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CDFA Legislative and Federal Affairs Update - August 6, 2019

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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update
August 6, 2019
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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update

Legislative Features

Sen. Murkowski Introduces Bill to Help Local Energy Infrastructure
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has introduced legislation to improve access to the Department of Energy's Section 1703 loan guarantee program. The bill would allow certain state financing entities to be fully eligible for the program, providing a new pathway for states to secure financing for projects that will reduce energy costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Two-Year Budget Deal Signed into Law
The two-year, bipartisan budget deal the President signed on Friday afternoon brings a slight sense of security to federal employees and their agencies, setting topline spending figures for 2020 and 2021. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 raises defense and domestic spending limits for the next two years by about $100 billion. It also extends the debt ceiling through July 31, 2021.

U.S. Senate Committee Advances $287B Highway Bill
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 21-0 to advance a $287 billion bill that would fund the repair and maintenance of  roads and bridges over five years, expedite permitting processes for major infrastructure projects and make transportation systems more resilient to climate change effects.

Offshore Wind Tax Credits Could Be Included in a Fall Tax Extenders Package
Two bills recently introduced in the U.S. Senate — one of them on a bipartisan basis — would extend the 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC) for offshore wind projects for another six to eight years, giving the nascent industry more time to get on its feet. The prolongation could be included in a tax extenders package likely to come up for a vote this fall.

Reps. Sewell, Reed Introduce Legislation to Help Finance Local Infrastructure Projects
U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell (AL-07) and Tom Reed (NY-23), both members of the House Committee on Ways and Means, introduced the Municipal Bond Market Support Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation to help local governments, non-profits, schools, hospitals, universities and other entities reduce costs associated with infrastructure and development projects.

Sen. Kennedy Seeks Momentum for MSRB Reform Bill
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Reform Act of 2019 has been awaiting Senate Banking Committee action since its introduction at the end of April. Among other things, Kennedy's bill would whittle down to 15 the 21-member board and require a five-year cooling-off period for public members who have previously worked as bankers, brokers, or municipal advisors.

Several Pieces of Federal Legislation Propose PAB Expansions
The use of private activity bonds would be expanded to include financing for new charging stations for zero-emission vehicles under recently introduced Greener Transportation for Communities Act. Several other bills that would expand the usage of PABs have been introduced in this Congress, including the Move America Act and the Public Buildings Renewal Act.

Carbon Capture Legislation Means Potential for a New Type of Exempt Facility Bond
Senators Bennet and Portman introduced Senate Bill 1763 (the "Carbon Capture Bill"), which would allow the issuance of exempt facility bonds for qualified carbon dioxide capture facilities. The bipartisan bill encourages continued use of carbon-generating natural resources by providing a new tax-exempt financing option for carbon capture and sequestration.

Upcoming Events
CDFA Summer School

CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: Opportunity Zones and Transportation Infrastructure featuring DOT and EDA
August 22, 2019 - 2:00 PM Eastern
In this webinar, CDFA will convene financing experts from the Department of Transportation and Economic Development Administration to discuss how their respective financing and grant programs can incentivize Opportunity Fund investments into Opportunity Zones. CDFA will center the discussion around programs offered through DOT's Build America Bureau and Federal Highway Administion, as well as funding programs offered by the EDA.

Federal Features

EPA to Close Las Vegas, NV Finance Center, Relocate Employees to Consolidate Workforce
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to close its Las Vegas Finance Center and relocate its staff to facilities across the country, doubling down on efforts that began last year to shrink its real estate footprint across the country.

Delays in Federal Grants Cause Uncertainty for Issuers
Despite President Trump's apparent zeal for investments in infrastructure, cutting the red tape on federal grants is taking longer than anticipated and a lack of transparency and consistency from the federal government's executive branch is not giving comfort to the municipal market.

More Than $400M Available for USDA REAP Loan Guarantees
The USDA is encouraging rural small businesses and agricultural producers to apply for financing in a key USDA program that provides loan guarantees to help rural small businesses lower their energy costs. USDA accepts applications for REAP funding year-round. Potential applicants should contact their state USDA Rural Development office for additional information.

EPA Announces $218M Water Infrastructure Loan to Silicon Valley
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $218 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to Silicon Valley Clean Water (SVCW) to finance wastewater infrastructure upgrades that will protect public health and the San Francisco Bay.

HUD Bets on Tech Innovation for Opportunity Zones
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced that it will co-lead an Opportunity Zone-focused workforce challenge of the U.S. Census Bureau's "The Opportunity Project (TOP)" initiative. TOP is an accelerator program that matches tech companies, universities, government, and communities together to create useful digital products for the public.

IRS Still Has a Lot on Its OZ Regulations Plate
The second and likely final public hearing for the Opportunity Zones incentive showed that the incentive's staunchest advocates are still hoping the federal government makes some changes to the rules before they are finalized. The second hearing was held on July 9, 2019.

Federal Funding Uncertainty Stunting Infrastructure Finance
Infrastructure leaders need predictable funding to plan for large projects, and uncertainty about the future of federal spending is hampering the ability of state departments of transportation to structure financings that include bonding.

IRS to be Modernized with Passage of Taxpayer First Act
H.R. 3151 is now the law of the land. The Taxpayer First Act revises requirements for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding its organizational structure, customer service, enforcement procedures, cybersecurity and identity protection, management of information technology, and use of electronic systems.

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 Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
The federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows eligable users to claim up to 30% of expenditures for energy projects.

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

Community Economic Adjustment Assistance for Establishment, Expansion, Realignment, or Closure of a Military Installation Program
The Community Economic Adjustment Assistance for Establishment, Expansion, Realignment, or Closure of a Military Installation program assists States and local governments to: plan and carry out...

Agency Seal U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program,...

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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