Government & Community Relations Update

House and Senate appropriation bills mixed for research, student aid priorities

August 2, 2017
With two months to go before the start of the new federal fiscal year on October 1, Congress has taken some level of action on all twelve of the appropriations bills that make up the federal budget. But no budget resolution setting overall spending authority for each appropriations bill has been set nor has Congress addressed issues related to budget caps and the debt ceiling. As Congress heads toward its August recess, it remains unclear whether a government shutdown can be avoided when the fiscal year begins October 1.
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Summary of 2017 Legislative Session

July 7, 2017
The 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly has adjourned. By many measures, this was a difficult session for lawmakers, who were faced with a more than $1 billion budget shortfall and major packages of policy to negotiate, including a multi-billion dollar transportation package and a Medicaid package to ensure thousands of Oregonians are able to stay on the Oregon Health Plan.
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Big issues remain as Legislature closes in on session's end

June 23, 2017
This article first appeared in Around the O on June 20, 2017. University of Oregon leaders and supporters are staying visible in Salem as legislators continue to work through important bills and policy issues.
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UO leaders oppose proposed National Institutes of Health budget cuts and research indirect cost caps

June 16, 2017
UO leaders have joined other AAU and APLU member leaders in expressing opposition to the Trump Administration’s request to Congress to cut the National Institutes of Health (NIH) FY18 budget and impose caps for research cost reimbursements on NIH grants.
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Session winding down: Tuition support, capital construction and revenue measures are on the table in the Legislature

June 6, 2017
This article first appeared in Around the O on June 6, 2017. With the Oregon Legislature in the last five weeks of the 2017 session, both the House and Senate chambers recently announced they would move to 24-hour notice for public hearings, an indication that the end of the session is near.
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Administration’s FY18 Budget calls for cuts to student aid, research

May 23, 2017
On May 23, President Donald Trump released his proposed budget, which includes cuts that could prove devastating to students and higher education research if enacted.
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FY17 budget finalized with seven months left in the federal fiscal year

May 8, 2017
On Friday, May 5, President Donald Trump signed H.R. 244, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 omnibus appropriations bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of the current fiscal year (through September 30, 2017).
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UO’s Knight Campus gets first hearing in state Legislature

March 28, 2017
This article first appeared in Around the O on March 28, 2017. The UO’s Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact made its debut before the Oregon Legislature last week when a group of university faculty and students spoke about the potential of the $1 billion initiative before a House committee.
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More than 500 universities sign letter to White House calling for support of Dreamers

March 23, 2017
On March 17, the American Council on Education (ACE) delivered a letter to President Donald Trump regarding Dreamers, young people brought to the United States by undocumented parents before the age of 16. More than 750,000 individuals are registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and many are currently enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.
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Ducks swoop into Salem to make a case for a budget boost

March 9, 2017
This article first appeared in Around the O on March 9, 2017 Almost 100 university leaders, students and alumni rallied in Salem on Thursday to urge lawmakers to boost state support for public universities and protect the affordability of a college degree.
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Oregon legislators solicit feedback on proposed budget

February 7, 2017
This article first appeared in Around the O on February 7, 2017

As campus leaders at Oregon’s seven public universities urge state lawmakers to boost state funding for higher education, the co-chairs of the Legislature’s Joint Ways and Means Committee are making their way across Oregon to solicit input on what should be funded during the next two years.
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Higher education leaders express concern about visa limits

February 6, 2017
The University of Oregon joined higher education associations, scientific societies, and individual colleges and universities in expressing strong concerns about President Donald Trump's January 27 executive order that halted for 90 days the entry into the U.S. of individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Statements included, in date order:
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University leaders ask Legislature for improved funding

January 24, 2017
This article first appeared in Around the O on January 24, 2017.

