Capital Roundup

Bill would create tech transfer center<@VM>House OKs info-sharing bill<@VM>Congress fails Section 508 test

The House Defense Authorization Act, H.R. 4546, contains a provision for the creation of a technology transfer center that would pass military technology on to emergency first responders.

The House passed the bill in May with a 359-58 vote. First responders include fire and rescue personnel. The technologies could include global positioning system transponders and sensors to monitor heart rates and bodily systems.

The tech transfer center would be run by a nonprofit, technology-based group with experience in transferring military technologies developed by public and private entities to federal, state and local first responders. Working with government agencies and commercial developers of technology, the nonprofit would develop and deploy technology that will improve public safety.The Homeland Security Information Sharing Act, H.R. 4598, which would help federal, state and local agencies share counterterrorism information, has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee.

The legislation directs the president, attorney general and director of central intelligence to create procedures for sharing classified or sensitive threat information among federal, state and local officials. The bill requires agencies to take classified details out of information before sharing it.

Rep. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, sponsored the bill.The House Disability Caucus is lobbying fellow members to make their Web sites accessible to people with disabilities.

Of more than 400 member and committee Web sites, few meet the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, from which Congress exempted itself.

At least one member of the 30-person caucus, Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., is introducing a bill to force the legislative branch to comply with Section 508. At an event last month marking the one-year anniversary of the provision, Langevin said improving the situation is a matter of educating members of Congress about accessibility.

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