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Capitol to Capitol | Feb. 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Questions? Please use the email icon at left to contact NCSL’s State-Federal Affairs Division.

Administration Updates

Biden Administration Issues Outline for the Role of 6 Federal Agencies in US Elections

Six federal agencies issued a fact sheet outlining their role in U.S. elections. The agencies—the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Postal Inspection Service—acknowledged that states have the primary responsibility to administer federal elections and highlighted six main areas in which they will assist states in their election duties:

  • Protecting security of voting systems and infrastructure.
  • Protecting the right to vote.
  • Assessing and addressing threats of violence toward election officials and workers.
  • Identifying and countering foreign election interference.
  • Combating election fraud and providing access to relevant election information.
  • Providing access to relevant elections-related information.

The fact sheet explains each agency’s role in protecting our elections and lists pertinent federal contact information if citizens experience a voting rights violation or if election workers receive a threat of violence. Read more

New Rule Prohibits Using AI to Impersonate Governments and Businesses

The Federal Trade Commission finalized its Government and Business Impersonation Rule, giving the agency stronger tools to combat scammers who use artificial intelligence to impersonate businesses or government agencies. In recent years, government and business impersonation scams have cost consumers billions of dollars. The rule authorizes the FTC to fight back by seeking monetary relief in federal court from scammers that:

  • Use government seals or business logos when communicating with consumers by mail or online.
  • Spoof government and business emails and web addresses.
  • Falsely imply government or business affiliation. 

Read more

Water Infrastructure is Getting an Upgrade

Water systems across the U.S. are about to receive a significant funding boost for needed upgrades. The Biden administration announced the release of $5.8 billion of the approximately $50 billion designated in the bipartisan infrastructure law for drinking water and wastewater. Funds will be allocated to every state and U.S. territory, which will be responsible for distributing them to local projects through state revolving fund programs. Disadvantaged and low-income communities are expected to receive about half of the funding. Projects will include removing a group of chemicals known as PFAS and other contaminants, replacing lead pipes, and improving wastewater and sanitation infrastructure and systems. Read more

FCC Adopts Rule to Prevent and Eliminate Digital Discrimination

As part of the bipartisan infrastructure law, the Federal Communications Commission’s new rule:

  • Adopts model policies and best practices that support state, local and tribal governments in their efforts to combat digital discrimination.
  • Makes it unlawful for any broadband provider or covered entity to adopt, implement or use polices or practices not justified by genuine issues of technical or economic feasibility, or that differentially impact consumers’ access to broadband internet service based on their income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion or national origin or are intended to have such differential impact.
  • Establishes a dedicated digital discrimination complaint process and an improved consumer complaint portal.
  • Applies protections to policies and practices related to broadband access, including deployment, network upgrades and maintenance, while recognizing technical and economic feasibility considerations in determining whether digital discrimination of access exists.
  • States that the FCC will utilize its enforcement tools to address digital discrimination complaints.

The rule is effective March 22. Read more

  • Contact NCSL

  • For more information on this topic, use this form to reach NCSL staff.