|Sponsor||Rep. Fudge, Marcia L.|
|Committee||Education and Labor|
|Date||November 3, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)|
|Staff Contact||Sarah Makin|
H.R. 2136 is expected to be considered under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) on April 28, 2009. The Committee on Education and Labor took no official action on the bill.
H.R. 2136 directs the Secretary of Education to make competitive grants to private or public colleges or universities, fraternities, or sororities for installing fire sprinkler systems, or other fire suppression or prevention technologies, in student housing. These grants may cover up to half the cost of installing such systems. Priority will be given to applicants with the greatest financial need. The bill reserves at least 10 percent of total funding for historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, tribally controlled colleges and universities, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions, and institutions of higher education that are eligible for Institutional Aid under the Higher Education Act of 1965; and at least 10 percent for social fraternities and sororities.
The Secretary must report to Congress within one year of enactment on the grant program. The bill authorizes such sums as necessary for fiscal years 2010-2012.
This legislation states that applications or negative determinations under this Act may not be admissible as evidence in the proceeding of any court.
On May 21, 2008, a fire at an off-campus house in Ithaca, New York, killed one student. Eighteen people died in campus-related fires during the 2007-2008 academic year. This is the second-highest total since 2000. To find more information on College Fire Safety, see the U.S. Fire Administration website.
There is no CBO estimate available for H.R. 2136.
The program includes Native Hawaiian-serving institutions as beneficiaries of grant money. Since Native Hawaiians are a racial group and not a tribe, some Members may be concerned that such financial assistance on the basis of race would likely be subject to "strict scrutiny" in federal courts and presumptively unconstitutional.