US suspends expedited handling for some H-1B visas | Project addresses Houston flooding threat | Rules on rear-seat safety-belt reminders on hold
March 21, 2018
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US suspends expedited handling for some H-1B visas
US Citizenship and Immigration Services is suspending a program that lets employers get H-1B visa applications processed within 15 days for an extra fee, likely through Sept. 10. The purpose of the change is to accelerate processing for the overall program, the agency says.
Axios (3/20) 
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Federal, State & Local Update
Project addresses Houston flooding threat
Sediment buildup in creeks feeding Houston's Addicks and Barker reservoirs exacerbated the flooding from Hurricane Harvey, and now construction crews are addressing the threat. Sediment buildup will be removed and creek banks will be restored in the $13.3 million Harris County flood-control project.
Houston Public Media (3/19) 
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Rules on rear-seat safety-belt reminders on hold
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has taken no steps to require seat-belt reminders for rear-seat passengers in the six years since Congress approved legislation instructing NHTSA to do so. NHTSA expects to make its first efforts toward developing the rules in October, a spokesperson said.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (3/20) 
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Transportation & Public Works
Ariz.: No immediate changes planned for self-driving car rules
Following an accident in which an Uber Technologies self-driving vehicle being tested in Tempe, Ariz., struck and killed a pedestrian, an Arizona state transportation official said the existing self-driving vehicle rules are adequate and the state has no immediate plans to change them. "There will be issues that the legislature will have to address in the future as these become more widespread," said Kevin Biesty, Arizona's director for policy and communications at the state's department of transportation.
Reuters (3/20) 
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Military, Tech & Public Safety
Health, Education & Human Services
HHS secretary says drug price proposals coming soon
The Trump administration will issue proposals "in about a month" to reduce high prescription drug prices, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said.
The Hill (3/19) 
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Md. hospital initiative with CMS yields $586M in savings
An initiative between the CMS and Maryland hospitals that focuses on better patient care coordination and a capped budget has led to $586 million in savings three years into the five-year program, according to state regulators. Program goals include reduced spending and improved care through fewer hospital readmissions, hospital-acquired infections and other measures.
The Baltimore Sun (3/16) 
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Leadership, Management & Ethics
How to overcome a "not my job" culture
If team members are not willing to help each other, it may indicate discontent caused by management, writes William Vanderbloemen. Leaders need to exemplify a culture of collaboration and be willing to dismiss a toxic employee or executive, he writes.
SmartBrief/Leadership (3/15) 
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The best feedback focuses on the future
Feedback should look to help someone learn going forward and not simply be a list of criticisms, writes Shubha Apte. "Feedback can work wonders for continuous development and is often considered a gift for improvement," she writes.
Lead Change (3/19) 
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