Capitol Comments

CSG Midwest
On March 10, Ohio became the first Midwestern state (and the second overall, behind New Jersey) to begin providing a safe place for newborns to sleep by offering “baby boxes” to all new parents.
CSG Midwest
State policymakers are increasingly realizing that beyond the importance of early childhood development lies its foundation, a healthy birth outcome for parents and their newborns.
CSG Midwest
With the passage of a new law, Illinois has made it easier for educators with an out-of-state license to teach in the state.
CSG Midwest
Brownfields — former industrial and commercial sites that have been abandoned and are contaminated by pollutants or other hazardous materials — are among the hardest sites to redevelop for other business or residential purposes.

The Trump administration announced a preliminary 2018 budget proposal that included elimination of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). Funds from this program are allocated to states and national grantees in states to employ low-income senior citizens. SCSEP funds 43,600 positions nationwide at a cost of $9,698 per position.

Five days after assuming office President Trump signed an executive order threatening to take away federal funding from so-called sanctuary jurisdictions. The executive order leaves it to the Secretary of Homeland Security to define “sanctuary jurisdictions.” Unsurprisingly, a number of cities and counties have sued the President over this executive order including San Francisco, Santa Clara County, and Richmond, California, and Lawrence and Chelsea, Massachusetts.  

By mid-April a court will likely grant or deny a preliminary injunction in the Santa Clara County case. At this point we know the legal allegations the cities and counties have made against the President, and the President has responded to the Santa Clara County and San Francisco lawsuits.

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to hold “in abeyance” litigation over whether a federal district court or a federal court of appeals has jurisdiction to rule whether the current 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) definitional rule violates the Clean Water Act. On April 2 the Supreme Court denied the motion meaning the litigation will proceed.

President Trump’s February 28 executive order Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the "Waters of the United States" Rule calls for the “rescinding or revising” of the WOTUS rule. Many state and local governments objected to the broad nature of this rule, in particular to the expansive definition of ditches and the ambiguous definition of tributaries. 

The voting rights of the millions of U.S. citizens living overseas, as well as Service members and their eligible family, are protected by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).  About 75 percent of the 1.3 million service members, 700,000 family members, and an estimated 2.6 million U.S. citizens residing abroad are eligible to vote absentee through the UOCAVA process.

The Federal Post Card Application, or FPCA, and the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, or FWAB, make the voting process easier for...

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross announced this morning that the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), an independent authority within the Department of Commerce, has entered into a 25-year, $46.5 billion agreement with AT&T to build and maintain the first nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to America’s first responders.

Establishing an interoperable communications network for first responders has been a national goal since September 11, 2001 and was a key recommendation of the 9/11...

The North Carolina Senate unanimously passed SB-8 on March 15th which eases occupational licensure burdens on veterans by allowing military members and their spouses to practice their profession with a license from another state while transitioning to the requirements of North Carolina. The bill, sponsored by Senators Andy Wells, Harry Brown, and Louis Pate, is a positive step towards helping military families working jobs that may require a license.

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