The presidents and campus leaders at Oregon’s seven public universities are urging lawmakers to boost state funding for higher education, saying recent budget proposals from the governor and Legislature could force record increases in tuition.
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UO outlines priorities for 2017 Oregon legislative session

January 23, 2017
During the 2017 legislative session, UO leaders are proposing and/or monitoring a variety of topics and bills introduced that have budgetary or policy implications for the institution. State Affairs staff study all bills introduced during the session, confer with faculty and staff with content knowledge about the effects of proposed legislation, and work in coalition with university and other partners to share implications with decision makers and ensure the mission and strategic of the institution is advanced..
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The end of the 114th Congress: Sweeping innovation and medical research legislation signed into law, government shutdown avoided

January 23, 2017
The 114th Congress finished in December with the passage of important legislation, including a FY17 Continuing Resolution (CR), which will fund the government through April 28, 2017, avoiding a government shutdown.
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Proposed BRIDGE Act shields DREAMers from deportation

January 23, 2017
On January 12, bipartisan groups in the U.S. House and Senate introduced the BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act, to shield DREAMers – (Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors) undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children – from deportation until their status can be addressed through comprehensive immigration reform.
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Oregon Impact Map updated for 2017

January 23, 2017
The Oregon Impact site now includes the most current data about the University of Oregon’s impact around the state. UO Campus GIS & Mapping team of Safety and Risk Services created the interactive site in collaboration with the government and community relations group.
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Governor's recommended budget includes funding for two UO projects

December 7, 2016
The budget proposal recently released by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown for 2017-19 includes funding for several UO priorities, including bonds for two projects that are key to the university’s future.
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US House approves Cures Act

December 6, 2016
The US House of Representatives on November 30 passed the 21st Century Cures Act (now HR 34) in a vote of 392 to 26. The Cures Act, which authorizes increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), enjoys broad support from the research community and has been endorsed by the White House, but other groups oppose using the Public Health and Prevention Fund as the offset to pay for increased funding.
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U.S. Senator Ron Wyden discusses Presidental Tax Transparency Act bill with law students

September 30, 2016
On Thursday, September 29, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden spoke with Oregon Law students today about his bill, the Presidential Tax Transparency Act, to require presidential candidates to release their recent tax returns.
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US Senator Merkley and Congressman DeFazio visit campus to speak with students and faculty

June 6, 2016
On May 31, both US Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04) separately visited the UO campus to talk with students and faculty. The Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics hosted Senator Merkley for a talk on the current vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. After offering opening remarks, Senator Merkley was joined on a panel by Stuart Chinn, UO associate professor of law, and James Mohr, Distinguished professor of History and Philip H. Knight Professor of Social Sciences.  Senator Merkley is pictured below with Professors Chinn and Mohr. 
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Congressional committees move budget bills

June 6, 2016
Before heading to the Memorial Day recess, several congressional committees took action on funding bills. As Congress returns to Washington, D.C. this week, the week of June 6, appropriators are scheduled to meet again. On May 24, the US House Appropriations Committee approved its FY17 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill with funding for research programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA.
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Senator Wyden hosts cyber security roundtable; Congresswoman Bonamici hosts innovation discussion at White Stag Block

May 23, 2016
On May 6, US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) UO’s visited campus to hold a roundtable with UO computer and information science faculty members, students, and local tech sector companies on cyber security and privacy.
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Oregon driver's license will no longer be accepted for entry into certain federal facilities starting in Oct. 2016

May 23, 2016
Beginning October 10, 2016, Oregon driver licenses will no longer be accepted identification to access certain federal facilities and nuclear power plants. Congress, in enacting the REAL ID Act in 2005, began a phase-in process requiring states to either update the security of driver’s licenses or require their citizens to provide an additional form of acceptable alternative identification for some activities.
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IRS grants delay in tax reporting (1098-T) requirement change

May 23, 2016
The Internal Revenue Service announced in late April that it will grant a delay in implementation of a change in tax reporting requirements for qualified tuition and related expenses on IRS form 1098-T. The UO joined with the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and other universities in asking for the delay.

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Senate Appropriations Committee funds advanced wood research initiative, increases funding for AFRI

May 23, 2016
The Senate Appropriations Committee on May 19 approved its FY17 Agriculture appropriations bill with $375 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), an increase of $25 million above the FY16 enacted level. That funding is the same amount approved for AFRI by the House Appropriations Committee on April 19.
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