DC Digest - May 13, 2011
In Today's Issue:
- Squeezed Cities Ask Nonprofit Institutions for More Money
- Higher Ed Tax Issues Primers Now Available Online
- US Eases Immigration Rules for Foreign STEM Graduates
- NC Senator Burr Selected to Join Senate Finance Committee
- Dean Chameides Discusses Final Report on America's Climate Choices in Washington
- DREAM Act Loses Republican Sponsor Richard Lugar
- House Budget Allocations Would Require Significant Cuts in Ed, Labor and Health Programs
- FIPSE Cancels FY11 Comprehensive Program Competition
- NIH DIRECTOR: Budget Cuts Drive Down Rate at Which Applicants Receive NIH Grants
- May 17 Webinar: An Update on Legislation and Regulations Impacting Colleges and Universities
SQUEEZED CITIES ASK NONPROFIT INSTITUTIONS FOR MORE MONEY
As recession-racked cities struggle to balance their budgets with everything short of feeling behind sofa cushions for loose change, a growing number are seeking more money — just don’t use the word taxes — from nonprofit institutions that occupy valuable land but by law do not pay property taxes.
Squeezed Cities Ask Nonprofits for More Money (NY Times)
HIGHER ED TAX ISSUES PRIMERS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE
The Task Force on Tax Issues of the American Association of Universities has published updated primers on tax issues affecting higher education. The background documents (1-2 pages each) cover tax issues from the American Opportunity Tax Credit to the Unrelated Business Income Tax and are now accessible on the OFR website.
Tax Issues Primer Available on Duke OFR Website (duke.edu/federalrelations)
US EASES IMMIGRATION RULES FOR FOREIGN STEM GRADUATES
Days after a speech in which President Obama vowed to reform U.S. immigration policy in part by making it easier for foreign graduates of American universities to stay in this country, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office announced an expanded list of science and mathematics fields whose graduates can stay in the United States for an additional year for more training. "By expanding the list of STEM degrees to include such fields as Neuroscience, Medical Informatics, Pharmaceutics and Drug Design, Mathematics and Computer Science, the Obama administration is helping to address shortages in certain high tech sectors of talented scientists and technology experts-permitting highly skilled foreign graduates who wish to work in their field of study upon graduation and extend their post-graduate training in the United States," the office said in its news release.
ICE Announce Expanded List of STEM Degree Programs that Qualify Students to Extend Post-Grad Training (ICE.gov)
NC SENATOR BURR SELECTED TO JOIN SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) released the following statement regarding joining the Senate Finance Committee:
“I am honored to be joining the Senate Finance Committee, and I thank Senator McConnell and the Republican Conference for allowing me the opportunity to serve on this important committee.
“There is no aspect of our daily lives that is not touched by the laws and regulations that fall under the committee’s jurisdiction, from the tax code and our nation’s trade laws to health care and retirement security...While taking the seat on Finance requires me to leave my seat on the Energy Committee, this new committee assignment will only serve to complement my current seat on the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, particularly on health care and retirement security issues. I have long made these issues a priority, and look forward to bringing my ideas and experience to the table at Finance."
Burr Selected to Join Senate Finance Committee (Burr.Senate.gov)
DEAN CHAMEIDES DISCUSSES FINAL REPORT ON AMERICA'S CLIMATE CHOICES IN WASHINGTON
The National Research Council released a new report and the final volume in America's Climate Choices - a series of studies requested by Congress - on May 12. Bill Chameides, Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment and vice chair of the authoring committee, spoke about the report at an event hosted at the National Academies later that same day.
"America's response to climate change is ultimately about making choices in the face of risk," noted Chameides. "Risk management strategies must be durable enough to promote sustained progress yet sufficiently flexible to take advantage of new knowledge and technologies."
