Federal Issues & Legislation

Labor Rule Allows for AHPs
Federal

The U.S Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized its long-awaited Association Health Plan (AHP) rule to expand the definition of "employer" to include "working owners." This change allows real estate professionals and other self-employed individuals to participate in association health plans. A key provision, forwarded for inclusion in the rule by NAR, will allow many REALTORS® who have access to coverage through a spouse to be eligible to choose an AHP option.

Net Neutrality Officially Ends in U.S.
Federal

It’s official, as of Monday, June 11th, net neutrality has officially ended in the United States. Even after a vote by the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House failed to take a vote on legislation that would have prevented internet service companies from charging users additional money to see certain content.

HVCRE Fix in Regulatory Relief Bill
Federal

On May 24, the President signed into law S. 2155, the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act," which the House passed the previous day (the Senate passed it in March).  Among other provisions, it includes language clarifying implementation of the Basel III "High Volatility Commercial Real Estate" (HVCRE) risk-weight rules, and its exemptions.  This provision comes from the "Clarifying Commercial Real Estate Loans Act," introduced in the House by Reps. Pittenger (R-NC) and  David (D-GA) as H.R. 2148 and in the Senate by Sens. Cotton (R-AR) and Jones (D-AL) as S. 2405. NAR sent a letter of support to the full House of Representatives ahead of the vote, which was 258-159.

Agencies Increase Commercial Appraisal Threshold
Federal

On April 2, 2018, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (collectively the Federal Banking Agencies) issued a final rule increasing the appraisal threshold for commercial real estate Federally Related Transactions from $250,000 to $500,000, $100,000 more than the increase in the 2017 proposed rule.

Infrastructure Webcast Available for Viewing
Federal

The Trump Administration has released its long-awaited infrastructure plan, which proposes at least $1.5 trillion in new investment across infrastructure asset classes; incentivizing greater state and local funding; shortening the project permitting process to two years; investing in rural projects; and improving worker training. President Trump proposes that the government would spend $200 billion in infrastructure investment to spur states, localities and the private sector to raise the $1.3 trillion balance.

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