will also work with pro bono attorneys and bar associations to encourage lawyers to represent patients, providers and third parties seeking reproductive health services. Read more.

NCSL Contacts: Susan Frederick and Nicole Ezeh

Department of Education Announces $198M for Students at Community Colleges, Rural, and Minority-Serving Institutions

Funding will support students at 244 colleges and universities, and almost 90% will go toward historically Black colleges and universities, minority-serving institutions, community colleges, rural institutions, and institutions serving large populations of low-income students. Most institutions are also required to distribute roughly half of all grant funds directly to students with the greatest need, providing additional support for housing, tuition costs, food security and other basic needs. This is the final round of funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund grant, which was funded through the American Rescue Plan Act. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Austin Reid

In Every Edition

Read the July 11 Capitol to Capitol.

NCSL’s Advocacy in Washington

NCSL’s Washington staff advocate 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
  • 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
  • Brian Wanko | 202-624-5400 | Budget and Revenue
  • Lauren Kallins | 202-624-8170 | Health and Human Services