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CDFA Legislative and Federal Affairs Update - February 4, 2020

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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update
February 4, 2020
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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update

Legislative Features

Senator Scott Mulls Bill Giving States a Mulligan on Choosing Opportunity Zones
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said at the United States Conference of Mayors that he is considering a bill that would allow local and state governments to revisit a small percentage of the census tracts that were, or were not, designated opportunity zones in 2018. Scott said he is in discussions with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), his fellow co-sponsor on the original legislation, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), on a new bill.

Joint Committee on Taxation Report: Overview of Selected Provisions for Financing Infrastructure Investments
This report by the Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation was prepared on January 29, 2020 for a hearing before the House Committee on Ways and Means. It discusses an overview of infrastructure financing options, including the highway trust fund, infrastructure banks, tax-exempt bonds, P3s, NMTCs, Opportunity Zones, LIHTCs, and Historic Rehab Tax Credits.

House Ways and Means Committee Unveils Infrastructure Proposal
The House Ways and Means Committee has released its much-anticipated infrastructure proposal. It includes $760 billion over five years for transportation, broadband, water, wastewater, and brownfields redevelopment. It also would expand many existing clean energy financing programs as well as tax credits like the NMTC, LIHTC, and HTC.

House Leadership Releases Puerto Rico Aid Bill - Includes New Markets Tax Credits
The House Democratic Leadership released a supplemental appropriations bill increasing aid to Puerto Rico. The bill, referred to as the Puerto Rico Earthquake Supplemental, contains over $4.6 billion in education, transportation, and infrastructure (CDBG) aid. It also includes an allocation of New Markets Tax Credits for Puerto Rico.

Bill Introduced to Improve Economic Prosperity of Native Communities
US Sen. Brian Schatz and Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawai'i joined fellow senators from Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan in introducing legislation aimed at improving the economic prosperity of Native communities. The "Inspiring Nationally Vibrant Economies Sustaining Tribes or INVEST Act seeks to improve the existing New Markets Tax Credit program to more effectively reach Native communities.

Upcoming Events
CDFA Federal Policy Conference

Intro Bond Finance WebCourse
February 26-27, 2020 - Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Bond Finance WebCourse provides an in-depth look at governmental and qualified private activity bonds, with a focus on industrial development bonds (IDBs), 501(c)(3) non-profit bonds, exempt facility bonds, and other special bond programs authorized by the federal government.

Strategies for Successful Funding through USDA's ReConnect Program
February 12, 2020 - 2:00 PM Eastern
Join CDFA and experts from across the country as we discuss creative solutions for responding to ReConnect's funding notice, and learn from the successes of the program thus far.

Federal Features

EDA's Five Investment Priorities
For local communities interested in knowing where the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is at with their current investment priorities, this month's speech at the 88th Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors delivered by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development and Chief Operating Officer Dennis Alvord pointed the way.

HUD Announces Nationwide Bus Tour Focused on Affordable Housing
The White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing is engaging communities across the country on ways to increase housing supply so more Americans have access to affordable housing. The Council's Chair, Secretary Ben Carson, is leading a nationwide listening tour to hear directly from communities about their experience with barriers to affordable housing.

Learn Application Strategies for USDA's ReConnect Program from the Experts
During the first round of USDA's ReConnect Loan and Grant Program, a total of $317 million was invested in high-speed broadband. ReConnect was so successful that USDA has announced a second round with $550 million available in 2020. Join CDFA and experts from across the country as we discuss creative solutions for responding to ReConnect's funding notice, and learn from the successes of the program thus far.

FSA Tells Producers to Enroll in Agriculture Risk Loss, Price Loss Coverage Programs
USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages agricultural producers to enroll now in the Agriculture Risk Loss (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. March 15, 2020, is the enrollment deadline for the 2019 crop year. Although more than 200,000 producers have enrolled to date, FSA anticipates 1.5 million producers will enroll for ARC and PLC.

Feds Propose Overhaul of Environmental Reviews for Controversial Projects
The Trump Administration is proposing significant revisions to the implementing regulations of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). NEPA requires federal agencies to provide a documented evaluation, with public input, of the environmental impacts of a proposed project that involves federal approval or funding, such as grants, contracts, loans, or permits.

U.S. Department of Transportation Releases New Interactive Opportunity Zones Map
The U.S. Department of Transportation's new interactive map provides information about the location and characteristics of significant transportation-related facilities that are located in or near Opportunity Zones.

OCC, FDIC to Publish CRA Proposal; Official Explains Fed's Alternative
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and FDIC will publish their joint notice of proposed rulemaking for updated Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations in the Federal Register. Meanwhile, Lael Brainard - a member of the Fed's board of governors - explained that the Fed opted out of the proposed rulemaking because it desired metrics more focused on local conditions and bank sizes.

Building a Clean Future Can Drive an Additional $8B a Year to Rural Communities
Rural communities face many challenges, and climate change is only making matters worse. This issue brief identifies ways climate policy can address the needs of rural communities by focusing on supporting rural livelihoods; protecting natural lands and farmland from development; and keeping water clean.

Energy Developers Consider Brownfields as Federal Incentives Are Set to Expire
As federal tax incentives for wind and solar energy projects set to expire this year, project costs will increase, which is sure to impact the renewable energy market in 2020. One approach for utilities looking to develop renewable energy is to consider siting the project on brownfields to reduce project costs and speed up permitting timelines.

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 Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank)

Finance Lease Guarantees
EXIM supports competitive medium-term financing structured as finance leases in addition to financing structured as installment loans.

Agency Seal Northern Border Regional Commission

State Planning Grants
The NBRC can assist Member States to develop comprehensive economic and infrastructure development plans for their NBRC counties.

Agency Seal U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants
This program helps eligible communities prepare, or recover from, an emergency that threatens the availability of safe, reliable drinking water.

Agency Seal U.S. Dept. of Commerce (DOC)

Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Program
The IMCP program encourages communities to develop comprehensive economic development strategies. Under IMCP, 11 federal agencies with more than $1 billion in grant funding can use the designees'...

New Additions to the Online Resource Database

Moving America and the Environment Forward Framework
Bond Finance | Brownfield Financing | Community Development | Energy Finance | Federal | Green Finance | Housing Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Innovation Finance | Legislative | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Tax Credits | Water Finance
"Moving America and the Environment Forward" is a House Ways and Means Committee statement of principles on how the committee wants to approach an infrastructure bill. It includes $760 billion of proposals.

Precedents for the National Climate Bank - Federal Financing via Independent Institutions
Bond Finance | Energy Finance | Green Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Legislative
The National Climate Bank Act of 2019 was introduced in the U.S. Senate on July 8, and in the House on December 12, 2019. This paper discusses their lessons and precedents for the National Climate Bank, including relevant details of their formation, legal status, capitalization, governance, mission, and accomplishments.

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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