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Matthew Shapanka

Matthew Shapanka draws on more than 15 years of experience from Capitol Hill, private practice, state government, and political campaigns to counsel clients significant legislative, regulatory, and enforcement matters. He develops and executes complex, multifaceted public policy initiatives for clients seeking actions by Congress, state legislatures, and federal and state government agencies, many with significant legal and political opportunities and risks. Matt also leads the firm’s state policy practice, advising clients on complex multistate legislative and regulatory policy matters and managing state advocacy efforts.

Matt rejoined Covington after serving as Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, where he advised Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on all legal, policy, and oversight matters before the Committee, including federal election and campaign finance law, Federal Election Commission nominations, and oversight of legislative branch agencies, U.S. Capitol security, and Senate rules and regulations. Most significantly, Matt led the Committee’s staff work on the Electoral Count Reform Act – a landmark bipartisan law enacted in 2022 to update the procedures for certifying and counting votes in presidential elections —and the Committee’s joint (with the Homeland Security Committee) bipartisan investigation into the security planning and response to the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

Both in Congress and at Covington, Matt has prepared dozens of corporate and nonprofit executives, academics, government officials, and presidential nominees for testimony at congressional committee hearings and depositions. He is also an experienced legislative drafter who has composed dozens of bills introduced in Congress and state legislatures, including several that have been enacted into law across multiple policy areas.

In addition to his policy work, Matt advises and represents clients on the full range of political law compliance and enforcement matters involving federal election, campaign finance, lobbying, and government ethics laws, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s “Pay-to-Play” rule, and the election and political laws of states and municipalities across the country.

Before law school, Matt worked in the administration of former Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA) as a research analyst in the Massachusetts Recovery & Reinvestment Office, where he worked on policy, communications, and compliance matters for federal economic recovery funding awarded to the state. He has also worked for federal, state, and local political candidates in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Nearly a year after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) launched the SAFE Innovation Framework for artificial intelligence (AI) with Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Todd Young (R-IN), the bipartisan group has released a 31-page “Roadmap” for AI policy.  The overarching theme of the Roadmap is “harnessing the full potential of AI while minimizing the risks of AI in the near and long term.”

In contrast to Europe’s approach to regulating AI, the Roadmap does not propose or even contemplate a comprehensive AI law.  Rather, it identifies key themes and areas of agreement and directs the relevant congressional committees of jurisdiction to legislate on key issues.  The Roadmap recommendations are informed by the nine AI Insight Forums that the bipartisan group convened over the last year.Continue Reading Bipartisan Senate AI Roadmap Released

In the absence of congressional action on comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) legislation, state legislatures are forging ahead with groundbreaking bills to regulate the rapidly advancing technology.  On May 8, the Colorado House of Representatives passed SB 205, a far-reaching and comprehensive AI bill, on a 41-22-2 vote.  The final vote comes just days after the state Senate’s passage of the bill on May 3, making Colorado the first state in the nation to send comprehensive AI legislation to its governor for signing.  While Governor Jared Polis (D) has not indicated whether he will sign or veto the bill, if SB 205 becomes law, it would establish a broad regulatory regime for developers and deployers of “high-risk” AI systems. Continue Reading Colorado Becomes the First State to Pass Comprehensive AI Legislation

As the 2024 elections approach and the window for Congress to consider bipartisan comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) legislation shrinks, California officials are attempting to guard against a generative AI free-for-all—at least with respect to state government use of the rapidly advancing technology—by becoming the largest state to issue rules for state procurement of AI technologies.  Without nationwide federal rules, standards set by state government procurement rules may ultimately add another layer of complexity to the patchwork of AI-related rules and standards emerging in the states.

On March 21, 2024, the California Government Operations Agency (GovOps) published interim guidelines for government procurement of generative AI technologies.  The new guidance directs state officials responsible for awarding and managing public contracts to identify risks of generative AI, monitor the technology’s use, and train staff on acceptable use, including for procurements that only involve “incidental” AI elements.  For “intentional” generative AI procurements, where an agency is specifically seeking to purchase a generative AI product or service, the guidelines impose a higher standard: in addition to the requirements that apply to “incidental” purchases, agencies seeking generative AI technologies are responsible for articulating the need for using generative AI prior to procurement, testing the technology prior to implementation, and establishing a dedicated team to monitor the AI on an ongoing basis.Continue Reading California Establishes Working Guidance for AI Procurement

Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senators Todd Young (R-IN), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) recently introduced the Future of AI Innovation Act, a legislative package that addresses key bipartisan priorities to promote AI safety, standardization, and access.  The bill would also advance U.S. leadership in AI by facilitating R&D and creating testbeds for AI systems.Continue Reading New Bipartisan Senate Legislation Aims to Bolster U.S. AI Research and Deployment

A New Orleans magician recently made headlines for using artificial intelligence (AI) to  emulate President Biden’s voice without his consent in a misleading robocall to New Hampshire voters. This was not a magic trick, but rather a demonstration of the risks AI-generated “deepfakes” pose to election integrity.  As rapidly evolving AI capabilities collide with the ongoing 2024 elections, federal and state policymakers increasingly are taking steps to protect the public from the threat of deceptive AI-generated political content.

Media generated by AI to imitate an individual’s voice or likeness present significant challenges for regulators.  As deepfakes increasingly become indistinguishable from authentic content, members of Congress, federal regulatory agencies, and third-party stakeholders all have called for action to mitigate the threats deepfakes can pose for elections.  Continue Reading As States Lead Efforts to Address Deepfakes in Political Ads, Federal Lawmakers Seek Nationwide Policies

On April 2, the California Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Safe and Secure Innovation for Frontier Artificial Intelligence Models Act (SB 1047) and favorably reported the bill in a 9-0 vote (with 2 members not voting).  The vote marks a major step toward comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) regulation in a state that is home to both Silicon Valley and the nation’s first comprehensive privacy law.Continue Reading California Senate Committee Advances Comprehensive AI Bill

On February 20, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) announced a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) task force in the House of Representatives, with the goal of developing principles and policies to promote U.S. leadership and security with respect to AI.  Rep. Jay Olbernolte (R-CA) will chair the task force, joined by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) as co-chair.  Several other senior members of the California delegation, including Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and retiring Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), will participate in the effort as well.Continue Reading New Bipartisan House Task Force May Signal Legislative Momentum on Artificial Intelligence

On January 30, 2024, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a request for information (RFI) soliciting public input on how agencies can be more effective in their use of privacy impact assessments (PIAs) to mitigate privacy risks, including those “exacerbated by artificial intelligence (AI).”  The RFI notes that federal agencies may develop

Recently, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced new legislation to address transparency and accountability for artificial intelligence (AI) systems, including those deployed for certain “critical impact” use cases. While many other targeted, bipartisan AI bills have been introduced in both chambers of Congress, this bill appears to be one of the first to propose specific legislative text for broadly regulating AI testing and use across industries.Continue Reading Bipartisan group of Senators introduce new AI transparency legislation

The field of artificial intelligence (“AI”) is at a tipping point. Governments and industries are under increasing pressure to forecast and guide the evolution of a technology that promises to transform our economies and societies. In this series, our lawyers and advisors provide an overview of the policy approaches and regulatory frameworks for AI in jurisdictions around the world. Given the rapid pace of technological and policy developments in this area, the articles in this series should be viewed as snapshots in time, reflecting the current policy environment and priorities in each jurisdiction.

The following article examines the state of play in AI policy and regulation in the United States. The previous article in this series covered the European Union.Continue Reading Spotlight Series on Global AI Policy — Part II: U.S. Legislative and Regulatory Developments