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Dear NCCA Member,

During the month of October, we executed a transition in client management and began the process of drafting and pursuing a new strategy for the next 6-12 months.

Stakeholder Activity
As requested by NCCA leadership, we have shifted to a more leadership focused advocacy strategy. In the interest of providing NCCA with a more influential voice in DC, shaping policy from the top down, we are seeking to connect with offices that can assist us in speaking with key individuals in the Administration. Our team has identified offices that work closely with the Administration on the issue of child care. This is a great time to reach out to those offices, given that the advocacy of Ivanka Trump and the current tax fight, has placed child care on the front page. We are working with NCCA to get the statistics that outline the overall reach of its membership and the numbers within specific states. This is incredibly important as it will open doors and allow us to secure meetings with offices that tend to focus solely on constituent concerns. We hope to get these number soon.
 
Here in DC, the focus has been almost exclusively on the tax bill over the recent weeks. This may prove problematic come the end of the year, as they have been focused on tax to the exclusion of funding bills. There is a chance that we experience another shutdown, though the odds haven't gotten too high on this chance. We have been monitoring the tax developments and provided an update on the House bill when it was initially introduced. It underwent some changes this past week and the Senate bill was also introduced. We will be providing a new analysis via email that compares the two bills.
 
We will continue pursing leadership engagement and stand ready to engage on tax concerns, should NCCA feel that is necessary. A robust tax analysis has been emailed to NCCA leadership.


Legislative/Regulatory Outlook and Activity
Representative Al Green (D-TX) introduced the Original Living Wage Act of 2017 on January 3rd, 2017. On the day it was introduced, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The bill currently has 10 cosponsors.
This bill amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to increase the federal minimum wage to the minimum hourly wage sufficient for a person working for 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, to earn an annual income 15% higher than the federal poverty threshold for a four-person household, with two children under age 18, and living in the 48 contiguous states.
 
Representative Rob Woodall introduced the FairTax Act of 2017 on January 3rd, 2017. On the day it was introduced, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The bill currently has 45 cosponsors.
This bill is a tax reform proposal that imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services in lieu of the current income and corporate income tax, employment and self-employment taxes, and estate and gift taxes. The rate of the sales tax will be 23% in 2019, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. There are exemptions from the tax for used and intangible property, for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes, and for state government functions.
 
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the bill on January 23rd, 2017. On the same day, the bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. The bill currently has one cosponsor.
This bill amends the Head Start Act to replace the existing Head Start program with block grants to states and Indian tribes for prekindergarten (pre-K) education. Instead of providing direct financial assistance to Head Start agencies, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shall allot block grant funds for pre-K education among eligible states and Indian tribes in accordance withtheir relative proportions of children, age five and younger, from low-income households.Grant recipientsshall use the grant funds to: (1)award subgrants to eligible entitiesthat providepre-K education programs; (2) administer such programs; and (3) provide technical assistance, oversight, monitoring, research, and training. Under current law, HHS is authorized to designate, monitor, and establish standards forHead Start agencies. The bill instead shiftspre-K program oversight and controlto states and Indian tribes, whichshall have full flexibility to use grant funds to finance the pre-K programs oftheir choice.In addition,grant recipients may use grant funds to establish portable voucher systems that allow costs to be paidfor attendance atprivate pre-K education programs.
 
Representative Steve King (R-IA) introduced the bill on January 23rd, 2017. On the day it was introduced, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The bill currently has 2 cosponsors.
This bill repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and limits the authority of the Department of Education (ED) such that ED is authorized only to award block grants to qualified states. The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which eachstate shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children withineach LEA's geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1)distribute a portion of funds toparents who elect toenroll their childin a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses. To be eligible to receive a block grant, a state must: (1)comply with education voucher program requirements, and (2) make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the state or to home-school their child.
 
Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA) introduced the 21stCentury Child Care Act on March 9th, 2017. On the day it was introduced, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The bill currently has 15 cosponsors.
This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a tax credit for employment-related expenses for services provided by a high-quality child care center. The credit applies to taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes below specified levels and is limited to: (1) $14,000 for each qualifying child who is under the age of three by the end of the year; and (2) $5,000 for each qualifying child who has attained the age of three by the end of the year, with adjustments for inflation after 2017. A "qualifying child" is a dependent who is under the age of five. The care must be provided by a facility that: (1) receives a fee, payment, or grant for providing care for children (other than just children who reside at the facility and regardless of whether such facility is operated for profit); and (2) meets state licensing requirements.
 
Representative Kristi L. Noem (R-SD) introduced the bill introduced May 4th, 2017. On the same day, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The bill currently has no cosponsors.
The bill amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch At and Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to eliminate certain federal nutrition "requirements" and making them "guidelines" instead.
 
Representative Leonard Lance (R-NJ) introduced the bill on May 16th, 2017. On the same day, it was referred to House Ways and Means, House Judiciary and House Education and the Workforce. It has no cosponsors.
The bill amends the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to make the E-Verify program permanent. It requires all federal agencies, contractors, and critical employers to participate in E-Verify, along with all U.S. employers. The Department of Homeland Security shall require the E-Verify participation of employers if they have reasonable cause to believe the employer has violated the process under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The bill increases civil and criminal penalties for hiring violations while establishing a good faith civil penalty exemption/reduction for certain hiring-related violations.
The bill eliminates the Form I-9 and sets forth E-Verify design and operation requirements.
The bill amends federal criminal code to charge illegal aliens possessing or using false identification information with identity fraud and subjects that person to a fine and/or penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
 

S.208 - PACE Act

On January 24, 2017, Sen. Angus S., Jr. King (I-ME) introduced S.208 to the Senate where it was referred to the Committee on Finance.Currently there are 3 cosponsors.
This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to the tax credit for expenses for household and dependent care services necessary for gainful employment (known as the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit), to: (1) make the credit refundable, (2) increase the rate for the credit, and (3) require the dollar amounts for such credit to be adjusted for inflation after 2017.
The bill also increases the amount of employer-provided dependent care assistance which may be excluded from the gross income of an employee and requires the increased exclusion amount to be adjusted for inflation after 2018.
Related Bills:H.R.3632 - PACE Act
 

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12/7/2017
NCCA Group Healthcare Benefits Webinar

12/7/2017
NCCA Group Healthcare Benefits Webinar (7:00PM(EST))