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

House sets markup for 2020 education funding bill


  • Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) to co-chair Congressional Hispanic-Serving Institution Caucus
  • White House completes review of rule to increase cost of student visas, Politico reports

Federal Legislation

  • Bill to end ban on Pell Grants for prisoners gains traction
  • Equal Campus Access Act (S. 1168) introduced

Other Federal News

  • Supreme Court to decide if Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, transgender status, and gender identity

State & Local Government

  • Campus safety laws in 19 states could conflict with federal Title IX rules, Politico reports


  • Arkansas passes bills, HB 1231 and HB 1432, aimed at student journalism protection


  • California bill, SB 24, requiring public college health centers to offer medical abortions passes Education Committee
  • California bill to evaluate college workstudy programs as exemption for student’s food assistance work training requirement has hearing canceled
  • California bill allowing student members of Trustees of the California State University to vote in their first year of membership passes the state assembly and now before state senate
  • California rapid housing program for homeless college students to allow them to remain in college bill gains committee approval
  • California allowing those with conviction to be eligible for Cal Grant state financial aid bill has hearing
  • California sexual assault and domestic violence hotline numbers of student ids (including colleges) bill passes favorably out of committee
  • California bill exempting college research and researcher information from public disclosure has hearing postponed
  • California state college tuition and fee free for those pardoned or had conviction overturned gains committee approval
  • California public colleges posting of cost of living information bill passes state senate
  • California colleges to report certain costs of living bill gains unanimous committee support
  • California bill restricting state colleges from checking, more than once, a college student’s finances for determining state financial aid eligibility has hearing canceled
  • California waiver of campus-based fees for surviving spouses and children of first-responders who died in the line of duty bill passes unanimously out of committee
  • California mandatory child abuse training for community college personnel bill has hearing
  • California requiring public colleges to maintain and share about a website listing various public services available to students bill passes unanimously out of committee
  • California bill limiting who public colleges could admit not meeting academic standards passes unanimously out of committee
  • California community college student organization fee bill passes favorably out of committee
  • California bill allowing student athletes to get a sports agent without losing their student athlete status passes unanimously out of committee
  • California “Student Athlete Bill of Rights” amending bill passed unanimously out of committee
  • California changing how to change from non-resident to resident status for state college financial aid bill passes favorably out of committee
  • California Dreamer Resource Liaisons at public colleges bill, AB 1645, before state assembly’s appropriations committee
  • California public college campus mental health services funding bill receives committee approval


  • Colorado higher education funding formula review bill signed into law
  • Colorado college applicant criminal history inquiry prohibition bill passes the state senate
  • Colorado scholarship for those previously in youth justice system bill introduced
  • Colorado financial aid for Dreamer bill passes state house and now before state senate
  • Colorado supplemental education to improve college success bill passes state house and approved by state senate committee
  • Colorado physical therapist as health care provider for head trauma/concussion guidelines compliance bill passes state legislature


  • Florida expanding criminal definition of hazing bill unanimously passes state senate and now before state house


  • Hawaii exempting online college students from immunization mandate bill passes out of conference committee
  • Hawaii bill allowing for third gender option on IDs amended in conference and awaits final approval by both chambers


  • Illinois bill, HB 2691, that would make it possible for some undocumented and transgendered individuals to receive state college financial aid passes the state house


  • Indiana may pass Iowa to become 9th state to legalize sports wagering


  • Iowa stun guns on campus allowing bill SF 188, receives minor changes and is close to passing the legislature


  • Maine legislature expected to consider campus free speech bill, LD 665


  • Massachusetts Gender X bill, S.2203, passes the state senate


  • Missouri Title IX bill garners some negative press


  • Oklahoma banning campus “free speech zones” bill, SB 361, passes the state house


  • Oregon limiting campus security powers bill, SB 576, Kaylee’s law, unanimously passes state senate
  • Oregon minority interviewing requirement for college head coaching positions permeance bill has public hearing
  • Oregon college policies creation and annual training regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, date violence, and stalking bill passes state house and now before state senate


  • Texas campus free speech bill, SB 18, passes favorably out of committee
  • Texas college transfer easing bill, SB 25, passes state senate
  • Texas hazing bill passes favorably out of committee
  • Texas college student disciplinary record on transcript bill passes state house
  • Texas sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking college student and employee policy mandate state house bill passes the state house
  • Texas college students with children assistance bill passes favorably out of committee


  • Washington bill to require certain compensation of college athletes fails to pass the legislature
  • Washington legislature failed to pass two approaches to free college
  • Washington providing free housing for one year to homeless college scholarship recipients bill passes the state house, but fails to pass the state senate
  • Washington homeless college student state senate bill passes the legislature and now is before the governor
  • Washington state house bill excepting college students for childcare work requirements signed into law
  • Washington college student emergency assistance bill passes state legislature and now before the governor
  • Washington college sexual violence task force creating bill passes the state house, but fails to pass the state senate
  • Washington religious accommodations for college students bill passes the legislature and now before the governor
  • Washington bill authorizes funding to require public colleges in the state to employ at least one full-time mental health counselor passes the state senate, but fails to pass the state house
  • Washington athletic trainers to be considered health care providers bill passes the state legislature and is now before the governor

Education News

  • Food insecurity tactics of schools discussed
  • University of Southern California (USC) introduces new measures to its student-athlete admissions process
  • College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) releases annual report on administrators in higher education
  • Editorial explores whether college administration structure is behind rising cost of college education
  • Article explores the lingering effects of the 2009 Great Recession on higher education
  • University of Texas student pens opinion piece: Students with disabilities deserve a physical space on campus
  • Nine universities partner to craft standards for digital student records
  • Twice as many college students suffering from anxiety since 2008, study shows
  • Massachusetts college considers dorm for black students only

Sports News

  • Sleepy athletes may face higher concussion risk, study indicates

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 | NIRSA Profile

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