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CDFA Legislative and Federal Affairs Update - June 2, 2020

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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update
June 2, 2020
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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update


CDFA Mobilizes Coalition of Partners to Urge Congress to Reauthorize Funding for SSBCI
The Council of Development Finance Agencies and our broad coalition of partners have asked Congress to reauthorize funding for the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) in the next stimulus. You can sign the letter by visiting the CDFA Outreach Center.

Development Finance Agencies Urge Congress to Include Bond Provisions in Stimulus
The Council of Development Finance Agencies, along with hundreds of development finance agencies from across the country, have asked Congress to include a bond finance title in the next stimulus act. This policy is an essential component of CDFA's COVID-19 Comprehensive Recovery Strategy. You can sign the letter by visiting the CDFA Outreach Center.

Legislative Features

Opportunity Zone Bill May Help Companies That Missed PPP Funds
Reps. John Curtis, R-Utah, and Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, introduced the Small Business Opportunity Zone Act in April, which would allow small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to be classified qualifying businesses in which investors can receive favorable opportunity zone tax benefits, regardless of location.

Farming Support to States Act Responds to Unmet Need of Agriculture
U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) along with Representatives Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) introduced the Farming Support to States Act, to provide state departments of agriculture with access to immediate, flexible funding to aid in responding to urgent and emerging issues in the food and agriculture supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advance Refunding Could Be Inserted into a Bipartisan HEROES Act
Reinstatement of advance refundings could be a relatively low-cost addition to the $3 trillion House-passed HEROES Act as congressional Democrats negotiate changes with Senate Republicans and the Trump administration, according to a leading Republican on the House Municipal Finance Caucus.

In the Face of COVID-19, State Legislators Push for Federal Support of Local Food Systems
On April 23, a coalition of 128 state legislators from 34 states sent a letter to USDA Secretary Perdue. They expressed strong concerns about how the USDA is planning to allocate the $9.5 billion that the CARES Act designated for local food producers, and urged the agency to prioritize relief for small and mid-sized farms for regional markets while paying special attention to historically underserved groups.

$3T COVID-19 Relief Legislation Introduced
House Democrats unveiled a $3 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, their proposal for "Phase 4" of pandemic relief legislation. The HEROES Act would provide nearly $1 trillion to state and local governments to avert layoffs and $200 billion in hazard pay for essential workers. It also includes $1,200 direct payments to individuals.

Transit Systems Ask for $33B More From Washington
A coalition of transit agencies and labor leaders repeated the call for roughly $33 billion in combined aid, on top of the $25 billion they received under the federal CARES Act. The new amount exceeds by $10 billion what the American Public Transportation Association sought in its letter to Congress.

House Ag Subcommittee Introduce Legislation to Better Connect Farmers, Food Banks
The Farm to Food Bank Enhancement Act would provide $25 million for states to expand or establish new Farm to Food bank projects and this funding would be used to cover up to 100 percent of harvesting, processing, packaging, and transportation costs for covered commodities.

FEED Act Introduced to Help Restaurants Deliver Meals to the Hungry
A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill aimed at helping restaurants and feeding vulnerable populations during the coronavirus pandemic. The FEMA Empowering Essential Deliveries (FEED) Act would have the federal government pay 100 percent of the cost for state and local governments to work with restaurants and nonprofits to prepare meals for populations including seniors and underprivileged children.

Committee-Approved Water Legislation Would Increase Federal Funding
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works passed its bipartisan America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 and Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 Wednesday morning, voting 21-0. AWIA authorizes $17 billion in new federal spending to invest in water infrastructure as municipalities grapple with coronavirus' impact on their water systems.

Upcoming Events
CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: Federal Recovery Resources from HUD

CDFA-PFM Capital Markets Webinar Series: Impacts of COVID-19 on the Bond Market
Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 3:00 - 4:30 PM Eastern
During the first installment of the CDFA-PFM Capital Markets Webinar Series, we will focus on the market impacts of COVID-19 thus far and what we can expect going forward.

