News roundup: Graves’ ‘Prove It’ bill passes US House … LSU Health Shreveport braces for more state budget cuts … SBA competition seeks innovative solutions to help ex-offenders start, grow businesses

    Fighting regulations: The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a sweeping regulatory reform bill that requires federal agencies to prove the actual cost of compliance with federal regulations. Known as the Prove It Act, the bill was introduced by Rep. Garret Graves in 2016 and was added to the Regulatory Accountability Act. It requires regulators to collect the cost of regulations from families and businesses in order to get a better understanding of their effectiveness. Since 2009, more than 600 major rules have been finalized, which Graves says costs every American household approximately $15,000 each year. “And in Louisiana, the impact of federal regulation on our industries is 74 percent higher than the impact on the nation overall—making it the most regulated state in the country,” reads Graves’ release. The bill moves on the Senate, where it faces the threat of a Democrat filibuster, Reuters reports. See the full release.

    On the chopping block: LSU Health Shreveport is bracing for the possibility of more budget cuts, The Shreveport Times reports. Dr. G.E. Ghali, the medical school’s chancellor, says LSU’s north Louisiana medical school could be forced to shutter certain departments to save crucial ones such as its trauma center, its St. Jude-affiliated cancer center and its state-of-the-art burn center if the state cuts higher education funding again. LSU Health is already under a hiring freeze and has limited the spending of government funds on travel. The school has about $70 million in reserves and must not fall below $50 million to retain accreditation. Ghali says he’ll do everything in his power to save the school’s level 1 trauma center. Read the full story. 

    Up for grabs: The U.S. Small Business Administration is giving away 16 grants of up to $75,000 each to entrepreneurial support organizations that propose sustainable, innovative solutions to equip formerly-incarcerated individuals with the education and technical assistance they need to start and grow a business. The competition is known as the Aspire Challenge and is being conducted under the America Competes Act. Contestants have until Feb. 12 to submit their application through the System for Award Management. Winners will be announced no later than March 14. Get more information. 

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