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Legislative Update June 2008

Public Laws Relating to the Activities or Structure of NIH and Other HHS Components

  • Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-204)
  • The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (Public Law 110-233)

Bills Relating to the Activities or Structure of NIH and Other HHS Components

  • The SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5819)
  • The Pediatric Research Consortia Establishment Act (H.R. 6089 and S. 2773)
  • Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act of 2007 (S. 999)

Resolutions

  • Designation of April 2008 as National Sarcoidosis Awareness Month (H. Res. 1149)

Public Laws Relating to the Activities or Structure of NIH and Other HHS Components

Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007
Numbers:Public Law 110-204 (formerly H.R. 3825 and S.1858)
Date Signed:April 24, 2008
Highlights:The law amends the Public Health Service Act to establish grant programs to provide for education and outreach on newborn screening and coordinated follow-up care once newborn screening has been conducted. It authorizes new programs through HRSA for education and outreach regarding the importance and availability of newborn screening. The measure also establishes an Interagency Coordinating Committee on Newborn and Child Screening, with representation from NIH, CDC, HRSA, and AHRQ, and allows the Secretary, in conjunction with NIH, and taking into consideration the recommendations of the Advisory Committee, to “continue carrying out, coordinating, and expanding research in newborn screening.”
The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act
Number:Public Law 110-233 (formerly H.R. 493)
Date Signed:May 21, 2008
Highlights:The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment.
Bills Relating to the Activities or Structure of NIH and Other HHS Components
The SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act
Number:H.R. 5819
Sponsor:Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)
Latest Action:Received in the Senate, after passage in the House
Highlights:On April 23, the House passed H.R. 5819 to reauthorize the SBIR and STTR programs until 2010. H.R. 5819 would increase the award levels for SBIR and STTR Phase I and Phase II. The measure would require the establishment of an advisory board at each participating agency to review quarterly reports and make necessary recommendations. Additionally, the bill would expand the eligibility criteria to allow small business concerns with multiple venture capital investments and ownership to apply for awards. The bill would allow applicants to crossover between the programs and to apply directly for Phase II awards. Finally, the bill would require rendering final decisions on applications within 90 days after closing of the solicitation, with some exceptions.
The Pediatric Research Consortia Establishment Act
Numbers:H.R. 6089 and S. 2773
Sponsor:Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Highlights:The bill would require the NICHD, in collaboration with other ICs that support pediatric research, to make awards to public or nonprofit private entities to establish up to 20 national pediatric research consortia. Each consortium, which would be formed from a collaboration of cooperating institutions, would be responsible for establishing a comprehensive pediatric research portfolio that would include conducting basic, clinical, behavioral, social, and translational research, as well as training.
Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act of 2007
Number:S. 999
Sponsor:Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Highlights:The bill would amend the Public Health Service Act to improve stroke prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. It would allow the Secretary to establish and evaluate a grant program to enable states to establish, enhance, or expand state-wide stroke care systems and to award grants under the program.
Resolutions
A resolution expressing support for the designation of April 2008 as National Sarcoidosis Awareness Month, and supporting efforts to devote new resources to research the causes of the disease, environmental and otherwise, along with treatments and workforce strategies to support individuals with sarcoidosis.
Number:H. Res. 1149
Sponsor:Representative Danny Davis (D-IL)
Latest Action:Passed House (April 30)