Capitol to Capitol | May 17, 2021

5/17/2021

Analysis of Treasury Guidance on American Rescue Plan Funds

The NCSL summary highlights additional flexibilities provided to states in the Coronavirus State and Local Recovery Fund guidance. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Erlinda Doherty and Jocelyn Salguero

Send us your questions and comments on ARP Guidance

The Treasury guidance on the American Rescue Plan Coronavirus State and Local Recovery Fund includes 38 questions to solicit feedback. NCSL is seeking your input as it develops its response. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Molly RamsdellErlinda Doherty and Jocelyn Salguero

NCSL Virtual Hill Briefing on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Senator Ralph Alvarado (R-Ky.) and Representative Ann Pugh (D-Vt.) discuss the state challenges, success of the TANF and priorities for the program’s reauthorization. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Margaret Wile

Biden Signs Executive Order to Improve Nation’s Cybersecurity

On May 12, President Joe Biden signed “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity,” an executive order calling for the federal government to lead by example by securing its IT and operational technology and partnering with the private sector to protect against, detect and respond to cyberattacks. The order is comprehensive and requires removing barriers to sharing threat information, modernizing federal government cybersecurity, enhancing software supply chain security, establishing a cyber safety review board, creating uniform standards for cyber vulnerabilities and response across all federal agencies, and improving cyber threat detection and remediation on federal networks. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Susan Frederick

FCC Launches Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program launched May 12 is a Federal Communications Commission program that provides a discount on household broadband service for qualifying households. Discounts include reductions in service and equipment costs. Read more.

NCSL Contacts: Abbie Gruwell and Tres York

Funds for Rural Health Clinics

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the availability of $1 billion in funding to help assist with COVID-19 response efforts, including access to vaccinations in rural communities. Through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation Program, $460 million will be provided to more than 4,600 rural health clinics. The agency will also provide $398 million to existing grantees of the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program, working with 1,730 small rural hospitals as well as with Critical Access Hospitals on COVID-19 testing and mitigation, and make $100 million in grants available to the rural health clinics nationwide to address health equity gaps. Read more.

NCSL Contacts: Haley Nicholson and Margaret Wile

Department of Education Distributes $36B for Higher Education

The funding is made available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief program. Colleges and universities must award 50% of funds as emergency aid to students and can use the remainder for lost revenue and reimbursement for expenses. The department released a final rule that allows institutions to provide federal emergency aid to all students, including undocumented students. Read more.

NCSL Contacts: Austin Reid and Jocelyn Salguero

In Every Edition

Read the May 10 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
  • Erlinda Doherty | 202-624-8698 | Budgets and Revenue
  • Susan Frederick | 202-624-3566 | Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Safety
  • Abbie Gruwell 202-624-3569 | Commerce and Financial Services
  • Ben Husch | 202-624-7779 | Natural Resources and Infrastructure 
  • Jon Jukuri  | 202-624-8663 | Labor, Economic Development and International Trade
  • Haley Nicholson | 202-624-8662 | Health
  • Margaret Wile | 202-624-8171 | Human Services
  • Austin Reid | 202-624-8678 | Education