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Wage and Debt Reports Bills

by Tod Massa 26. January 2018 22:01

SB 637 - Dunnavant - This bill creates a couple of minor changes to the section of Code mandating SCHEV publish the reports on wage and debt outcomes. The first change requires us to publish hours worked and occupation. SCHEV is happy to do this, if the Virginia Employment Commission is able to modify their collections, which is fairly big deal.  The second change directs that the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, the Virginia Employment Commission, and the Virginia Department of Taxation shall cooperate with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to determine the feasibility of entering into data-collection and data-sharing agreements, consistent with state and federal law, that would allow SCHEV, through the Virginia Longitudinal Data System, to obtain data from such agencies to assist it in better analyzing the alignment of postsecondary education and workforce in the Commonwealth. Status: assigned to a subcommittee.

HB 347 - Landes - This bill addresses the same section of Code as SB 637. It makes a number of technical amendments to the language of the existing law, which I see as predominantly house-cleaning and making the law more clear. I think the only substantive change is that institutions will be required to ensure that the link to their institution's wage and debt data be made available to admitted students. Status: On first reading, reported from Education Committee (22-Y, 0-N).

I'm not expecting any issues with these bills.

A tangentially related bill is HB 1277 - Garratt. This bill amends the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act and adds the option of collecting personally identifiable data "through the sharing of data with other agencies in order to accomplish a proper purpose of the agency."  Proper Purpose is defined in the bill as:

"Proper purpose" includes the sharing or dissemination of data or information among and between agencies in order to (i) streamline administrative processes to improve the efficiency and efficacy of services, access to services, eligibility determinations for services, and service delivery; (ii) reduce paperwork and administrative burdens on applicants for and recipients of public services; (iii) improve the efficiency and efficacy of the management of public programs; (iv) prevent fraud and improve auditing capabilities; (v) conduct outcomes-related research; (vi) develop quantifiable data to aid in policy development and decision making to promote the most efficient and effective use of resources; and (vii) perform data analytics regarding any of the purposes set forth in this definition.

If this passes, it will simplify much of the data-sharing/data-exchange challenges that exist in the Commonwealth. It does not supersede FERPA, HIPAA, or any other federal privacy law. Status: Reported from Committee on General Laws (22-Y, 0-N).



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