According to a recent Q and A with Ellin Nolan, president of education lobbying firm Washington Partners, the newly-passed rules on earmarks, gifts, and ethics will have a mixed but relatively benign effect on the education environment. “Most Members take pride in helping constituents get special consideration for federal funding,” she says. “They are very willing to stand up and take credit for directing resources to their states or districts. " If anything, budget pressures not sunshine laws will have a dampening effect, she says. And the gift ban is not much of an issue for education groups and nonprofits. As for FY2008 (the upcoming budget year), Nolan is optimistic that incoming Labor-HHS chairman Harkin may be able to free up more resources for education than in the past.
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