Capitol to Capitol | Nov. 2, 2020

11/2/2020

House Ways and Means Committee Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Increase Retirement Security

The proposed legislation builds upon the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, which was signed into law on Dec. 20, 2019. The bill promotes saving earlier by enrolling employees automatically in their company’s 401(k) plan when a new plan is created, increases the federal tax credit for contributions to a retirement plan or IRA, and offers individuals 60 and older more flexibility to set aside savings as they approach retirement. Read more.

NCSL Contacts: Erlinda Doherty and  Jocelyn Salguero

Federal Communications Commission Awards $1.37M in E-Rate Funding to Schools in 32 States and Puerto Rico

The program provides discounts to schools and libraries for broadband services and will allow schools to purchase additional bandwidth for this academic year to address needs resulting from the increasing shift to online learning. Read more.

NCSL Contacts: Austin Reid and  Jocelyn Salguero (Education) and Abbie Gruwell and Tres York (Commerce and Financial Services)

Nation’s Report Card Shows 12th Grade Reading Scores Have Declined, Math Unchanged

The average reading score for high school seniors declined between 2015 and 2019; math scores remained unchanged. Scores for the lowest performing seniors dropped in both subjects. Overall, 37% of 12th-graders reached or exceeded the academic preparedness benchmarks for both math and reading that would qualify them for entry-level college courses. Read the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Reading Assessment report and the 2019 NAEP Math Assessment report

NCSL Contacts: Austin Reid and  Jocelyn Salguero

CDC and Pharmacies Partner on COVID-19 Vaccination Services

The partnership will offer on-site vaccination services for long-term care facilities when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available. It will also provide end-to-end management of a COVID-19 vaccination process, including logistical and reporting requirements and reducing burdens on facilities. The program will be for residents and staff in settings including skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care homes and adult family homes. Read more.

NCSL Contacts: Haley Nicholson and Margaret Wile

CMS Expands Medicare Telehealth Services

The agency is using an expedited process to add 11 new services to the Medicare telehealth services list, which was published in May 2020. Medicare can begin paying eligible providers who furnish these added telehealth services for the duration of the Public Health Emergency (PHE). Since the start of the PHE, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services now has added 135 telehealth services. Read more.

NCSL Contacts: Haley Nicholson and Margaret Wile

HHS and HRSA Announces Provider Relief Funding (PRF) Expansion

Residential treatment facilities, chiropractors, and eye and vision providers that have not yet received PRF funds are now eligible to apply. HHS will be updating PRF reporting instructions. Phase 3 funding of $20 billion was announced on Oct. 1. Read more.

NCSL Contacts: Haley Nicholson and Margaret Wile

In Every Edition

Read the Oct. 19 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 and Human Services
  • Austin Reid | 202-624-8678 | Education