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Capital Update

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Capital Update tracks the movement of legislation, the introduction of notable bills, and routine regulatory announcements.

Legislative Action

Campaign-Finance Reform

S 137, HR 5400
The House and Senate last month approved separate bills that would make major changes in the way Congressional campaigns are funded, including some that would curb the political clout of teachers' unions. (See page 36.)

Civil Rights

S 2104, HR 4000
The House last month approved civil-rights legislation that would increase the leverage of employees who charge their employers with job discrimination. The Senate passed a similar bill in July. (See page 36.)

Disability Programs

S 2753
The Senate on Aug. 2 passed legislation to reauthorize the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act through fiscal 1994. Aimed at assisting severely handicapped individuals, the bill would set aside up to $534 million for programs ranging from early-intervention services to public-advocacy agencies.

Job Training Partnership Act

HR 2039, S 543
The House Education and Labor Committee approved legislation reauthorizing and amending the Job Training Partnership Act on a voice vote July 31. Committee approval came after three markup sessions during which members debated a number of issues raised by the bill. Action is expected as early as this week on S 543, the companion bill passed last year by the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee.

Vocational Education

HR 7
The Senate by voice vote on Aug. 2 approved the conference report on legislation reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act for five years. The legislation, which would target larger federal grants to regional and district programs with an emphasis on academics and technology, still awaits floor action in the House.

In the Education Department

Chapter 1

Final Rules
The Education Department has published final rules for the Chapter 1 program that serves children with disabilities. The program, which schools use to supplement their special-education programs, has been updated to provide younger children who participate with some of the same safeguards available to handicapped infants and toddlers under other federal special-education laws. The announcement appeared in the Aug. 24 Federal Register.

Drug Education

Final Rules
The Education Department has published final rules for the the federal law that requires public schools to have anti-drug programs and policies in place as a prerequisite for receiving any federal funds. The announcement, which appeared in the Aug. 16 Federal Register, did not substantially modify the proposed regulations.

In Other Agencies

State Asbestos Program

Grant Announcement
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a grant program for states to develop asbestos-inspection and -management programs for schools, as well as training of asbestos-abatement workers. The announcement appeared in the July 26 Federal Register.

Head Start

Proposed Rules
The Department of Health and Human Services has published proposed new rules governing eligibility requirements for the enrollment of children in Head Start. The proposals would require local grantees to serve more children in isolated areas, favor younger children for whom kindergarten is not available, and weigh such factors as whether children live with single parents. The announcement appeared in the July 23 Federal Register; comments are due by Oct. 22. (See page 38.)

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