Legislative Update with Jay Kruse
by Jay Kruse
Chief Advocacy Officer

Good Morning!

Georgia Senate runoff election ballots are still being counted this morning as the country awaits the results that will determine which party ultimately gains control of the Senate through 2022. Democrat Raphael Warnock has been declared the winner over Republican Kelly Loeffler, and Democrat Jon Ossoff currently holds a slight lead over Republican David Perdue, however, this race is still too close to call. Congress will also hold a joint session today at 12:00 pm Central to certify the results of the 2020 election, officially confirming Joe Biden as our next president.

Next Round of PPP COVID Relief

Prior to the holidays, I highlighted the provisions included in this most recent congressional COVID relief package which you can find here. Included in the package is the reauthorization for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at $284 billion. Since the bill passed through Congress over two weeks ago, CUNA and the Leagues have been strongly advocating and encouraging the Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA) to release and finalize all rules and guidance before the program goes into effect.

As we learned through the prior round of PPP funding, clear and detailed guidance can help to avoid major roadblocks and any unintended consequences that can result from uncertainty or confusion with any enhancements that are made to the program. The SBA is expected to release guidance in the coming days; we will be sure to keep you informed.

South Dakota Legislative Session

The 96th South Dakota Legislative Session is set to kick off next Tuesday, January 12th with Governor Kristi Noem’s State of the State Address (tune in at www.sd.net) followed by the State of the Judiciary and State of the Tribes taking place on the 13th and 14th. This is sure to be an interesting session with continuing discussions on how federal COVID relief funds will be distributed and how recreational and medical marijuana will be regulated and implemented, in addition to trying to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Next week we will see one of the most Republican legislatures in South Dakota history be sworn in, which will include 18 brand new legislators serving their first term in Pierre. A few important dates to be aware of include the final days for bill introductions on February 3rd and 4th, “Crossover Day” on February 25th, and the final day for bill passage on March 8th.

As a reminder, because of COVID precautions, we will not be hosting our annual South Dakota Credit Union Day and CU Roundtable in Pierre this year. We were very disappointed to have to cancel these very fun and important events, but at the time the decision needed to be made we felt it was in the best interests of our credit union attendees and legislators to not host a large group gathering this session.

But please don’t worry! Your DakCU Advocacy Team will continue to stay in close contact with our elected officials, building relationships, and educating them about the “Credit Union Difference.” We do hope you all are able to join us next year and for any upcoming virtual legislative events we will be promoting very soon!

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.


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