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CDFA Legislative and Federal Affairs Update - March 2, 2021

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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update
March 2, 2021
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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update


SSBCI Included in American Rescue Plan Passed by U.S. House of Representatives
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package to support COVID-19 recovery and relief. This bill includes $10 billion to reauthorize the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) - a top legislative priority of CDFA and a key tenet of our Policy Priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration.

CDFA Releases Policy Priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration
Development Finance Solutions for Building Back Better: Policy Priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration outlines 18 key development finance policies, including reforms to Opportunity Zones. Built in collaboration with development finance agencies across the country and several key advocacy partners, this paper provides a roadmap for the new administration to use development finance solutions to address the numerous interconnected challenges facing the U.S. economy.

Legislative Features

Bills Introduced in Senate, House Call for NMTC to Receive Permanent Extension at $5B
The New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2021 has been introduced in the House by Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Tom Reed (R-NY), and in the Senate by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). The legislation permanently extends NMTC at $5 billion in annual credit authority, adjusts that amount for inflation in future years, and provides an exception from the Alternative Minimum Tax for New Markets investments.

Sen. Tester: Successful Small Business Relief Program Must Be Included in Upcoming COVID Package
During a Senate Banking Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Jon Tester underscored the need to include funding in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package for the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI)—a program that was massively successful in helping Montana's main street businesses recover from the last economic crisis. Currently, President Biden's COVID-19 relief proposal includes $10 billion for the program.

Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Increase Access to Healthy Foods, Eliminate Food Deserts
U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), joined by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), introduced the Healthy Food Access for All Americans (HFAAA) Act. The legislation aims to expand access to affordable and nutritious food in areas designated as "food deserts" by the USDA. It would grant tax credits or grants to food providers who service low-access communities and attain a "Special Access Food Provider" (SAFP) certification through the Treasury Department.

Buttigieg Boosts Hopes for Tax-Exempt Refunding Bonds
Lawmakers, bond lawyers, and other proponents of tax-exempt refunding bonds are hopeful Congress will reinstate the instruments, bolstered by comments made by recently-confirmed Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Secretary Buttigieg has said reinstating tax-exempt advance refunding bonds holds promise as a source of relief for local governments.

Local Governments Welcome Introduction of Coronavirus Relief Package with Essential Aid
The National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, and The U.S. Conference of Mayors welcomed the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee's State and Local Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds legislation - to be considered as part of a comprehensive COVID-19 federal package. The bill includes $350 billion in critical aid to state, local, and territorial governments.

Chairman Thompson, Ways and Means Democrats Introduce GREEN Act to Extend PTC, ITC
Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, Mike Thompson, and the entire Democratic membership of the Committee announced the introduction of the GREEN Act. The bill would extend the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC). The extension of both the ITC and PTC are important components of CDFA's Policy Priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration.

Michigan Senators Push for More Small Business Relief
U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow reintroduced legislation to support lending to small businesses in Michigan and across the country that have been hardest hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. The Small Business Access to Capital Act would reauthorize and provide $10 billion in federal funding to the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which helps small businesses grow and create jobs.

Legislation Introduced to Expand & Strengthen Local Meat Processing Capabilities
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), joined by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to support small meat and poultry processors. The Strengthening Local Processing Act will increase options for local livestock and poultry producers and assist smaller facilities as they adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and expand to meet consumer demand.

Upcoming Events
CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: Expanding Capital Access to Preserve Small Businesses

Intro Tax Increment Finance WebCourse
March 24-25, 2021 - Daily: 12:00-5:00 PM Eastern
This course brings TIF deal-making and best practices into focus through a two-day program targeting the entire TIF community including economic developers, public agency representatives, bond issuers, legal professionals, developers, financial advisors, and other stakeholders. 

CDFA-Bricker PACE Webinar Series: How PACE Gets Utilized Across All Market Segments
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern
PACE can be used for new construction, existing building renovations, or refinancing. Each market segment has its own view of why PACE is valuable and this workshop will provide insights and details into each.

Federal Features

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $908M Loan for the Silver Line Regional Rail Project in Dallas, TX
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that USDOT's Build America Bureau has provided a $908 million loan under the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) for the Silver Line Regional Rail Project. This transaction is estimated to save DART approximately $190 million in interest costs.

