- Budget and Appropriations Update
- AAU and APLU Release Technology Transfer Management Survey Results
- Coalition Expresses Support for Energy and Natural Resources Bill
- Congress Approves Legislation to Expand GI Bill Benefits
- President Trump Appoints Acting NEH Chairman
BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE
The House and Senate have both adjourned for August recess. Upon return, they will consider several must-pass bills to increase the Treasury’s borrowing authority and fund federal agencies. If lawmakers fail to reach a FY18 budget deal before September 30, the House-passed minibus,H.R. 3219, could serve as a vehicle for a continuing resolution, thus avoiding a government shutdown.
According to Bloomberg, the Senate Budget Committee and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressed, in a Thursday meeting, they intend to write a FY18 budget resolution in committee. Majority Leader McConnell wants to use this budget to advance a tax overhaul via reconciliation, a procedure that bypasses the need for a supermajority. Since the House budget process has stalled, this may be the quickest way forward for the Senate to mark up its own budget after recess.
AAU AND APLU RELEASE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER MANAGEMENT SURVEY RESULTS
AAU and APLU this week released results from a joint survey of 89 institutions conducted to understand how institutions have implemented the associations’ 2015 recommendations for university technology transfer policy. These recommendations include developing a clear mission and vision for university IP, reaffirming commitment to the practices contained in Nine Points to Consider in Licensing University Technology, and highlighting institutional policies that prohibit collaboration with patent assert entities, or “patent trolls.” A key finding of the survey shows that 87 percent of institutions employ practices, are developing, or have already developed written policies to ensure their technology transfer practices are consistent with advancing the public good, the university’s core missions, and adhere to the Nine Points.
COALITION EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES BILL
On Monday, the Energy Sciences Coalition (ESC), of which AAU is a member, issued a statement in support of the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, S. 1460, and urged the Senate to pass the legislation. In addition to several positive policy provisions, it would provide seven percent annual increases over the next five years to the Department of Energy Office of Science authorization levels. The statement notes that such authorization levels demonstrate bipartisan commitment to the research goals of the DOE Office of Science that will allow researchers to pursue cutting-edge science with greater assurance of continued support.
CONGRESS APPROVES LEGISLATION TO EXPAND GI BILL BENEFITS
The Senate on Wednesday approved bipartisan legislation to significantly expand GI Bill educational benefits. Dubbed the “Forever GI Bill,” H.R. 3218 would increase veteran benefits by more than $3 billion over the next decade and would remove the 15-year time limit on when new-enlistees may utilize their benefits. The legislation increases assistance for National Guard and Reserve troops, Purple Heart recipients, and dependents of fallen troops.
Along with other higher education associations, AAU wrote in support of the bill last week saying it recognizes the contributions of our veterans and provides necessary resources for their success in higher education. President Trump is expected to sign the measure.
PRESIDENT TRUMP APPOINTS ACTING NEH CHAIRMAN
President Trump last week appointed Jon Parrish Peede as the Acting Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), effective immediately. Peede joined NEH as Senior Deputy Chairman in April 2017 and had previously served in senior leadership roles at the National Endowment for the Arts. Margaret F. Plympton, the former Acting Chair, will return to her role as Deputy Chair.