Federal Relations

July 29, 2015

Senate HELP Hearing on Sexual Assault

The Senate HELP Committee’s will hold another hearing related to the Higher Education Act reauthorization today. This hearing will focus on combating campus sexual assault. Sexual assault is one of four key areas for which Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) established staff working groups to guide the committee’s reauthorization process.  Sen. Alexander is in Tennessee today due to an unexpected conflict, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) will lead the hearing in his absence. Much of the focus of the hearing, indirectly, will be on the Senate’s Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA) legislation, which was introduced last Congress and again this year.

There will be two panels at the hearing today. First up, CASA sponsors Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) Dean Heller (R-NV), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) will speak on much-discussed CASA bill. A second panel will feature safety advocates and higher education officials: Dana Bolger, Co-founder of Know Your IX; Dolores Stafford, Executive Director of the National Association of Clery Compliance Officers and Professionals and President and CEO of D. Stafford & Associates; and Mollie Benz Flounlacker, Associate Vice President for Federal relations at the Association of American Universities. University of California President Janet Napolitano will also testify about the bill – which includes provisions she supports and others she takes issue with – and the need to improve existing laws.

The hearing starts at 9 a.m. EST and will be live streamed.