Seven months into the federal fiscal year, Congress has finalized annual funding for agencies such as the Department of Education, NOAA, NSF, NASA, EPA and USGS for fiscal year 1996. Work now begins on the annual appropriations for fiscal year 1997 (Oct. 1, 1996-Sept. 30, 1997).
Although Congress did pass the appropriations bill, no tax bill or reconciliation bill was passed, thus leaving employer-provided educational assistance, Section 127, unfunded. A national call-in day is organized for May 8. Individuals can call their legislators to urge the reinstatement of Section 127 at (202) 225-3121, the Congressional general switchboard. Also, Graduate student David Attwood will post additional information on the call-in day and letter-writing options at Web site http://www.columbia.edu/cu/fedrel/.
On May 2, National Humanities Day was held on Capitol Hill. New York was represented by two participants from Columbia: Ellen S. Smith, director of federal relations and Maurice Lukens, executive producer and managing director of the Media Center for Art History. They discussed the importance of NEH funding to New York and the nation and the projects funded at Columbia.
House and Senate negotiators will begin meeting on immigration reform bills in the near future. The Senate bill includes a "deeming" provision that would require legal immigrant students to include a sponsor's income in the calculation of financial aid eligibility. This provision, which was eliminated from the House bill by Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas, would effectively prohibit many legal immigrant students from obtaining financial aid. A large coalition is working to exclude this provision in any final bill passed.
For more information, contact Ellen S. Smith, director of federal relations, at 854-3394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Columbia University Record -- May 10, 1996 -- Vol. 21, No. 26