Capitol to Capitol | June 13, 2022

6/13/2022

NCSL Policy Week

Please join NCSL for its second annual online Policy Week, June 20-24. This will be an opportunity for all legislators and legislative staff to learn about NCSL Standing Committee policy processes, and to discuss the policy directives and resolutions scheduled for consideration at the upcoming Legislative Summit, Aug. 1-3 in Denver. The policy directives and resolutions guide NCSL’s work in Washington, D.C., on behalf of state legislatures. If you are interested in participating, please register for each meeting you would like to attend, as registration is separate for each:

  • NCSL Law, Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee
    Tuesday, June 21, 3 p.m. ET—Register Here
  • NCSL Education Committee
    Wednesday, June 22, 3 p.m. ET—Register Here
  • NCSL Health and Human Services Committee
    Thursday, June 23, 3 p.m. ET—Register Here
  • NCSL Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee
    Friday, June 24, 3 p.m. ET—Register Here
  • NCSL Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce Committee
    Monday, June 27, 3 p.m. ETRegister Here

Access the draft committee policy books here.

Two committees will not host a Policy Week event as they currently have only one resolution to consider for renewal at the Legislative Summit. You can access those resolutions below and contact committee staff if you have questions.

No voting will occur during these calls; voting will occur at the 2022 Legislative Summit. The deadline to submit new resolutions and directives is July 1.

If you have any questions on NCSL’s policy process in advance of the call, please click here or contact Molly Ramsdell.

Treasury Announces First Awards Under ARPA Capital Projects Fund

The Department of the Treasury announced last week the first group of plans approved under the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund. The fund provides $10 billion to states, territories and tribal governments to fund critical capital projects that enable work, education and health monitoring in response to the pandemic. A key priority of the program is to make funding available for reliable, affordable broadband infrastructure and other digital connectivity projects. In addition to the Capital Projects awards, many governments are using a portion of their State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to meet the Biden administration’s goal of connecting every American household to affordable, reliable high-speed internet. The broadband funding from these two programs, provided through the American Rescue Plan Act, lays the groundwork for future funding provided in the federal infrastructure law. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Erlinda Doherty

EPA Proposal Would Strengthen State Authority Over Water Resources

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed rulemaking to revise a 2020 federal rule which restricted state authority to certify, condition or deny federal permits and licenses for projects that would result in the discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States. It also limited state authorities by reducing timelines for review and certification, restricting the scope of certification reviews and conditions, and modifying other requirements and procedures.

The Biden administration’s proposed rule would make existing regulations more consistent with the 1972 Clean Water Act, in which Congress gave states, territories and tribes the authority to protect their waters from adverse impacts resulting from federally licensed or permitted projects. The proposed rulemaking requires developers to hold a pre-filing meeting with state-certifying authorities; gives states the flexibility to decide on a review period with the federal permitting agency of up to one year; and, notably, restores states' ability to evaluate an activity as a whole rather than the project’s specific discharge.

During the promulgation of the 2020 rule, NCSL raised concerns that the agency had not consulted with states, or their intergovernmental organizations, in a meaningful or timely manner. NCSL urged that any regulatory change to the certification process be developed through consultation with state and local governments and that it not compromise state authority. In 2021, NCSL urged EPA Administrator Michael Regan to consult with states during the agency’s revision of the 2020 rule, and to recognize states’ well-established authority under the Clean Water Act. You can read the letters NCSL sent to the administration here.

In revising the rulemaking, the EPA held a series of listening sessions and feedback opportunities in 2021 for stakeholders and certifying authorities to gain input on the proposed rulemakings and has also announced several engagement opportunities for states and territories on the proposals. Register here.

NCSL Contacts: Kristen Hildreth and Ben Husch

USDOT Releases Proposed Rules for State EV Charging Program

The Federal Highway Administration released proposed requirements for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, which provides nearly $1 billion a year for five years to states via the federal infrastructure law. As proposed, the rules would require that chargers work with all car brands, be subscription-free, provide minimum charging speeds and use simple payment systems. Federal funds can cover up to 80% of a project’s cost, and private sector partners are allowed to cover the other 20%. Read more.

NCSL Contacts: Ben Husch and Kristen Hildreth

Administration Acts to Strengthen Food Supply Chains

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced more support, resources and new rules aimed at promoting fair and competitive agricultural markets, and making prices fairer for farmers and American consumers. Included in the announcement was a proposed rule that would increase transparency and accountability in the poultry growing system. Additionally, the USDA announced $200 million under the new Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program to strengthen the food supply chain and create opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs in rural communities, as well as $25 million for workforce training programs for meat and poultry processing workers. The final action was a report on promoting competition in agricultural markets. The report outlines the agency’s strategy for boosting competition in agricultural markets—not only in meat and poultry production, but also in sectors like fertilizer and seeds.

NCSL Contacts: Kristen Hildreth and Ben Husch

Department of Health and Human Services Extends Spending Deadline for HCBS Funds

States will get an additional year—through March 31, 2025—to use American Rescue Plan Act funds to enhance, expand and strengthen home- and community-based services. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Molly Ramsdell

In Every Edition

Read the June 6 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
  • Patrick Lawler | 202-624-8697 | Budget and Revenue
  • 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