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Shutdown or Another Continuing Resolution?
What are some of the big-ticket items legislators need to be thinking about for their states and constituents? It’s a simple question, with a complicated answer. Read more.
Statement on Federal Autonomous Vehicle Legislation
NCSL and other groups representing state and local governments are calling for the appropriate balance of federal, state and local responsibilities in any federal AV legislation. Besides NCSL, the group includes the National Governors Association, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, the United States Conference of Mayors, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administration, the Governors Highway Safety Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Specifically, the statement calls on Congress to maintain the current balance of federal obligations and limited preemption currently practiced under the traditional regulation of motor vehicles, as defined under federal law (Title 49, Sections 30102 and 30111). The statement also calls for federal AV legislation to continue the traditional authority of states and local governments to implement and enforce federal and local traffic safety laws and regulate motor vehicle operations. Read the statement here.
Biden Issues Order Addressing Artificial Intelligence Strategies, Safety and Security Concerns
The Biden administration issued a very broad executive order on artificial intelligence, aiming to establish federal standards for AI safety and security; direct Congress to pass bipartisan consumer and children’s data privacy legislation; and ensure the elimination of bias and discrimination in algorithms so that everyone can take equal advantage of AI’s benefits. The administration is calling on companies to rigorously test algorithms and share the results of their testing with the federal government before releasing them to the public.
The order, issued on Oct. 30, addresses discrimination issues by requiring enhanced training and technical assistance between the Department of Justice and federal civil rights offices, and seeks to support American workers, students and patients with resources and collaboration with the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services. The order also strives to promote creativity and innovation in this discipline and advance American leadership abroad. Vice President Kamala Harris attended a global summit in Britain last week to promote U.S. leadership in AI.
Specific to the use of AI in the health care space, the order requires developers of AI systems that pose a serious risk to national security, national economic security or national public health and safety to share their test results and other critical information with the U.S. government. Among numerous other things, the order directs HHS to:
- Advance the responsible use of AI in health care and the development of affordable and life-saving drugs.
- Establish a safety program to receive reports of—and act to remedy—harms or unsafe health care practices involving AI.
- Establish an AI task force to develop a regulatory plan for predictive and generative AI-enabled technologies in health care.
- Implement an AI safety program to create a framework organizations can use to monitor and track clinical errors resulting from AI in health care settings.
- Promote research in health care through the new National AI Research Resource, which will expand research grants in health care and climate change.
- Provide guidance to landlords, federal benefits programs and federal contractors to keep AI algorithms from exacerbating discrimination.
The Office of Management and Budget on Nov. 1 released guidelines for federal agencies to implement the AI order.
So far this year, at least 25 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have introduced AI bills, and 15 states and Puerto Rico adopted resolutions or enacted legislation. Read more.
EPA Clean School Bus Webinars
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program awards rebates to school districts for the purchase of electric and low-emission school buses to help improve community air quality, reduce emissions and lower school district costs. The program, authorized under the 2021 infrastructure law and part of the Biden administration’s Investing in America agenda, seeks to invest $5 billion over five years and has already awarded $1 billion to 389 school districts. The EPA is hosting a series of webinars to offer the public and interested participants more information on the program. Applications for the 2023 program close on Jan. 31, 2024.