This week, both House and Senate Appropriations Committees passed a provision that would prohibit the EPA from using any funds in FY 2016 to implement the now-finalized Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. At this time, there is no word yet on when either measure may reach the floor for a vote. Other spending bans in the bills included the EPA's Clean Power Plan, which restricts carbon emissions from power plants, and placing the greater sage grouse on the endangered species list.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced H.R. 2775, the Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2015 (“RTPA”). This bill, cosponsored by Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR), would provide a level playing field between traditional “brick-and-mortar” retailers and remote sellers with respect to the collection of state sales taxes. It does this by giving states the authority to certify software which remote sellers can integrate into their online stores, which handles determining what sales tax to charge for buyers and collecting/remitting it. States are required to provide this software to remote sellers at no cost. Finally, the RTPA gradually phases in which sellers must collect and remit sales taxes based on their gross annual receipts. This phase-in should help alleviate administrative confusion and give smaller sellers time to prepare for the change.
On June 19, 2015, Regulation A+ took effect. Regulation A+ is part of the rulemaking that encompasses the JOBS Act of 2012, which is designed to increase capital-raising opportunities for small businesses. Regulation A+ makes it easier for small businesses to raise capital by removing many of the regulatory compliance hurdles that had been in place previously. The new rules will allow companies to raise up to $50 million under Regulation A, which is a less-complicated route in terms of compliance and administration.
At a hearing of the House Oversight Committee, FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker offered the most specific date yet on the anticipated date of completion of the rules governing the commercial use of drones. Whitaker said that the agency was pushing for the rule to be finalized by mid-2016. The proposed rule was issued in February 2015 and the public comment period closed in April 2015. Many industry watchers were guessing that it would be at least 2017 by the time the rule was finalized.