Capitol to Capitol | June 27, 2022

6/27/2022

Congress Passes Major Gun Safety Bill

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act contains provisions aimed at strengthening school security, mental health resources and firearms protections through grant funding and technical assistance for states. A summary of the bill prepared by NCSL staff and the bill text can be found here.

NCSL Contacts: Susan Frederick and Nicole Ezeh 

President Signs Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022

The $3 billion bipartisan bill extends the child nutrition waiver authority granted under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was set to expire on June 30. The bill also provides additional support for child and adult food programs and increases school breakfast and lunch reimbursement rates. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Austin Reid and Molly Ramsdell

The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Reauthorization Act Passes Senate

The bill would continue to provide grant funding and technical assistance to states and localities to use to increase access to mental health care in the criminal justice system and to connect individuals who are experiencing mental health crises and addiction to lifesaving services. A companion bill has been introduced in the House. A joint letter of support signed by NCSL can be found here.

NCSL Contacts: Susan Frederick and Nicole Ezeh 

House Subcommittee Advances Privacy Legislation

The House Energy and Commerce Consumer Protection Subcommittee passed a bipartisan online privacy bill last week that aims to limit the collection of personal data, but doubts remain as to whether it will become law. The bill would require Google and Facebook, among others, to only collect personal data necessary to provide services. Sensitive information such as Social Security numbers would be provided even more protection. Much of the debate focused on whether federal legislation would preempt state laws, which are sometimes stronger, and whether individuals would be allowed to sue in the case of privacy violations. NCSL staff continues to monitor the progress of the bill, the extent of preemption, and impact on states. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Erlinda Doherty

Department of Education Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Changes to Title IX Regulations

The proposed regulations would clarify that Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination based on sex applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The proposed regulation also makes many changes from the 2020 regulations. Changes include a more expansive definition of sex-based harassment, allowing additional procedural options for investigating complaints, and requiring that schools offer supportive measures in cases of sexual harassment and any form of sex discrimination. The department will engage in a separate rulemaking to address Title IX's application to athletics. Comments will be open for 60 days in the federal register. Read the fact sheet of the changes here and a full version of the proposed regulations here.

NCSL Contact: Austin Reid

White House Releases Spring 2022 Unified Agenda

The White House released the 2022 Spring Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which identifies the executive branch's plans through 2023 for finalizing new rules and issuing new proposals. The agenda offers details of pending rules and deadlines for anticipated completion, though these are often guesstimates and are regularly pushed further out into the future. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Molly Ramsdell

Biden Announces Support for Suspension of Federal Gas Tax

President Joe Biden announced his support for a three-month suspension of the federal taxes on gasoline (18.4 cents per gallon) and diesel (24 cents per gallon). However, it’s unclear if the proposal can pass Congress as thus far the reaction to the proposal has not been positive. If enacted, the move would reduce revenue by about $70 million per day and would follow the actions of six states to suspend their own gas taxes. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Ben Husch

In Every Edition

Read the June 21 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