Weekly Legislative Update - March 25, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor's Overtime Proposal Open for Public Comment
The U.S. Department of Labor announced Friday that the Office of the Federal Register has published the Department's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would make more than a million more American workers eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The official publication in the Federal Register marks the start of the proposal's public comment period, which will remain open for 60 days and close on May 21, 2019.

More information about the proposed rule is available at: www.dol.gov/whd/overtime2019

The Department encourages any interested members of the public to submit comments about the proposed rule electronically at www.regulations.gov, in the rulemaking docket RIN 1235-AA20. 
Comments must be received by May 21, 2019 to be considered.

Advocacy to Hold Three Small Business Roundtables on DOL's New Overtime Rules in Alabama, DC & Florida 
The U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy will be hosting roundtables to discuss DOL's new Overtime Regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which increases the minimum salary for the "white collar" overtime exemption from $23,660 annually to $35,308 annually.  
This means that workers making under $35,308 annually would be eligible for overtime pay.  The purpose of the roundtable will be to hear directly from small businesses about the impact of the proposed rule.  
Comments on the rule are due mid-May 2019.  
For more information, please visit: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime_pay.htm  
Interested parties must RSVP to: Janis.Reyes@sba.gov

Tampa, Florida
Thursday April 4, 2019 -  2:00 pm - 4:00 pm (EDT) 

Florida SBDC at the University of South Florida Port Tampa Bay Building 1101 Channelside Dr., Suite 210 Tampa, FL 33602      
Washington, DC
Thursday April 11, 2019 - 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm (EDT)
SBA Headquarters, Eisenhower Room B
409 Third Street SW Washington, DC 20416
(Call-in option available)
Mobile, Alabama
Tuesday April 30, 2019 - 9:00am - 11:00 am (CDT)
Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce
451 Government St.
Mobile, Alabama 36602

TIA Supports H.R. 216, the Main Street Tax Certainty Act of 2019
TIA strongly support H.R. 216, the Main Street Tax Certainty Act of 2019, which would make permanent the Section 199A 20 percent qualified business income deduction.
Led by Representatives Jason Smith (R-MO) with Henry Cuellar (D-TX), this legislation will help ensure tax parity for the millions of employers organized as S corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships with the permanent lower tax rate provided for C corporations.  
These Main Street employers are the backbone of the American economy - they employ the majority of U.S. workers and represent 95 percent of all businesses.
Despite their economic importance, the Section 199A deduction is scheduled to sunset at the end of 2025.  Repealing this sunset will benefit millions of pass-through businesses, leading to higher economic growth and more employment.  
Economists Robert Barro and Jason Furman found that making the pass-through deduction permanent would result in a significant increase in economic growth. The American Action Forum found similar results. 

The sooner Congress acts to make Section 199A permanent, the sooner the economy will benefit. We ask that Congress please show their support for Main Street employers and support this important legislation.  

THe legislation has been introduced in the House and we anticipate a companion bill being introduced in the Senate soon.
TIA recently sent letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees urges support for the legislation and permanence of Section 199A. 

TIA Working To Attach Tax Extenders To Senate Bill Providing Funds For Disaster Relief
TIA urged senators last week to support including the Grassley-Wyden disaster tax relief and extenders bill as part of the Senate substitute to a House bill (H.R. 268) providing urgently-needed funds for disaster relief.
Before the Senate adjourned Thursday for ten days, Senate Majority Leader McConnell filed a motion for cloture on H.R. 268.  This means a vote to take up the bill may come as early as March 26.
Accordingly, we've written Majority Leader McConnell and Finance Committee Chairman Grassley urging them to work together to include the Grassley-Wyden package as part of the Senate substitute. Appropriations Committee leaders are still negotiating the substitute but are far enough along to have it ready for the floor this week.
TIA also sent letters to Senator McConnell and Senator Grassley.
There are reasons they may say "no," but we believe the effort should be made because it may be the last good opportunity before September.
We don't know whether Senate appropriators, who've been negotiating since January, will be able to come up with a bi-partisan substitute.  We do expect the GOP majority are prepared to move a bill, knowing many senators from both parties have a strong interest in getting relief money to their states-funds covering a dozen 2018 disasters will be in the bill, most of these funds are for people in distress, and governors say they can't wait any longer.
Thus, the odds of passage of a disaster relief bill in some form are good in both Senate and House, but that doesn't mean we can relax our efforts to attach Grassley-Wyden.
A footnote on Congressman Tom Suozzi's Question About WOTC at The Ways and Means Hearing on Extenders:
Congressman Suozzi, a Democrat from New York, asked a question we took as skeptical of the worth of WOTC.  After the hearing, some colleagues spoke to the congressman and learned his intention was the opposite of what we took away, that in fact he was trying to elicit support for WOTC from the witness.  We're happy to acknowledge he's not now, or ever was, a WOTC skeptic!