The steady stream of news emerging from the nation’s capital can be overwhelming. NACUBO highlights key actions and provides the status of top higher education business concerns.
Title IX Comment Deadline Delayed
The public will have an additional day to comment on proposed changes to Title IX regulations due to a recent government website outage that caused the online comment submission portal to be unavailable. While early reports indicated the outage was due to the ongoing federal government shutdown, the Environmental Protection Agency, which manages the site, stated a glitch caused the site to crash. The comment period ends Jan. 30.
NASPA Releases Title IX NPRM Resources
The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) has created a series of resources related to the Department of Education’s proposed changes to the handling of campus sexual assault at colleges and universities under Title IX regulations. Resources include a blog post, a five-part analysis of the proposal, and recorded information sessions with NASPA personnel. NASPA says it will add to the resources as the proposal moves through the rulemaking process. All resources are free but require creation of an account to access.
Proposed Overtime Rule Moves Forward (Again)
The Department of Labor (DOL) has submitted a new proposed rule on the minimum salary employees must receive to qualify for exemptions to federal overtime pay requirements. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has 90 days to review it. Specific details on the Trump administration proposal are unavailable while it is under review, but the DOL has stated that it incorporated feedback from the public in its proposal. In late 2017, NACUBO joined 20 other higher education associations in filing comments to the department. A district court ruling prevented the Obama administration overtime rule from going into effect in 2016.
Negotiated Rulemaking on Accreditation and Innovation Begins
The Accreditation and Innovation negotiated rulemaking committee and three associated subcommittees recently met for the first of three sessions. The committee spent the bulk of its first meeting agreeing to procedures that will govern the remainder of the process. NACUBO did not nominate a negotiator but will continue to track and provide updates on any proposed changes that may affect the campus business office.
On Capitol Hill
Charitable Giving Tax Deduction Legislation Introduced
Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced legislation to create a universal above-the-line tax deduction for all taxpayers, whether they choose to itemize their tax returns or not. The legislation, identical to a bill proposed by the congressmen last year, attempts to rectify the anticipated decrease in charitable giving due to passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Because the TCJA aims to significantly reduce the number of taxpayers who itemize their returns, nonprofit entities in all sectors anticipate a decrease in giving under the current administration with fewer individuals having a charitable-deduction incentive to donate.
Higher Ed Impacted as Shutdown Wears On
As the longest shutdown in U.S. history continues, higher education researchers are left without grant funds, critical agencies are missing from academic conversations, and compliance guidance on new tax laws has come to a halt. NACUBO asks that you share with us any impacts the shutdown is having on your campus, and any steps your institution is taking to alleviate the burden on impacted students, families, and faculty. You can contact NACUBO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Blue Book” Affirms Intent to Tax Executive Compensation at Public Colleges
In its explanation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation acknowledged that Congress intended the new executive compensation excise tax to apply to all public colleges and universities as well as private institutions—but said the law as written does not match that intent.
MSRB Provides Guidance on New Rules
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) provided guidance on recently adopted amendments to Securities and Exchange Commission rule 15c2-12. The amendments went into effect Oct. 30, 2018, and mandate compliance by Feb. 27. Primarily, they require that bond issuers commit to a continuing disclosure agreement, which would provide updates to the MSRB on an ongoing basis regarding a specific set of financial changes and events. These events are detailed in the guidance.
Is Your Institution Compliant with the Safeguards Rule of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act?
Originally proposed for FY17, NACUBO is anticipating that the Department of Education will include a Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act compliance check in the audit requirements for the student financial assistance cluster as part of the FY19 Single Audit Act compliance supplement. Evaluate and document your institution’s compliance with the Safeguards Rule using these suggestions.
What Did I Miss in Washington? December 11, 2018-January 7, 2019