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April 2015 Public Policy News

12 May: New Proposed Rule for Category Xll of the US Munitions List (USML) Released: The comment period for the new proposed rule is now open and will close on 6 July 2015. Slides from SPIE’s informational webinar are now available. Read more

5 May: New National Photonics Initiative (NPI) Photonics Industry Neuroscience Group Technology Road Map for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative: 
Members of the NPI Photonics Industry Neuroscience Group joined to identify priority research areas for advancing optics and photonics technologies that support neuroscience for organizations involved in the Administration's BRAIN Initiative. Read more

4 May: Senate Confirms Dr. May as 15th National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director:
Unanimous vote from U.S. Senate confirms Dr. Willie E. May as the 15th Director of NIST. Dr. May has worked at NIST since 1971 in a number of different leadership positions. Read more

30 April: Future of U.S. Science and Technology Threatened by Sequestration:
Obama's science adviser John Holdren says getting R&D support is more difficult than ever due to decreases in federal discretionary funding. Funding issues impact related science and technology concerns including STEM education. Read more

29 April: New Legislation Regarding Federal Employee Conference Travel:
New legislation regarding federal employee conference travel, the Government Spending Accountability Act of 2015 (The GSA Act of 2015), was introduced in the House. The Bill follows the May 2012 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines to avoid unethical spending, but extends its reach to require that federal agencies provide conference attendance reports. Read more

21 April: The President's FY 2016 Budget, Department of Defense:
The 2016 DOD R&D budgeted is expected to increase, while classified Science & Technology to remain flat, and basic research is expected to decrease. Overall, the DOD is adopting a leaner mentality with a focus on innovation and technical capabilities. Read more