Capitol to Capitol | Nov. 22, 2021

11/22/2021

Member Briefing on Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Earlier today, NCSL staff gave the first in a series of briefings for members exploring the $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The discussion focused on the five areas of the bill that will have the biggest impacts on states, including transportation, broadband, drinking water, energy and disaster mitigation. Watch today’s briefing here. The next briefing, on Monday, Nov. 29, at 3 p.m. ET, will cover what the funds mean for cybersecurity. Legislators and legislative staff can register here.

NCSL Contacts: Ben Husch and Kristen Hildreth (transportation and energy) and Tres York (cybersecurity)

House Democrats Advance the Build Back Better Act

On Friday, House Democrats voted to approve a roughly $1.75 trillion budget reconciliation bill—the Build Back Better Act (HR 5376). The act contains more than $559 billion in new funds for state and local governments. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the net increase to the deficit would be $367 billion from fiscal year 2022 through 2031. The estimate does not include additional revenue attributed to tax enforcement funding. The bill will most likely be reshaped in the Senate. What’s currently in the House-passed bill? Read more.

NCSL Contact: Molly Ramsdell

HHS Opens Application Period to Join New Advisory Committee on Surprise Billing

The Ground Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee, mandated through the No Surprises Act, will provide recommendations to the secretaries of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury on ways to protect consumers from exorbitant charges and balance billing when using ground ambulance services. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Molly Ramsdell

FCC Approves Text-to-988 Access to Suicide Prevention Hotline

The Federal Communications Commission voted Nov. 18 to adopt a deadline of July 16, 2022, by which covered text providers will be required to support text messaging to 988 to access the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This is the same date the FCC has set for Americans to begin using the three-digit 988 dialing code to reach the lifeline by telephone. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network that provides free, confidential support to individuals in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Molly Ramsdell

FCC Releases Over $700 Million to States Through Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

With 26 states approved for the funding, most of the money will go to nonprofit rural cooperatives to deploy broadband throughout their services areas. The FCC has now allocated over $1.7 billion in funding through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Tres York

In Every Edition

Read the Nov. 15 Capitol to Capitol.

Capitol to Capitol will be on break, returning in December. Happy Holidays!

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 policy 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
  • 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
  • Austin Reid | 202-624-8678 | Education
  • Tres York | 202-624-8686 | Commerce and Financial Services