Shared Work Program safe and sound

Governor Nixon today (6-27-14) signed SB 844, sponsored by Senator Bob Dixon, that allows Missouri employers to continue to use the federal Shared Work Program. The federal government made changes to the federal program requiring changes to state law that were contained in the bill. Associated Industries of Missouri supported the bill. Governor Nixon signed the bill today without ceremony.

Manufacturers fight to reauthorize Ex-Im; hearing witness says Ex-Im uncertainty forced furloughs and cost business

Politico Pro (6/25, Bradner, Subscription Publication) reports the US Export-Import Bank is “sweating whether it can overcome House Republicans’ growing opposition” to renewing the Bank’s charter as it prepares for a June 25 hearing with the House Financial Services Committee. In an effort to push back against the growing opposition, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons told reporters his group has hired a “dream team” of lobbyists consisting of former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO), former Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) and former George W. Bush spokesman Tony Fratto. Manufacturer Steve Wilburn of FirmGreen, Inc. is interviewed in the article, and says that he has had to fulough employees and already lost business to international competitors as a resul of the uncertainty over Ex-Im’s future. Reuters (6/25, Cornwell, Lawder) reports that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) refused to state his support for the Bank. Business groups like the NAM are using their lobbying powers to try and convince lawmakers to allow a

read more Manufacturers fight to reauthorize Ex-Im; hearing witness says Ex-Im uncertainty forced furloughs and cost business

NAM: Touts win against overreaching EPA in Supreme Court case

A National Association of Manufacturers (6/24) press release reports that NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly responded to the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Tailoring Rule.” The Court’s decision states that the EPA does not have the power to require new permits for greenhouse gas emissions for all stationary sources. “Today is a victory for the integrity of our regulatory process and rational limits on executive power. The Supreme Court agreed with the NAM that the EPA may not regulate the entire economy by requiring burdensome new permits for millions of small and medium-sized manufacturers” and other buildings, she said. “Manufacturers encourage the [EPA] to heed the warning of the Supreme Court” as the agency prepares future regulations for new and existing power plants. “We applaud our nation’s highest court,” Kelly added. Politico Pro reports following the decision from the Supreme Court, critics of the new EPA rule expressed their displeasure with the court’s decision to

read more NAM: Touts win against overreaching EPA in Supreme Court case

Governor’s withholdings include important manufacturing programs; reason to support HJR 72

Governor Jay Nixon Tuesday announced more than $1.1 billion dollars in withholdings from the upcoming state budget.  The announced withholding action comes about a week before the start of the state’s fiscal year which begins July 1. The Missouri Constitution (Artticle IV, Section 27) states: “The governor may control the rate at which any appropriation is expended during the period of the appropriation by allotment or other means, and may reduce the expenditures of the state or any of its agencies below their appropriations whenever the actual revenues are less than the revenue estimates upon which the appropriations were based.”  The Constitution does NOT appear to allow withholding of appropriations for any reason other than an actual shortfall of revenue. Of course, because the fiscal year has not yet started, there can be no actual shortfall of revenue, leaving some to wonder if this action is premature or possibly without constitutional authority. Included were cuts to the usual items: Elementary and Secondary and

read more Governor’s withholdings include important manufacturing programs; reason to support HJR 72

Supreme Court strikes down key aspects of EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulations; Upholds others

Some good news on the EPA CO2 emissions front for a change. By James T. Price, Spencer, Fane, Britt and Browne LLP The United States Supreme Court ruled Monday that certain key aspects of EPA’s greenhouse gas air emissions permitting program are beyond EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act.  In a mixed ruling, the Court upheld certain other aspects of EPA’s current regulatory interpretation.  The ruling is discussed at this Spencer Fane Environmental Law Solutions Blog: We are available to respond if you have questions.

