Legislative Activity Underway in Augusta & Washington, DC

With the start of the New Year, your League’s Governmental Affairs team is beginning to engage with both the new Maine Legislature and congressional delegation. Both legislative institutions are in a period of transition. Committee work will soon begin and new legislation will be considered.

In Augusta, legislators submitted 1,689 bill titles. These bills are in addition to those submitted by state departments including Education, Labor, and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. In total, approximately 1,800 bills will be worked through the legislative process.

In the coming days and weeks, language will be drafted and sent to the legislative committees of jurisdiction for consideration, but at this time, only bill titles have been released. The Governmental Affairs team is currently reviewing these titles and learning more about any potential impact these bills may on Maine’s credit unions. To date, the team has identified one bill pertaining to foreclosure, and is anticipating meaningful debate and consideration of green lending initiatives, including Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE) and a “Green Bank.”

Before the previous Congress concluded their work and the new Congress was sworn in, legislation was passed to provide consumers more economic stimulus money to help combat the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In that package, lawmakers approved an extension and modification of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The League, along with our partners at CUNA, are watching for further guidance from the SBA regarding the new changes. In addition, CUNA has reported that credit unions can now qualify for the Employee Retention Tax Credit. The League will keep credit unions apprised on this important development as more information becomes available.