CDFA-Bricker PACE Webinar Series: PACE Program Efficiency - Managing An Effective PACE Program
Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Eastern
In this webinar, PACE professionals explore best practices in establishing and managing a PACE program and about new efficiencies being developed to drive more effective delivery of PACE programs and projects.

CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: Building the Road to Recovery
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 - 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Central
During the third installment of the CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series, we will discuss the development finance tools that can support rural economies as they rebuild to be stronger than ever.

Federal Features

CARES Act PPP Enforcement Escalates
Several government entities — including the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice and others — have begun review and enforcement actions related to the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program loans.

CDFI Fund Opens FY 2020 Capital Magnet Fund Funding Round
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) opened today the fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding round for the Capital Magnet Fund.

SBA, Treasury Announce $10B for CDFIs to Participate in the Paycheck Protection Program
Today the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, announced that it is setting aside $10 billion of Round 2 funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to be lent exclusively by CDFIs. CDFIs work to expand economic opportunity in low-income communities by providing access to financial products and services for local residents and businesses.

$302M in Federal Grants Awarded for Rail Infrastructure
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded more than $302 million in grants for twelve projects in nine states to upgrade track and railroad crossings. An additional $93.4 million is available from the original grant program designation and will be announced later in 2020.

USDA Invests $281M in Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in 36 States, Puerto Rico
The USDA has announced that the department is investing $281 million in 106 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities in 36 states and Puerto Rico. These funds come through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program and can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage, and waste disposal systems.

IRS Allows Employers to Claim Tax Credit for Paying Furloughed Employees' Health Premiums
Employers that qualify for the CARES Act's employee retention credit may treat health plan expenses paid to furloughed employees as qualified wages for purposes of the retention credit. Qualified employers that do not pay wages to laid off or furloughed employees but continue health coverage for those employees may treat the associated health plan expenses as qualified wages, the IRS said.

Treasury Announces Intention to Modify Continuity Safe Harbor for Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit, Investment Tax Credit
A letter from the U.S. Department of Treasury to a group of U.S. senators says rules will be issued to modify the continuity safe harbor for the renewable energy production tax credit and investment tax credit. The Treasury letter was in response to an earlier letter from the bipartisan group of senators that said that many developers were unable to meet deadlines required to claim the credits due to interruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

USDA Approves $1.2B for Farmers to Families Food Box Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved $1.2 billion in contracts to support American producers and communities in need through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program, which is part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that was developed to help farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency.

Applicants Selected for FY 2020 Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants
The EPA announced that 151 communities were selected to receive 155 grants totaling $65.6 million in EPA Brownfields funding through our Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) Grants to assess, clean up and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance Now Available
Applications are now being accepted for EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau's flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide range of financial assistance to communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

Federal Financing Clearinghouse Spotlight

CDFA's Federal Financing Clearinghouse is the only online resource cataloging the development finance programs offered by the federal government. Check out our featured agencies and programs below. >>> Learn More

Agency Seal U.S. Dept. of Defense (DOD)

Economic Adjustment Assistance for State Governments
The Economic Adjustment Assistance for State Governments program provides technical and financial assistance to a State, or an entity of State government, to enhance its capacities to assist...

Agency Seal U.S. Dept. of Education (DoED)

Education Stabilization Fund Discretionary Grants
Congress set aside 1% of the $30.75 billion allotted to the Education Stabilization Fund through the CARES Act for grants to States with the highest coronavirus burden. The Department will make these...

Agency Seal U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE)

Energy Savings Performance Contracts
These 2 programs assist federal, state, and local agencies to develop energy savings performance contract (ESPC) projects that help agencies meet energy efficiency, renewable energy, water...

Agency Seal U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS)

NIH Common Fund
The Common Fund of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has received over $540 million. The distribution goals of the Common Fund are the same as those for funds distributed to the NIH Institutes...

The Council of Development Finance Agencies is a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation's leading and most knowledgeable members of the development finance community representing public, private and non-profit entities alike. For more information visit CDFA.net or email info@cdfa.net

Council of Development Finance Agencies
100 E. Broad Street, Suite 1200
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 705-1300


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