The state of legislation


* President Clinton signed the Electronic Signatures in Global and

National Commerce Act, or "E-Sign," on June 30.


* Eleven appropriations bills remain and include billions of dollars

for research and development in information technology, new money to expand

and start new IT programs in virtually every federal agency, and funds for

enhanced cyber-security. Outlook: Good.

* H-1B visas: Lawmakers want to lift the cap on visas for foreign technology

workers. The current 115,000 visa limit was reached in March. Legislation

would raise the cap to 200,000 in fiscal 2001. Outlook: Good.

* China trade: Backed by the IT community, this legislation would lower

trade barriers to China and open up new markets for technology. Outlook:


* Moratorium on Internet taxes: A bill now pending in the Senate would

extend for five years the moratorium on new Internet taxes and would simplify

other Internet tax issues. Outlook: Unlikely.

* Administration procurement regulations: This legislation would require

federal agencies to more effectively track outsourcing costs and savings

and force contracting competitions between government workers and the private

sector. Outlook: Unlikely.


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