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“We are the state that built America”

This morning, Gov. Tom Wolf presented his inaugural budget to the General Assembly. Calling the proposal “a different kind of budget” that “includes Democratic ideas, Republican ideas and ideas that exist beyond party lines,”...more

Two Sides of the Same Coin: Chapter 11 Reform in the House and Senate

As we discussed in our previous post, in the wake of the financial crisis that began with large financial institutions failing in 2008, practitioners and politicians alike have been calling for Bankruptcy Code reform. Both...more

Fighting the Fiduciary Rule Before It’s Been Even Proposed

Not long after President Obama expressed the desire that the Department of Labor (DOL) implement a fiduciary rule for brokers who work on retirement plans; did one of Wall Street’s paid minions strike back....more

Lobbyist Principal Report Due March 16

In accordance with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Act, all lobbyist principals must file an Annual Report with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ("Board") on or before March 16,...more

DHS Funded for One More Week; Shutdown Temporarily Averted

Republican leaders and both branches of Congress failed Friday to come to a long-term agreement to provide fiscal year funding for the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and provide confidence that a DHS shutdown will be...more

FEC Contribution Limits for 2015-2016

Last week, the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) released increased contribution limits for individuals for the 2015-2016 federal election cycle. Certain federal contribution limits are indexed for inflation and are...more

Looking Back at Five Years of Citizens United

This month marked the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court handing down its decision in Citizens United v. FEC. More than perhaps most other recent Supreme Court decisions, Citizens United has remained in the public...more

Legislative Initiative: The Rhode Island Identity Theft Protection Act of 2015

President Barack Obama recognized in a speech he gave at the Federal Trade Commission on January 12th that identity theft poses a direct threat to the financial security of Americans. ...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: $160,000. The value of one gift bag at the Oscars on Sunday night. According to the Internal Revenue Service, contents of the gift bags cannot be treated as gifts for federal income tax purposes because...more

U.S. House Representatives Reintroduce Bill to Create Independent IG Position at CFPB

On February 12, Congressmen Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Tim Walz (D-MN) re-introduced the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection-Inspector General Act of 2015, legislation that would create an independent IG position at the...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. February Vacation Results in Relatively Quiet Week in Augusta, Except the Tax Package...more

Guilty Plea in DOJ’s First Criminal Prosecution for Campaign Finance Coordination

The news media has already engaged in rampant speculation regarding the potential candidates from both parties in the 2016 presidential election. Inextricably tied to the talk of political campaigns is the public discussion...more

Industry Trade Groups Urge Congress to Pass Legislation to Protect Consumers from Data Breaches

On February 12, seven industry trade associations co-authored a letter to Congress regarding anticipated data breach legislation. The letter urges Congress to protect its constituents from the impact of identity theft and...more

The White House wants a new fiduciary rule

The White House unveiled their plan to direct the Department of Labor to unveil a new fiduciary standard rule that will curb the conflict of interest and excessive fees that the White House says that mars 401(k) and IRA...more

Alert: Canada Introduces Additional Sanctions Against Russia

On February 17, 2015, the Government of Canada announced that new entities and individuals in Russia and Ukraine have been designated under Canada’s sanctions laws. These new measures are introduced in coordination with the...more

Regulatory Relief for Regional and Community Banks

After the US elections in November 2014, Congress passed two amendments to provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) – the so-called “swaps push-out rule” and the “Collins...more

Canada Imposes Additional Sanctions, Including Against Rosneft

On February 17, 2015, the Government of Canada announced a new round of sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities, including leading Russian oil firm NK Rosneft OAO....more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - February 2015 #3

The Impact of Regulation on Community Banks: Harvard Study and Senate Banking Committee Hearing Highlight Differing Views. FDIC Director of Risk Management Supervision Doreen Eberley testified last week before the Senate...more

Understanding the 4 “P’s” Before the P3 (Public-Private Partnership)

To get a P3 proposal to the starting line, public officials need to make sure that there is clarity and agreement on basic issues and priorities - Aging and inadequate infrastructure, required upgrades and scarce...more

Cuba Sanctions: 10 Important Changes

Ten key changes to US sanctions and export regulations for Cuba. On January 15, 2015, the Departments of the Treasury and Commerce revised the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and the Export Administration...more

An Analysis of the Problems at the MBTA: Is This the Origin of “Sue-and-Settle”?

On Sunday, the Boston Globe had a fairly comprehensive look at the causes of the current failings of the MBTA. Interesting reading for those who like to belabor the obvious. The short version? Lack of political will and...more

Amtrak Bill Aims To Keep Northeast Corridor Profits on the Northeast Corridor

The House Transportation Committee has approved the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act, a bill that would reauthorize Amtrak and other rail programs. The bill is substantially the same as the 2014 legislation and is...more

EU adds more separatists and five Russian officials to Ukraine related asset freeze list

The EU has extended its sanctions in relation to Ukraine by adding 19 persons and nine entities to the asset freeze list. These newly designated parties are deemed to be actively involved in separatist activities in Eastern...more

White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection

Many of the nation's leading cyber, data and privacy experts convened Friday at a White House Summit at Stanford University to discuss ways to improve our nation's cybersecurity. During the summit, President Obama signed an...more

Campaign Contribution Limits Raised Again

In every odd-numbered year the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is required to adjust certain contribution limits, expenditure limits, and the lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold by indexing them to inflation. ...more

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