Action Needed to Manage Climate Change Risks (nationalacademies.org)
America's Climate Choices Final Report Event Info (americaclimatechoices.org)
OFR's Event Photos (facebook.com)
DREAM ACT LOSES REPUBLICAN COSPONSOR RICHARD LUGAR
Senate Democrats reintroduced the DREAM Act on Wednesday without the co-sponsorship of Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who had previously been one of the bill's strongest backers. The legislation has been introduced repeatedly over the years with Lugar and Sen. Dick Durbin (R-Ill.) as the cosponsors. The most recent vote on the DREAM Act was in December, when Lugar was one of just three Republicans to vote for the measure. In a statement, Lugar spokesman Mark Helmke blamed Democrats for turning immigration into a partisan issue.
DREAM Act Loses Republican Cosponsor Richard Lugar (HuffingtonPost)
HOUSE BUDGET ALLOCATIONS WOULD REQUIRE SIGNIFICANT CUTS IN ED, HEALTH AND LABOR PROGRAMS
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) on Wednesday set budget targets that would require the appropriations subcommittee that allocates funds for education, health and labor programs to cut more than $18 billion from the 2011 levels for those programs. The targets -- known in Washington budget parlance as 302(b) allocations -- tell the various spending subcommittees how much money they have to work with to divvy up among the various programs under their jurisdiction.
The allocation to the panel that provides funds to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Departments would receive $139.2 billion, $18.2 billion less than the programs are receiving in 2011 and $41.6 billion less than President Obama proposed in February. An allocation of this sort would force lawmakers to choose among many programs that matter to colleges and universities -- student aid and institutional support from the Education Department, biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, job training programs at the Labor Department -- all of which fall under the same subcommittee.Read More:
FY12 302(b) Suballocations Chart (pdf)
FIPSE CANCELS FY11 COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM COMPETITION
The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) announced on Thursday that it is canceling the 2011 comprehensive grant competition because of federal budget cutbacks.
In an announcement posted on the Department of Education website, the office said that "Congressional action on the FY 2011 budget substantially reduced funds available for grants from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, including new grants under the Comprehensive Program. Therefore, no new awards will be made under the Comprehensive Program in FY 2011."
FIPSE Cancels FY11 Comprehensive Porgram Competition (NAICU.edu)
NIH DIRECTOR: BUDGET CUTS DRIVE DOWN RATE AT WHICH APPLICANTS RECEIVE NIH GRANTS
National Institutes of Health officials told U.S. senators Tuesday that budget cuts imposed on the agency this year would lower applicants' odds of winning a research grant to roughly one in six, an all-time low. Francis S. Collins, the NIH's director, made that statement at a hearing of a Senate appropriations subcommittee to discuss President Obama's proposal for a 2.4 percent increase in spending on the agency in 2012 -- an increase that advocates for biomedical research say is inadequate, but that could be threatened by House Republican plans for major cuts in federal spending. Collins said that the NIH provided research support to about 20 percent of grant applicants in the 2010 fiscal year, but that that figure would drop in 2011 and could fall much further if the House cuts for 2012 are enacted.
Budget Cuts Drive Down Rate at Which Applicants Receive NIH Grants (InsideHigherEd)
MAY 17 WEBINAR: AN UPDATE ON LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS IMPACTING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
It's not too late to register for next week's webinar on ACE's webinar on the latest news from Washington, D.C. and how it impacts American colleges and universities.
The Office of Federal Relations has registered for the event and invites interested faculty and staff to participate on May 17, 2011 at 11 am in the Allen Building – 103A.
This webinar, featuring ACE Senior Vice President Terry Hartle, will convene leading experts from the national policy and higher education communities to discuss key issues affecting colleges and universities, including pending legislation, the national budget deficit and U.S. Department of Education regulations. In addition, a significant portion of the 90-minute webinar will be dedicated to questions from the audience.
Jason Deslisle – Director, Federal Education Budget Project, New America Foundation
Jennifer Blum – Partner and Vice Chair, Government and Regulatory Affairs Practice Group, Drinker BiddleTerry Hartle – Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, American Council on Education
TO PARTICIPATE: Please email Michaela.Davidai@duke.edu ASAP to reserve a spot.