The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted today to advance the Computers for Veterans and Students (COVS) Act, which would open a new pipeline for the Federal government to send computer gear to students and veterans.

The COVS Act would direct the General Services Administration (GSA) to transfer surplus computers and technology equipment from Federal agencies to nonprofit groups to refurbish the equipment and send it to educational institutions, veterans, individuals with disabilities, low-income individuals, students, or seniors.

Currently, GSA’s Computers for Learning Program already distributes surplus computer gear to schools and educational nonprofits, but does not allow the equipment to be transferred directly to refurbishers.

If passed, the bill would require refurbishers receiving the surplus equipment to also offer training courses on the use of the technology.

The bill was introduced in the House by Reps. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., Rob Wittman, R-Va., and Elaine Luria, D-Va. In April 2022, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform approved the legislation, and later in July was approved by the full House.

The legislation now advances to the Senate floor for full consideration.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.