HUD Awards More Than $652M for Affordable Housing Activities in Native American Communities
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced more than $652 million in Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) formula funding for eligible Native American Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs) to carry out affordable housing activities in tribal communities.

HUD Awards $2.7B to Improve, Preserve Nation's Public Housing
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded more than $2.7 billion in funding to nearly 2,900 public housing authorities (PHAs) in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to make capital investments in their public housing units. The grants announced are provided through HUD's Capital Fund Program.

U.S. Treasury Announces $175M in Awards for Affordable Housing Nationwide
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's CDFI Fund awarded 48 organizations $175.35 million to finance the development of affordable housing and community facilities in low-income communities. These awards were made through the fiscal year 2020 round of the Capital Magnet Fund and will support financing for the preservation, rehabilitation, development, or purchase of affordable housing for low-income communities.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Changes to PPP to Further Promote Equitable Access to Relief
The Biden-Harris administration has made delivering equitable relief to hard-hit small businesses a top priority. The Biden-Harris administration is announcing several reforms to build on this success by further targeting the PPP to the smallest businesses and those that have been left behind in previous relief efforts. These efforts will extend much-needed resources to help small businesses survive, reopen, and rebuild.

DOT's Build America Bureau Publishes NOFA for Regional Infrastructure Accelerators
The Build America Bureau is seeking information and input for the development of a Regional Infrastructure Accelerators (RIA) program. Accelerators would provide assistance and act as a resource to regional entities (e.g. counties, towns, economic development agencies, etc.) as they develop transportation infrastructure programs and projects that could be eligible for DOT credit assistance.

SBA Reaches $200B Milestone in Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to Small Businesses and Non-Profits
The U.S. Small Business Administration reached a milestone in the success of the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which has provided small businesses, non-profits, and agricultural businesses a total of $200 billion in emergency funding. SBA is still accepting COVID-19 EIDL loan applications as the deadline to apply has been extended to Dec. 31, 2021.

EPA Announces $220M for Uranium Mine Site Clean-Up on the Navajo Nation
The U.S. EPA announced three contract awards for the clean-up of more than 50 abandoned uranium mine sites on the Navajo Nation on Thursday, worth up to $220 million over the next five years. Work is scheduled to begin later this year following the completion of assessments in coordination with the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency.

Fact Sheet: Update on USDA Activities to Contain the COVID-19 Pandemic
The USDA is responding to President Biden's call for all parts of the federal government to contribute resources — facilities, personnel, and expertise — to contain the pandemic. The USDA is offering its personnel, facilities, cold chain infrastructure, public health experts, disaster response specialists, and footprint in rural areas and tribal communities across the country to help contain the pandemic and get the economy back on track.

Joel Black Makes a Mark as GASB Chairman
The new chairman of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board has soothed concerns about his background among public finance groups by following the practice of his predecessors in doing outreach to stakeholder groups. "It was a good way for me to get to know them, for them to get to know me, and for me to hear what they have going on," said Joel Black, who said he met with more than 35 organizations in his first three months.

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 Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

COVID-19 Telehealth Program
The COVID-19 Telehealth Program will provide $200 million in funding to help health care providers provide connected care services to patients at their homes or mobile locations.

Agency Seal Northern Border Regional Commission

NBRC Local Development Districts
The NBRC Federal-State partnership is aided by a group of regional organizations called Local Development Districts (LDD's) that assist the NBRC in its outreach activities and administer NBRC...

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

Rural Economic Development Loan (REDL) and Grant (REDG) Program
The Rural Economic Development Loan (REDL) and Grant (REDG) programs provide funding to rural projects through local utility organizations. USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which...

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

Research and National Technical Assistance
Supports the research of leading-edge, world-class economic development practices and information dissemination efforts.

New Additions to the Online Resource Database

How States Can Direct Economic Development to Places and People in Need
Disaster Recovery & Relief | Economic Development | Federal | Incentives | Opportunity Zones | Tax Credits | Tax Increment Finance (TIF) | Community Development | Housing Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Urban Development
To address local disparities and help struggling areas thrive, governments at all levels have spent billions of dollars on a range of geographically targeted, or "place-based," economic development programs — mostly in the form of financial incentives — designed to boost job creation and business investment, incentivize real estate development, or increase property values in specific places. The Pew Charitable Trusts performed a literature review of more than 100 studies to better understand the reasons for the lack of effectiveness of place-based programs.

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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