policy

Union gets House to remove trucks from autonomous vehicle bill

A House bill that would allow manufacturers to sell up to 100,000 self-driving cars each and bar states from restricting their operation passed both its subcommittee and the Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously last month. Concerned about potential job loss, unions representing truck drivers successfully lobbied the House to exempt commercial trucks from the “highly automated vehicle” definition the law affects for the time being.

White House indicates FY 2019 budget will again propose deep science, innovation cuts

The White House Office of Management and Budget sent a letter directing all agency heads to prepare FY 2019 budget requests with the figures provided in the administration’s FY 2018 request. Because the long-term budget provided few year-over-year changes for science or innovation, the administration will therefore again propose to eliminate Regional Innovation Strategies, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, much of the SBA’s entrepreneurial development funding and other innovation programs, while also making deep cuts to many R&D initiatives. Read SSTI’s full coverage of the administration’s FY 2018 budget request for more information.

Administration delays International Entrepreneur Rule, plans to rescind

One week before implementation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the International Entrepreneur Rule would be delayed until March 2018 and that a new proposal to rescind the rule will be made. The rule would have provided immigrants who have founded a high-potential startup with equity investment to remain in the country up to five years to scale the company.

Committees pass defense authorization bills affecting small business policy

The U.S. House and Senate Armed Services Committees recently passed their versions of the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The legislation includes provisions for federal labs, SBIR and SBA technical assistance programs. These portions of the bills are currently very different between the chambers, and, if passed in their current forms, the final bill could address a wide range of policies affecting small business and innovation.

Maine voters approve $50 million in tech: Why it matters to all of us

Maine voters approved a special referendum on June 13 that will issue $50 million in bonds to fund investment in research, development and commercialization in the state’s seven targeted technology sectors. The Maine Technology Institute will distribute $45 million of the funds for infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades. The remaining $5 million will be used to recapitalize the Small Enterprise Growth Fund to create jobs and economic growth by lending to or investing in qualifying small businesses.

Bioscience important for state growth

The bioscience industry has had a positive impact on states’ economies and continues to be a driver of economic growth according to a new report from Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). State lawmakers have recognized the importance of the industry, the authors state, and have responded to challenges facing the bioscience companies with legislative efforts focused on a supportive business climate, including increasing available funding, particularly for emerging companies in their state, and leveraging academic and medical research facilities to create strategically planned campus extensions such as Smart Zones or Innovation Zones that contain incubator space and incentives for start-up companies.

Congress sends mixed signals on evidence-based programming

In an unexpected twist, the FY 2017 budget passed earlier this month by Congress has more dislikes than likes for evidence-based program and policy design, despite being embraced strongly by both Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama. Masked under a variety of different nomenclatures – performance contracting, social impact bonds, pay for success, for example – evidence-based programming incorporates rigorous metrics to assess the effectiveness of public policy toward meeting its goals and basing expenditures accordingly.

House Science Committee advancing R&D changes

The U.S. House Science Committee released a letter last week reasserting the majority party’s interest in setting R&D priorities for federal science agencies and supporting appropriation levels that generally align with the White House’s budget blueprint. The letter notes priorities for most of the $42 billion in R&D budgets within the committee’s purview.

Legislative & Federal News for March 2, 2017

This week we take a look at the Trump administration's proposed $54 billion increase in defense spending, NDD United's letter to Congress (which SSTI signed), and testimony in favor of TBED funding.

Funding top priority in CTE policy pursued by states in 2016

A fourth annual review of career and technical education (CTE) and career-readiness policies, found an increase in policy action carried out by states in 2016 with several states – including California, Idaho, Indiana and Virginia – passing packages of legislation that impacted multiple elements of CTE programming. State Policies Impacting CTE: 2016 Year in Review was produced by Advance CTE, formerly known as the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). They found that funding remains the most pursued approach, with 28 states taking action to financially support CTE activities in 2016.

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