Thoughts on (Monday’s) Supreme Court decision

Just as he had predicted, Peter Glaser from Spencer Troutman LLC in Washington D.C. gives us his thoughts as the U.S. Supreme Court begins to chip away at the EPA’s CO2 emission standards. Thoughts on Yesterday’s Supreme Court Decision 1. We won.  We didn’t lose, contrary to how EPA and environmental NGOs are portraying the decision.  Industry opposed EPA’s Tailoring Rule with essentially two alternative arguments.  Industry’s maximum position was that EPA could not regulate GHGs at all under the PSD or Title V permit programs.  Industry’s alternative position was essentially that if a source is subject to PSD because of its non-GHG emissions (with some caveats), it could be required to do BACT for both its non-GHG and its GHG emissions.  The Court adopted a variant of industry’s alternative argument.  During briefing, EPA resisted both of industry’s positions.  So it’s a little much for EPA to be claiming victory. We don’t need to relitigate whether industry should have presented alternative positions or

read more Thoughts on (Monday’s) Supreme Court decision

ACTION NEEDED on Export Import Bank Reauthorization

Congress must reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank or it will expire in September. The Ex-Im operates at no cost to taxpayers and helps American small businesses compete in the global marketplace by allowing them to confidently export goods to customers in other countries. Please click here for more information and then click on the “Take Action” tab to send a letter today.  Missouri has four Congressional Representatives on the House Financial Services Committee that oversees funding for the bank: Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, and Congresswoman Ann Wagner.  You may click on their name to access their websites and contact information to relay your personal request to keep this vital organization alive. Members of the Associated Industries of Missouri board of directors visited Capitol Hill last week and told each of our Representatives and Senators about the need for reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank, but they also need to hear from real business people, so please consider contacting them today.

Governor’s withholdings reason to support HJR 72

The following is a statement from AIM president Ray McCarty: “Governor Nixon’s announcement points out the need for Missouri citizens to vote for HJR 72, soon to be added to the November ballot by the Secretary of State. The constitutional amendment provides that the governor notify the legislature when he or she is reducing the amount budgeted to items in the state spending plan when the state’s cash flow is not sufficient to allow the item to be properly funded. This constitutional amendment will stop any governor from using this withholding power for political purposes and establish checks and balances over expenditures that do not exist now. That is why AIM supports HJR 72 and calls upon the state’s voters to ratify the amendment at the ballot box in November.”

Manufacturers urge Congress to move long-delayed tariff relief bill

The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) would lower taxes on U.S. job creators by eliminating or reducing import duties on hundreds of raw materials and intermediate products that are not available in the United States. The MTB expired more than 530 days ago, and congressional inaction on this measure has resulted in a whopping $748 million tax on manufacturing in the United States that otherwise would be waived. Manufacturers from across the country left their shop floors on June 17 to deliver a clear message to lawmakers on Capitol Hill: Passage of bipartisan MTB legislation is long overdue. Politico Pro (subscription required) wrote: “Manufacturers kicked off a blitz Tuesday aimed at getting Congress to renew a long-lapsed measure that waives import taxes on an assortment of goods they say are critical elements of their supply chains but can’t be purchased in the United States.” In addition to arranging meetings for dozens of NAM members with House and Senate offices, the NAM launched an ad campaign on

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NAM: GOP lawmakers press EPA’s McCabe during house hearing

McClatchy (6/20, Moritz, Subscription Publication) reports GOP “lawmakers from states reliant on coal production and coal-powered energy challenged” Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe on June 19, “questioning the legality and effects of new standards to reduce carbon pollution through the nation’s power plants.” The House Energy and Commerce Committee heard testimony from McCabe “on the new Obama administration rule earlier this month, requiring states to reduce carbon emissions by a level determined by the EPA.” As Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) said, “Coal faces a devastating one-two punch from the EPA. … With this new proposed rule, the agency can begin shuttering existing coal facilities.” However, “McCabe rejected the idea that states would be forced to phase out coal energy, noting EPA estimates that coal is still expected to generate a third of the nation’s electricity by 2030.” The Hill (6/20, Barron-Lopez) says McCabe mounted a defense of “the new carbon rule” and “stressed the agency was giving states flexibility in

read more NAM: GOP lawmakers press EPA’s McCabe during house hearing