Policy Watch from CompTIA
December 2011, Issue 17 Connect with us: Twitter LinkedIn FaceBook
Welcome to our New Policy Watch
We know your time is valuable. This issue of Policy Watch launches a revised format for Policy Watch. We still have all the latest news on how Capitol Hill is impacting the IT channel and IT workforce, and now are making this news easier to read and digest. Let us know how public policies are affecting you.
Cyber Security
Cyber IntelligenceThe House Pushes a Piece Meal Approach to Cyber Reform
This month, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence unanimously passed out of committee the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (H.R. 3523). The bill would “permit cybersecurity service providers and businesses that operate their own cybersecurity systems to share information related to potential cybersecurity threats with other businesses and the federal government.” Read more.
Tech Entrepreneurs
Payroll Tax Extension
On December 2, CompTIA sent a letter the Congressional leadership urging passage of a payroll tax reduction for both employees and employers. We noted that our recent CompTIA tax survey rated a payroll tax reduction as the most important change needed for their businesses. At this writing, both Democrats and Republicans generally agree on the extension, but are still ironing out details concerning both how long to extend the cut and how to pay for the extension. Read more.
Crowdfunding & Equity Capital
CrowdFundingThe Senate Banking Committee is now considering legislation that will make it less costly for small businesses to raise equity capital. CompTIA submitted testimony to the Committee for a December 1 hearing. There remains widespread support for increasing the small business exemption from $5 million to $50 million, but the Senate has not acted. And, while both parties generally support the concept of crowdfunding, the main sticking point is how best to protect investors while maximizing the issuer’s ability to raise equity investment. Read more.
Tax Extenders
With the clock ticking, a number of tax provisions (including the payroll tax cut) could sunset after December 31. Long-called the extenders, because Congress has only extended these provisions on mostly a year-to-year basis, the “extenders” are composed of a hodge-podge of targeted tax breaks. Read more.
IT Workforce
What Should the Next Perkins Act Look Like?
Carl D. PerkinsFunding equal to FY 2011 levels for the Perkins Act was included in the “mega-bus” FY2012 appropriations bill that Congress passed as it left for the holiday season. This is considered a victory for Perkins supporters who pushed back against reductions. Countless Americans rely on Perkins to ensure they can start on a path toward gainful employment. Yet even as we close the chapter on funding for FY2012, the Department of Education is already thinking about a next iteration – a reauthorization – of the Perkins Act that Congress will have to take up (perhaps even starting in 2012). Read more.
Health IT
HHS Delays Stage 2 Meaningful Use
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced several changes to encourage the adoption of electronic health records, specifically by delaying Stage 2 of meaningful use standards by one year. According to HHS, “to encourage faster adoption, the Secretary announced that HHS intends to allow doctors and hospitals to adopt health IT this year, without meeting the new standards until 2014. Doctors who act quickly can also qualify for incentive payments in 2011 as well as 2012. These policy changes are accompanied by greater outreach efforts that will provide more information to doctors and hospitals about best practices and to vendors whose products allow health care providers to meaningfully use EHRs.” Read more.
Grassroots Advocacy
TechVoice Grass Roots Continue to Take Hold
TechVoiceTechVoice, a grass roots partnership among CompTIA, TECNA and other interested organizations, continues to grow. We now have ten organizations that are a part of the TechVoice community and we hope to add more in the New Year. In a sign of the importance of public policy to our TechVoice partners, recently, Donn Morrill, executive director of the New York Technology Council (NYTC), invited CompTIA staff to present to the executive board of the Council. On December 12th, I traveled to New York City to give a presentation about the issues CompTIA is focusing on in Washington, D.C. Read more.
The Hill:
Cybersecurity Expert Hails New DHS Cyber Chief
National Journal:
Congress Urged to Close Online Sales-Tax Loophole
Both Parties Invest in Crowdfunding

Public Policy Contacts
Workforce Education
Elizabeth Hyman

Tech Entrepreneurs
Lamar Whitman

IT Security
David Valdez

PAC and Grassroots Advocacy
Matthew L. Evans

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All Rights Reserved.
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