• Federal Policy Watch September 2017

    The summer has been a busy one for federal tech issues. We monitor the latest tech legislation and regulation developments to ensure you stay informed of the latest happenings.


    Workforce Development

    CHANCE in Tech Act introduced in House and Senate

    • The CHANCE in Tech Act would leverage public-private support to develop apprenticeship programs in the tech sector to address the current skills gap.

    Perkins re-authorization reintroduced, passed in House

    • Known as the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R.  2353). THis legislation has an emphasis on education and workforce alignment and credentialing.



    • The Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017was introduced by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ron Wyden (D-WA), and Steve Daines (R-MT) The legislation requires that IoT device vendors supply the government with only IoT devices that are patchable, do not contain known vulnerabilities, rely on standards protocols, and don’t contain hard-coded passwords.


    New & Emerging Technologies

    Autonomous Vehicles

    • The House approves the SELF-DRIVE Act which would allow companies to bypass some safety standards such as requiring steering wheels and gas pedals on board. It would also supersede state-by-state rules, making it possible for autonomous testing to proceed without a patchwork of rules across the U.S.
    • The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a hearing on the potential impact of autonomous vehicle technology on the transportation industry with testimony from Colorado State Patrol Chief.
    • The US Department of Transportation rolled out updated voluntary guidelines for autonomous vehicles that clarify you don't need to get pre-approval from DOT before deploying autonomous vehicles, they pull back on data-sharing requirements for companies and remove privacy from a clear part of the guidance, and clear up the role of state and federal governments. Automakers and technology companies don't want a patchwork of state safety regulations.


    DIGIT Act

    • Last month, the Senate introduced the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act, led by Senator Schatz and Senators Deb Fischer (N.E.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), that will require the federal government to develop a national policy on the Internet of Things. Passed out of the Senate in August.


    CryptoCurrency Tax Fairness Act

    • Introduced by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Co) and Rep. David Schweikert (R-Az), the act would subject digital currency to a similar tax regime as what currently exists for foreign currency. It would also eliminate a disincentive for people to use bitcoin and other digital in day-to-day transactions. Under current tax rules, any little transaction—like buying a cup of coffee—can be considered a capital gain, and trigger an obligation to the IRS.



    • President Trump tapped three more nominees for empty Export Import Bank board positions: Kimberly A. Reed, Claudia Slacik and Judith Delzoppo Pryor.



    • There may be a Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act coming soon in Congress. We will be monitoring this closely as it develops.


    Smart Cities

    • The Moving and Fostering Innovation to Revolutionize Smarter Transportation Act was introduced to create a Smart Grant program under the Dept. of Transportation.