This newsletter is published quarterly and updates members of NCSL’s Labor and Economic Development Committee on federal developments that may affect the states.
On Dec. 12, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to promote private investment in more than 8,700 distressed communities across the country. Through the executive order, a new White House council will be established, chaired by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. The council will be responsible for "streamlining applications for communities to qualify for the investments." "Our goal is to ensure that America's great new prosperity is broadly shared by all of our citizens...we are drawing investment into neglected and underserved communities in America so that all Americans, regardless of zip code, have access to the American Dream," Trump said.
Read more about the newly created White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council.
On Jan. 4, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced members of the official delegation to China, which convened trade relationship discussions on Jan. 7. The discussions were part of the 90-day clock, which began on Dec. 1, imposed on China to address U.S. trade complaints. Senior officials from the White House, USTR and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, State, Treasury accompanied the delegation. According to Politico, U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators could reach a potential deal in the next 42 days, before the March 1 deadline.
The official statement on the delegation's meetings in Beijing may be found here.
The Department of Education's Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education released a guide for state plan submission pertaining to the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). Largely a bipartisan and bicameral effort, the bill reauthorizing the Perkins CTE Act was signed into law by President Donald Trump on July 31, 2018. The department encourages states to "rethink CTE" in the development of each respective plan. By rethinking CTE, states are challenged to look at discretionary funding related to secondary and postsecondary programs; properly allocating reserve funds for high-quality CTE programs; and the vital role employers play in the development of CTE programs. The complete guide may be found here.
On Nov. 15, U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) delivered remarks on the House floor celebrating National Apprenticeship Week. Observed Nov. 12-18, the week is a national event in which business leaders and labor and education stakeholders may show support for apprenticeship programs by hosting events such as career fairs, skills competitions, business open houses and apprentice graduations. In her remarks, Foxx applauded the bipartisan efforts to improve apprenticeships, including the recent reauthorization of the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, signed into law on July 31. Foxx said: "The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act was the first legislation in more than a decade to modernize our nation's CTE programs. The law will create innovative community partnerships while connecting Americans with programs to grow their skills and land in-demand industry jobs."
Foxx's full remarks may be found here. Visit the U.S. Department of Labor's official apprenticeship webpage for more information on National Apprenticeship Week.
The mobility and portability of licenses, bipartisan reform and special populations were just some of the points of discussion during the second annual Occupational Licensing Learning Consortium. The meeting, held Nov. 28-30, 2018, in Clearwater, Fla., brought together nearly 200 state lawmakers and legislative staff, governors' staff and agency and department heads, industry association representatives, occupational licensing board members, economists and researchers. It was presented by NCSL's Employment, Labor and Retirement Program in partnership with the National Governors Association and The Council of State Governments.
For more content, read NCSL's recently published blog post on Occupational Licensing Reform.
On Nov. 30, President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to replace the current NAFTA deal. All three executives were in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the G-20 Summit. Next steps include ratification from all three countries' legislatures. In the United States, under TPA rules, Congress has 90 session days, after it receives the final bill to implement the agreement from the president, to approve the new trade deal with an up or down vote. As of now, the president has not submitted the bill to Congress. View the Livestream of the USMCA signing ceremony and read the agreement's full text. Official fact sheets on the USMCA may be found here.
Last month, NCSL hosted its 2018 Capitol Forum in Washington, D.C. The Standing Committee on Labor and Economic Development (LED) thanks you for your great interest, participation and attendance.
The LED Committee hosted sessions related to the Supreme Court decision Murphy v. NCAA, which examined states' sports betting regulations; the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement; manufacturing and workforce development; and explored entrepreneurship and economic opportunities for veterans.
We look forward to hosting you during this summer's Legislative Summit in Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 5-8, 2019. Visit NCSL's 2019 Legislative Summit website for more upcoming information.