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The Education Department

Smoking Ban; Final Rules

The Health and Human Services Department published regulations in the Dec. 30 Federal Register for a 1994 law that bars smoking in schools and other federally funded facilities that serve children. Schools must adopt a no-smoking policy or risk fines of $1,000 per violation. The rules took effect Dec. 26.

Direct Lending

Final Rules

The Education Department published final regulations in the Dec. 22 Federal Register for income-contingent student-loan repayment. The agency lowered the original limit on the amount of interest that can be paid over the life of a loan and also lowered the minimum required payment. The rules took effect Dec. 22.

Legislative Action

Unfunded Mandates

The House Government Reform Committee and the Senate Governmental Affairs committees opened hearings Jan. 5 on legislation to prevent Congress from imposing mandates on state and local governments unless it provides money to implement them.

Balanced Budget

The Senate Judiciary Committee began hearings Jan. 5 on an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would require a balanced federal budget. The House is expected to vote Jan. 19 on such an amendment.

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