Legislative Update with Jay Kruse
by Jay Kruse
Chief Advocacy Officer
6/17/2020

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday!

 

Another week has passed during this pandemic, and while here in the Dakotas we seem to be getting closer to “back to normal” each day, there are many states across the country still experiencing lockdowns and other COVID-19 related restrictions. Congress continues to hold committee hearings to provide oversight of the federal government’s response to the health emergency and monitor implementation of the CARES Act. While the pace of legislation in response to the pandemic has slowed slightly, negotiations continue to occur behind the scenes as the next package of legislation develops.

 

Recent attention in both chambers has shifted toward police reform legislation. House Democrats released the Justice In Policing Act late last week and the Senate GOP is expected to release legislation later today. In addition, President Trump took an important first step by signing an executive order on Tuesday aimed at “encouraging police departments nationwide to adopt the highest professional standards to serve their communities.” At this point, the House and Senate do have a few different priorities regarding police reform, but there does appear to be plenty of common ground on the issue as negotiations begin.

 

SBA and Treasury Announce New PPP EZ and Revised Forgiveness Applications

 

This morning, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the most recent PPP reforms passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020.  In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

 

  • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers.  Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form. This EZ form was referenced on yesterday’s Bank of North Dakota PPP webinar, however, at that time the form was not yet available.

 

Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period.  The SBA believes these changes will result in a more efficient process and make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of their PPP loan. 

 

Click here to view the EZ Forgiveness Application.

 

Click here to view the Full Forgiveness Application.

 

Hauptman nominated to NCUA Board

 

On Monday, President Trump announced the nomination of Kyle Hauptman to the NCUA board. Hauptman would take the seat of current board member J. Mark McWatters, whose term expired in August 2019. Mr. Hauptman has a background in fixed-income trading and policy, currently serving as Senator Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) advisor on economic policy, as well as Staff Director of the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Policy. The full White House press release can be found here.

 

Have a great week, stay well, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

 

Jay

 

 

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