“Bills for Science” #6

Last week has a surprising number of bills introduced. Here’s the rundown:

S.53A bill to authorize and strengthen the tsunami detection, forecast, warning, research, and mitigation program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Cantwell, Maria [D-WA]
Would authorize/strengthen NOAA’s tsunami detection, forecast, warning, research, and mitigation program.

S.32A bill to provide for conservation, enhanced recreation opportunities, and development of renewable energy in the California Desert Conservation Area, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [D-CA]
Purpose is in the description.

S.83 — Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act
Sponsor: Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN] 
– Would “authorize the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurial programs for women.”

S.110 — S.110 – Digital Coast Act
Sponsor: Sen. Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI] 
Would direct NOAA to “establish a constituent-driven program to provide a digital information platform capable of efficiently integrating coastal data with decision-support tools, training, and best practices and to support collection of priority coastal geospatial data to inform and improve local, State, regional, and Federal capacities to manage the coastal region…”

S.129 — National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2017
Sponsor: Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS] 
Would reauthorize Sea Grant, the funding agency for the Knauss Marine Science Policy Fellowship. Interesting amendment would require legislative fellows to be evenly distributed between parties (they usually skew Democrat).

S.141 — Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act
Sponsor: Sen. Peters, Gary C. [D-MI] 
This would increase understanding and forecasting of space weather events. Think solar flares and power grids. 

H.R.510To establish a system for integration of Rapid DNA instruments for use by law enforcement to reduce violent crime and reduce the current DNA analysis backlog.
Sponsor: Rep. Sensenbrenner, F. James, Jr. [R-WI-5] 
This is either a great idea or step 1 on the path to a police state. No text yet.

H.R.481To amend the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to authorize assignment to States of Federal agency environmental review responsibilities, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Calvert, Ken [R-CA-42] 
Amending NEPA is usually not in the best interest of the environment. No text yet. 

H.Res.44Expressing support for designation of February 12, 2017, as “Darwin Day” and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.
Sponsor: Rep. Himes, James A. [D-CT-4] 
Darwin Day!

H.R.431 — Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017
Sponsor: Rep. Weber, Randy K., Sr. [R-TX-14] 
This one is straightforward, and frankly, I support it. It would allow civilian researchers to develop nuclear energy technologies in private/public institutions and expand our knowledge on nuclear energy. I don’t know why this requires a law though…

H.R.502 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)To permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Sponsor: Rep. Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ-3] 
Would permanently provide support for an act that provide funds and matching grants to federal, state, and local governments for acquiring land and water.

H.R.527 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)To provide for the conservation and preservation of the Greater Sage Grouse by facilitating State recovery plans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor Rep. Bishop, Rob [R-UT-1]
No text provided but it’s likely another way to strip federal protections in favor of state “protections.”

H.R.590 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act of 2017
Sponsor: Rep. Latta, Robert E. [R-OH-5] 
-Would encourage civilian research and development of advanced nuclear energy technologies and enhance the licensing and commercial deployment of such technologies.

H.R.589 — Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act
Sponsor: Rep. Smith, Lamar [R-TX-21] 
Would establish new programs and policies at DOE such as research initiatives on electricity storage and solar fuels, would also authorize national lab directors to use technology transfer funds for early stage projects, would call for more interagency coordination and innovation hubs, and would establish a database that lists all research contracts, grants and cooperative agreements.

S.161A bill to improve hurricane forecasting and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Rubio, Marco [R-FL] 
Seems pretty straightforward but we don’t really know because there’s no text actually available. 

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