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Federal Update

News and Information from the National League of Cities

May 13, 2013
NLC has provided a short update on the Marketplace Fairness Act, municipal bonds, FEMA's three national planning frameworks.
Marketplace Fairness Passes the Senate; Action Moves to the House

Earlier last week and with votes that the National League of Cities (NLC) helped deliver, the Senate finally passed the Marketplace Fairness Act with a commanding 69 to 27 vote. The action moves now to the House Judiciary Committee, where NLC is calling upon Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to schedule a hearing on the House measure, H.R. 684, which Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) introduced and which has 65 co-sponsors. The President has already indicated that he will sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.
Be sure to contact your House members and urge their support for this important legislation.

The Marketplace Fairness Act allows state and local governments to require retailers to collect taxes on online sales. It does not create any new tax or increase any existing tax; it levels the playing field between Main Street and online retailers and provides resources to local governments to help support the delivery of services in their communities.
Ask Your House Member to Join in Celebrating the History of Municipal Bonds

As NLC continues to mobilize support to preserve the tax exempt status of municipal bonds, please remember to ask your House members to sign on as a co-sponsor of H. Res. 112, which “celebrates the history of municipal bonds, the 100-year precedent of the Federal tax exemption for municipal bond interest, and the important contribution municipal bonds have made to economic growth and wellbeing in each State and municipality in our great Nation.” So far, 54 House members have signed on — let’s be sure to thank them.

While the resolution is non-substantive, it is being seen as a barometer of support for traditional muni bonds by those on all sides of the issue. The more support we can demonstrate for municipal bonds the harder it becomes for those looking to change the most important tool in the U.S. for financing investment in schools, roads, water and sewer systems, airports, bridges and other vital infrastructure as a part of a deficit reduction plan, a push for comprehensive tax reform, or as an offset for new spending.
FEMA Releases Three National Planning Frameworks

On May 6, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) released three of the five National Planning Frameworks that President Obama ordered as part of the federal government’s efforts to better coordinate disaster and emergency preparedness. The first one, which was released in September 2011, addressed national disaster recovery. The three released on May 6, address prevention, mitigation, and response. (A fifth one dealing with protection is expected to be released later this year.)  Copies of and view the tutorials related to the National Planning Frameworks released thus far are available online.

According to FEMA, these National Planning Frameworks are designed to “document the roles and responsibilities of the whole community in all facets of national preparedness and illustrate how we work together to support one another before, during, and after an emergency. The benefit of this unified effort is a more informed, shared understanding of risks, needs, and capabilities across the whole community; and, in the end, a more secure and resilient nation.”
For more information please contact FEMA’s Intergovernmental Affairs Division at (202) 646-3444.

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