Governmental Affairs Update September 2019
Friday, September 20, 2019
NODA Governmental Affairs September Update
As has been noted in recent Governmental Affairs Updates there is little action taking place in Congress related to higher education legislation. That being said, in the last few weeks there has been discussion taking place around efforts to provide over $225 million in annual funds for Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions. This bill (known as FUTURE Act), is part of the Higher Education Act and was first introduced in the House in May (bill # H.R. 2486). Discussion did not take place in the House until mid-September. With this discussion the bill passed the House and moved to the Senate.
Senator Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee has indicated that he would like to pass an updated Higher Education Act (HEA) prior to his retirement next year. His priority is to simplify the process for federal student loans and repayment options for students who burrow funds. However, HEA has been stalled for months in the Senate.
There have been discussions to create a scaled-back version of HEA which could be attached to the FUTURE Act. The concern is there is a looming deadline of September 30 to fund HBCUs and other minority serving institutions. Since discussions between Republicans and Democrats has fallen short there is concern not only about the funding deadline but any movement at all for HEA. The debate continues and NODA will continue to monitor any progress.
We just received notification that the US Department of Labor released the new overtime rule. The salary threshold for white-collar exemptions to the federal overtime pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act to $35,568 (from $23,660). Employers will need to be in compliance with the new rule by January 1, 2020. Go to the DOL website to learn more about this change.