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NCPPA Policy Update July 30, 2015

Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act

Two weeks ago, U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) introduced the Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act, legislation that would establish physical activity recommendations for children and adults. The bipartisan legislation would call on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue physical activity recommendations based on the latest scientific and medical evidence every ten years. The bill also directs HHS, five years after the release of each set of recommendations, to update reports to highlight continuing physical activity issues. More

ESEA Reauthorization: Every Child Achieves Act 

Last week, the Senate passed their ESEA Reauthorization bill, the Every Child Achieves Act, with overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle, 81-17. The bill includes the following physical education provisions:  

  1. Physical education is listed as an acceptable use in Senator Alexander's consolidated grant program.
  2. Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) is included. (but not funded)
  3. Physical education is now a core subject.
These provisions need to make it through what is anticipated to be a difficult conference, given the vast differences between the House and the Senate bill.   As a brief reminder, the House bill eliminated all of physical education.  More 

Bipartisan PHIT Act Would Allow for Physical Activity Using HSA/FSA  

Several members of NCPPA are actively lobbying Congress to pass the Personal Health Investment Today Act, commonly known as the PHIT Act (H.R. 1218). As reported, the legislation, introduced by Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Charles Boustany (R-LA), would expand the definition of a medical expense to include programs of physical activity and exercise equipment. This change would effectively allow for gym memberships and most exercise equipment to be paid for out of tax deferred medical accounts such as health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

As the lobbying campaign continues, NCPPA is working to collect a group of organizations that officially endorse PHIT in order to facilitate future sign on letters and other grassroots lobbying efforts. Please let us know if you would like us to add your organization to the list. More 

Transportation Reauthorization

With only one day until the transportation law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), expires and funding runs out, the Senate is considering a long-term transportation bill. They are hoping to pass their bill before the July 31 expiration  and the beginning of August recess. So far, Complete Streets is included and active transportation policies in the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) remain safe. 

The House is not ready to do their own long term bill and instead have passed a five and a half month extension to fund the programs until December 18, 2015.

Should the Senate fail to pass a long term bill, or should the House reject a Senate bill, expect to see the five and a half month extension pass the Senate before they leave for August recess. More

National Council of Youth Sports: P.L.A.Y.S. Act 

On July 14, 2015, The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) and the Congressional Youth Sports Caucus, in celebration of National Youth Sports Week, were hosts of a physical activity Expo on Capitol Hill. The event was designed to showcase how youth sports organizations and members of Congress can collaborate to promote healthy lifestyles for children and their families through sports. 

The National Council of Youth Sports advocates for legislation that promotes safe environments and healthy lifestyles for stronger neighborhoods and communities in order to enhance the youth sports experience in America for today and for generations to come. The NCYS Legislative Bill, P.L.A.Y.S. Act (Physical activity, Living healthy, Access, Youth development, Safety), advances the positive impact of sports on our youth. More