NIRSA’s Government Affairs Committee stays up-to-date on the latest federal and state policy and legislative news through a variety of scanning tools. One particular resource they use is the bi-weekly Policy Pages provided by Active Policy Solutions. (For more on this partnership, along with other SAHEC associations, have with Active Policy Solutions, see below.)

The policy issues included in the Policy Pages document are highlights of a point in time. They are by no means exhaustive and change continually – so matters discussed in the last issue normally will not carry over to the next unless there is some updated action to be discussed.

The Committee encourages NIRSA members to keep themselves informed on federal and state policy issues affecting their work as professionals on campuses. These issues could be specific to higher education, physical activity, or NIRSA’s strategic value areas. If you have an issue that is of concern to your campus, reach out the Government Affairs Committee.

Policy Page documents will be stored, as a resource for NRISA members, in the NIRSA Connect Community library. You can find them within the “Member Benefits” folder in a subfolder titled “Federal and State Policy Pages.”

Full SAHEC Policy Pages

In this issue:

Government Updates

The Federal Budget

  • Trump administration proposes $7.1 billion funding cut to Education Department


  • Senate HELP Committee kicks off reauthorization hearings with FAFSA simplification, verification
  • House Democrats release vision for Higher Education Act
  • Colleges list priorities for Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization
  • Student loan caps proposed in White House higher education plan
  • Senators Gillibrand and Toomey seek to revamp federal work-study, Politico reports
  • Trump administration moves to implement Obama-era student loan rules, Politico reports


  • White House holds meeting on international college students and post-graduation status

Federal Legislation

  • DREAM Act for young undocumented immigrants reintroduced by Democrats in Congress
  • Hazing on college campuses bill introduced
  • Rep. Phil Roe wants colleges to do away with ‘free speech zones’
  • Free Right to Expression in Education (FREE) Act (HR.1672) introduced
  • Debt Free College Act (HR.1571) introduced
  • Student Right to Know Before You Go Act (HR.1565/S.681) introduced
  • Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act (S.680) reintroduced
  • Strengthen American Communities Act (S.686) reintroduced
  • The College Transparency Act returns, Politico reports

Other Federal News

  • Department of Labor proposes new overtime rule

State & Local Government


  • Arkansas college text book tax exempt bill set for committee hearing


  • California polling places on public college requiring bill before committee
  • California college performance and accountability oversight body revision bill before committee for consideration
  • California college mental health counselor requirement bill set for hearing
  • California bill allowing student athletes to get a sports agent without losing their student athlete status before committee for consideration
  • California college free speech statement bill before committee for consideration
  • California “Student Athlete Bill of Rights” amending bill before committee for consideration


  • Connecticut faculty academic freedom bill gains committee support
  • Connecticut commission to study impact of Title IX changes bill amended and approved by committee
  • Connecticut higher education collective bargaining provision prohibition bill gains committee approval
  • Connecticut public college student academic advisors access bill


  • Florida House committee eases gun restrictions at schools and churches
  • Florida expanding criminal definition of hazing bill being reviewed by state Senate committees
  • Florida defining anti-Semitism as racism bill advances


  • Illinois prohibiting asking about criminal history in college applications bill


  • Iowa state Senate passes campus free-speech bill


  • Maryland collective bargaining rights for graduate assistants bill passes state House and now before state Senate
  • Maryland college athlete reporting concerns bill awaits final approval by state House


  • Minnesota college student emergency housing assistance has hearing scheduled
  • Minnesota information about postsecondary education options for students with disabilities has hearing scheduled
  • Minnesota food pantry on public colleges bill scheduled for committee hearing


  • Mississippi out-of-state athletic team physician permission to treat bill sent to governor


  • Missouri Title IX bill faces changes


  • Oregon bill making permanent the minority interviewing requirement for college coaches passes state House

South Carolina

  • South Carolina student loan servicing protections bill scheduled for committee hearing

South Dakota

  • South Dakota legislature passes bill mandating intellectual diversity in its colleges


  • Texas state Senate pushing free speech on college campus bill
  • Texas bills exempting certain homeless/foster students from college tuition fees at public colleges scheduled for hearing
  • Texas hazing bill scheduled for hearing
  • Texas college services for former foster services bill scheduled for hearing
  • Texas college liaison for college students who are parents introduced
  • Texas Medicare reimbursement for certain college on-campus mental health services bill introduced
  • Texas pilot program for former foster youth college students bill introduced
  • Texas work-study employment opportunities expanding bill set for public hearing


  • Utah House passes bill to make campus police forces follow public records laws
  • Utah bill requiring college safety plans and training passes the legislature
  • Utah college student speech rights bill fails in the state Senate
  • Utah Revised Athletic Agent Act passes the legislature and heading to the governor
  • Utah college sexual assault reporting state House bill passes legislatures and will head to governor
  • Utah public colleges selling their own health care insurance prohibition bill before the state Senate
  • Utah adding athletic trainer as a health care provider under the insurance code bill under consideration
  • Utah higher education study bill passed the state House


  • Washington college student emergency assistance bill scheduled for hearing
  • Washington college sexual violence task force creating state House bill scheduled for hearing
  • Washington religious accommodation for college students bill hearing scheduled
  • Washington bill authorizes funding to require public colleges in the state to employ at least one full-time mental health counselor scheduled for hearing
  • Washington athletic trainers to be considered health care providers bill has hearing scheduled
  • Washington harassment plan, training, and implementation bill has hearing scheduled
  • Washington homeless college student state senate bill scheduled for hearing

Education News

  • Survey results call on universities to offer more on-campus employment opportunities for students
  • Actresses, business leaders and other wealthy parents charged in U.S. college entry fraud
  • New coalition formed to deal with issues around educational transitions
  • Article addresses college student activism to addresses cost of living struggles faced by low income students
  • Elmhurst College professor sues school, campus paper after articles about student descriptions on seating chart

Health, Wellness, and Physical Activity News

  • President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition seeks nominations for annual awardsCivil Rights News
  • U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team files disparate treatment suit and hopes to send a message to girls everywhere

Sports Safety News

  • 51 women sue U.S. Olympic Committee for failing to stop Nassar abuse

Full SAHEC Policy Pages

About NIRSA’s partnership with Active Policy Solutions

As an association, NIRSA strives to monitor and track policy and legislative issues with the potential to impact our members or the campus communities they serve. These issues are wide ranging and may pertain to higher education, employment law, physical fitness, or our strategic values areas.

NIRSA has joined with a subset of SAHEC members (ACUHO-I, ACPA, ASCA, NASPA, and NIRSA) in hiring Active Policy Solutions to assist with monitoring, tracking, analyzing, and determining appropriate action on issues relevant to our associations. Through our partnership with SAHEC, NIRSA continues to monitor policy, legislation, and advocacy work that affects both the higher education and physical activity space. Active Policy Solutions provides government relations and advocacy support to NIRSA and the Association’s SAHEC partners.

  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships Erin O’Sullivan.
  • Want to share with your colleagues how this proposed legislation might impact your campus? Pitch us your ideas.
Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at |

Erin O'Sullivan is currently the Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at NIRSA.