Section: Washington Update

GREAT Act Passes Out of Committee, Awaits Senate Vote

NASACT has been monitoring the GREAT Act for potential impacts on state and local governments. The companion measure (S. 3484) was introduced in the Senate on September 24. On September 26, the bill moved out of committee and now awaits a vote by the full Senate.

Little Publicized Section of Tax Cut and Jobs Act Could Cause Burden for Governments

Changes to Internal Revenue Code section 162(f) and an added section 6050x imposed by the Tax Cut and Jobs Act could result in burden for governments. The IRS is seeking comment on the paperwork burden of the 6050x transitional guidance.


Government groups are urging members of Congress to oppose the bill, which would set a dangerous precedent with regard to unfunded mandates and intrusions into the operations of state and local governments.


The Internal Revenue Service has proposed regulations that would amend the rules for determining whether information returns must be filed using magnetic media (electronically). State payroll offices may be particularly interested in the proposal.

Legislation to Designate Municipal Securities as High-Quality Liquid Assets Becomes Law

Section of 403 of S. 2155 will reclassify municipal bonds as high-quality liquid assets to encourage banks to hold those assets, which will help ensure low-cost infrastructure financing remains available for state and local governments.

Results Are In On the 2018 Washington Office Survey

These responses are an invaluable asset to NASACT’s Washington office, as they provide an accurate snapshot of what issues are most important to the members and guide where the focus should be during the upcoming year.

New Improper Payments Bill Introduced

The Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act (S. 2374), bipartisan legislation that would help save millions of federal dollars by curbing erroneous payments to deceased individuals, was recently introduced.

Legislation Proposed to Require Grant Recipients to Use Specific DATA Standards

Member input needed! NASACT was recently asked to comment on legislation established to create and require federal grant recipients to use data standards to report information to the federal government on grants they receive. The legislation, entitled the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency Act of 2018 (GREAT Act) was introduced on January 29.

Public Finance Network Opposes Bond Provisions in H.R. 1

The Public Finance Network, of which NASACT is a member, recently sent a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) to express opposition to provisions in H.R. 1 that eliminate financing tools used to provide critical investments in infrastructure and save taxpayer money.

Questions Surround Tax Reform and Maintenance of the Tax Exemption for Municipal Bonds

There are real and tangible benefits that the tax exemption for municipal bonds affords our governments and its citizens. NASACT members are engaged in a variety of programs to manage taxpayer dollars and finance public infrastructure in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

SLGE Survey Highlights Retirement Savings Uncertainty

The Center for State and Local Government Excellence recently completed a survey that examines the employment and retirement planning and saving experiences of state and local government workers, as well as their confidence in their retirement income prospects.

OFR Releases 2016 Financial Stability Report

The Office of Financial Research has released the 2016 Financial Stability Report, outlining and assessing potential threats to the stability of the U.S. financial system, describing key OFR findings and insights, and documenting progress in meeting OFR's mission.

MSRB Announces New Board, Seeks Input on Strategic Priorities

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board has announced the areas that it will focus on in the upcoming year, as well as the names of its new 21-member board of directors which establishes regulatory policies and oversees operations.

Senators Introduce Legislation to Provide Financial Stability to Muni Bonds

Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) have introduced legislation to allow high-quality municipal debt to be classified at a level equivalent to debt issued by corporations.

Municipal Finance Caucus Website Unveiled

The Congressional Municipal Finance Caucus, headed by Co-Chairs Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), has unveiled its new website.

MSRB Announces Board Meeting Topics

The Board of Directors of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board will meet July 27-28 in Washington, D.C. to discuss current market topics and elect new members and officers.

OFR Unveils New Money Market Fund Monitor

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Financial Research has released a new online Money Market Fund Monitor and an explanatory brief.

Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking Holds Inaugural Meeting

The Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking convened its first public meeting on Friday, July 22 in Washington, D.C.

New Bill Would Clarify Advisor Role to Issuers

H.R. 5596 would amend the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to provide that an issuer of municipal securities is not required to retain a municipal advisor prior to issuing any such securities.

SEC Announces New Investor Advisory Committee Members

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has announced the appointment of three new members to its Investor Advisory Committee, and the reappointment of five members whose terms recently expired.

Uniform Guidance: Promising Practices

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget and the Council on Financial Assistance Reform have announced the third in a series of webcasts on Uniform Guidance. The webcast, entitled "Uniform Guidance: Promising Practices," provides an opportunity to hear from thought leaders...

Treasury's OFR Announces New Research Papers

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Financial Research will soon be unveiling a new wave of financial research papers...

Ohio State Auditor Appears Before House Committee to Discuss SNAP Fraud

Last Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to discuss ways in which program integrity measures can be improved within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)...

SIFMA Seeks Changes to Muni Disclosure Rules, Leads Efforts to Improve Compliance

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association has sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission urging it to amend Rule 15c2-12 governing municipal securities disclosure. SIFMA believes that...

CHOICE Act Introduced

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) has released a discussion draft of the 126-page Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs Act (CHOICE Act). In promoting the bill, Rep. Hensarling has declared it a “plan to replace the Dodd-Frank Act.” The legislation would...

MSRB Makes ABLE Documents Available on EMMA

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board has announced that offering documents about securities established by states under the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (ABLE Act) will now be available on the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access, or EMMA, website. The ABLE Act allows states to establish tax-advantaged savings vehicles that support individuals with disabilities in maintaining health, independence and quality of life. ABLE offering documents will be made available on EMMA both voluntarily by states and per MSRB regulations by municipal securities dealers involved in the primary offering of ABLE programs...

SEC Announces Municipal Securities Fraud Settlement with Illinois Issuer

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has announced a settlement with Juan Rangel, the former president of UNO Charter School Network Inc. and former CEO of United Neighborhood Organization of Chicago, for his role in a misleading $37.5 million bond offering to build three charter schools.

GAO Reviews State and Federal Efforts to Combat SNAP Recipient Fraud in New Report

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has released a new report examining the fiscal accountability relationship between states and the federal government related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The report, “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Enhanced Detection Tools and Reporting to Combat Recipient Fraud Are in Development,” examines some of the ongoing concerns GAO has with potential SNAP eligibility fraud, including...