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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

Higher Education
S 1507

The House last month passed a bill that would make technical amendments to the Higher Education Act, clearing it for the President's signature. The bill would clarify the Education Department's responsibilities in collecting and publishing institutional loan-default rates, and allow financial-aid administrators more discretion in adjusting students' Pell Grant awards.

Tobacco Curbs
HR 3614

Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders has announced her support of legislation, introduced last month, that would increase the visibility of tobacco warning labels, regulate labels' health and safety claims, restrict tobacco-company sponsorship of sports events and concerts, and bar tobacco advertising at stadiums or within 2,000 feet of elementary and secondary schools.

Handgun Purchases
HR 1025

President Clinton last week signed into law the so-called "Brady bill,'' requiring a five-day waiting period before the purchase of a handgun. Senate passage of the bill by a voice vote wrapped up work on crime legislation for the Congressional session. Other crime measures were passed in different form by the House and Senate and must be reconciled next year.

Child Safety
S 680, HR 965

The Senate last month approved a bill that would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make toys safer through the use of warning labels, establish final safety standards for bike helmets, and develop rules to help prevent children from drowning in buckets. The House had already approved the bill, which the President is expected to sign.

Developmental Disabilities
S 1284

The House and Senate last month passed by voice vote legislation to reauthorize the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, clearing the bill for the President's signature. The bill would extend and make technical amendments to programs for students and other individuals with developmental disabilities.

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