December 12, 2017, 10:00am EST
This is a markup hearing for H.R. 4508, "Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act"
December 13, 2017, 10:00am EST
This is a hearing featuring witness Elinore F. McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., on the “Implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act: Responding to Mental Health Needs”
By Diana Ali, December 7, 2017
On November 12, 2017 Tina Carr and Yvette Colon filed a lawsuit against Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the loan servicer Navient seeking forgiveness for student loans after finding no other available process. The lawsuit was filed a day before the start of negotiated rulemaking by the borrower-defense committee. Carr and Colon represent just two of nearly 90,000 claims to loan forgiveness that have yet to be addressed by the Trump administration. Because the borrower defense to repayment rule implemented by the Obama administration has been stalled by Secretary of Education DeVos, borrowers have been left in limbo with no viable options for protections from lenders holding loans students incurred to attend institutions which closed suddenly. The fate and future of the borrower defense to repayment rule is still unknown and, as will be discussed in this post by NASPA Policy Analyst Diana Ali, a resolution for these borrowers is likely still a long way off.
By Lois Beckett, December 6, 2017
This past week the House passed a national concealed carry bill that would transition power from the states to the federal government. The bill passed the house on a 231-197 vote with 14 Republicans voting against, and 6 Democrats voting for it. The legislation could potentially allow tourists to carry concealed handguns in densely populated urban areas where they were previously banned, such as New York City. Senator Chris Murphy, a gun control advocate from Newtown, Connecticut expressed disproval of the legislation. “It’s so transparently hypocritical,” he said, “Republicans spend all day talking about states’ rights, except when it comes to guns. When it comes to guns, they want to take away states’ ability to make decisions for themselves.” The bill would instruct states to recognize concealed carry permits from other states which have varying policies in terms of the amount of training required for permit eligibility. Before moving to a vote in the House, Republicans added an anti-gun violence measure to the bill which would require federal agencies and the military to crosscheck records with the nation’s gun background check system, as a strategic move to ensure passage.
By the Center for American Progress (CAP) Postsecondary Education Team, December 7, 2017
Last week House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, released its effort to reauthorize the Higher Education Act of 1965, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act. The bill would reduce student borrower protections and limit oversight from the state. Legislation would repeal key Obama-Era protections including gainful employment, the 90/10 rule, and state authorization. Legislation would also decrease accountability measures concerning defaulted borrowers and under-resourced public and private nonprofits. In addition, CAP notes that while the simplification of financial aid programming is not inherently a bad thing, it’s concerning that only a small portion of the money saved will be invested back into the student body. The PROSPER Act makes certain experimental improvements to quality assurance measures, but offers little to no accountability should these improvements fail. The bill would also change the setup of the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) and the regulatory process as well as eliminate Title II on teacher preparation programming, for a new section on apprenticeships.
By Jennifer Rubin, December 10, 2017
In a climate of mixed forecasting on a government shutdown, Washington Post Correspondent, Jennifer Rubin clarifies language on the agency of Democrats on the Hill. As Democrats do not have the majority, she writes that they are unable to shut down the government; Republicans, if unable to get the votes to pass the spending bill, will be responsible. Democrats do have the power to create a condition unto which they can include protections to DACA recipients as part of the spending bill. Democrats have pro-DACA allies including financial powerhouses such as Coca-Cola, Western Union, Ikea, Hilton, and Marriot, and have evidence of an unreliable presidential platform. Therefore, DACA supporters can appeal to voters that the GOP is responsible for a potential shutdown, that DACA is a widely supported through a bipartisan lens, and that if excluded from the spending bill, the administration is unlikely to address the issue at a later date.
By Michael Stratford, December 11, 2017
Congress will begin marking up the PROSPER Act on Tuesday, an overhaul of the Higher Education Act, which hasn’t been reauthorized in over a decade. Democrats will offer amendments to change the bill as it stands, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will release cost estimates as soon as this week. It is unclear what the GOP will be willing to compromise on, and certain provisions, such as the elimination of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants may receive some pushback.
*States in session: Washington DC, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin*
While the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has been watching for movement of TX HB 46 and TX HB 50 during Texas Special Session, both failed to move forward by the end date of 8/16/2017. These bills mimic failed legislation HB 2899, a slightly more lenient form of the original TX SB 6 Bathroom Bill. TX HB 46 would forbid “political subdivisions, including a public school district” from adopting or enforcing measures to “protect a class of persons from discrimination” in regulating “access to multi-occupancy restrooms, showers or changing facilities.” HB 50 was identical except applying only to a school district board. In the past few months other states have retreated from the conversation. Additional bills of this kind are unlikely to be introduced during the 2016-2017 legislative session.
In the past few months, we have seen 11 states consider 18 pieces of anti-sanctuary legislation that would affect college campuses. 6 states have introduced (pro) sanctuary legislation that extends to college campuses. Of this legislation, 9 pieces have failed, and 15 are pending, and 4 have been enacted. PA HB 14 was removed from the table on 06/22/2017. IL statewide legislation was enacted in August and CA SB 54, a statewide sanctuary bill was approved by the Governor on 10/05/2017.
Guns on Campus:
Upwards of 17 states are considering legislation concerning guns on campus during the current session. In the 43 pieces of legislation the Policy and Advocacy Team is tracking, 17 bills are pending, 21 have failed, and 7 have been enacted, in AR, GA, OK and TX. GA HB 280 went into effect on 07/01/2017. TX SB 11 which will allow anyone over 21 with a gun license to conceal carry was enacted on 08/16/2017. CA AB 424 enacted by the Governor on 10/14/2017.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Richard Hudson (R-TX) (Introduced 01/03/2017)
-Committees: House-Judiciary; Senate-Judiciary
-Latest Action: Senate-12/07/2017 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms. A qualified individual must: (1) be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in, his or her state of residence. Additionally, the bill specifies that a qualified individual who lawfully carries or possesses a concealed handgun in another state: (1) is not subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone, and (2) may carry or possess the concealed handgun in federally owned lands that are open to the public.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Thomas Garrett (R-VA) (Introduced 12/07/2017)
-Committees: House-Education and the Workforce, Ways and Means
-Latest Action: House-12/01/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and Committee on Ways and Means
Comments or questions? Send us your feedback!