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


  • Punting to November 21


  • Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduces draft legislation linking a much scaled down Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and other minority serving institutions funding bill
  • Borrowers defense regulation data collection comments sought by U.S. Department of Education
  • U.S. Department of Education does the right thing in reimbursing colleges for canceled Perkins Loans according to opinion article
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) releases priorities for education bill
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) pens op-ed on free speech and academic freedom, POLITICO reports

Federal Legislation

  • Private Loan Disability Discharge Act (HR 4545) introduced
  • Ensuring Fair Legal Recourse for Private Student Loan Borrowers Act (HR 4544) introduced
  • A bill to require the Secretary of Education to initiate a negotiated rule-making process with respect to when an institution of higher education fails to meet accreditation standard (HR 4579) introduced
  • A bill to promote the matriculation, and increase in the graduation rates, of individuals with disabilities within higher education (HR 4577) introduced
  • Giving Relief and Dollars to Undergraduates for Adequate Time for Education (GRADUATE) Act (HR 4502) introduced
  • Protecting Student Aid (PSA) Act (HR 4497) introduced
  • Higher Education Student Protection Act (HR 4475) introduced
  • Simple FAFSA Act of 2019 (HR 4478) introduced
  • Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval on Department of Education’s “Borrower Defense Institutional Accountability” (H.J.Res.76) introduced
  • September 2019 as National Campus Sexual Assault Awareness Month resolution (HRes 600) introduced
  • Enhancing Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Through Campus Planning Act (HR 4327) adds new cosponsors
  • College Transparency Act (HR 1766) adds new cosponsors

Other Federal News

  • S. Department of Labor issues final overtime rule

State & Local Government


  • California’s ‘Fair Pay To Play Act’ signed into law


  • Illinois bill would discourage state employees from official travel to states that have legislative limits on reproductive freedom


  • In Maryland, as of October 1, the higher education system can now not fire certain employees without cause

New York

  • New York bill would result in college athletes being paid

Education and Schools News

  • Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) releases annual ranking

Health & Wellness News

  • Vaping educational tools released by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

Civil Rights News

  • Student accused of sexual assault awarded more than $100,000 by jury after finding Boston College mishandled allegations against him
  • Continuing coverage of Texas State University dramatically under-reported the number of sexual assaults on campus in 2016 and 2017
  • Federal appeals court rules that the University of Michigan entity might not be able to punish students, but it may still have powers that could limit free expression on campus
  • Campus Free Speech Guide released by PEN America
  • USC student sexual misconduct policy challenge dismissed by judge

Other News

  • EdWeek looks at 7 steps schools can take to keep sporting events safe

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.
Executive Communications, Advocacy, and External Affairs at

Erin O’Sullivan is currently the NIRSA Executive Communications, Advocacy, and External Affairs.