Finance & Banking Agriculture

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Bridging the Week - May 2015 #3

CFTC Chairman Discloses Second Phase of Regulatory Review Before Senate Committee; Commissioner Giancarlo Questions Position Limits Proposal Before Energy Risk Summit - Timothy Massad, Chairman of the Commodity Futures...more

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update: 05/15/2015

The focus at the Capitol this week for the Minnesota Legislature has been budget negotiations among Governor Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Bakk and Speaker Daudt. As of Friday morning, only two targets have been released —...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

BIO Assesses Impact Of EPA Delays On RFS Investment

BIO examined the impact of EPA's recent inability in administering the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) on investment in advanced and cellulosic biofuels. It has found that EPA's delay in issuing the final 2013 and 2014...more

China Announces New Comprehensive Water Pollution Control Plan

The State Council of China has published an ambitious plan to reverse the deterioration of water quality and improve management of water resources throughout China. ...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. Budget Update - Late Thursday afternoon, Governor LePage released a change package to his...more

SEC Halts Fraudulent Farm Loan Investment Program

The Commission initiated an action centered on the misuse of offering proceeds tied to farm loans. The defendants include an investment adviser, a financial planner and an attorney. SEC v. Veros Partners, Inc., Civil Action...more

Access on the Table: the ChAFTA and Lessons for Canada

On November 17, 2014, the governments of Australia and the People’s Republic of China signed a declaration of intent on the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), bringing to a close 24 rounds of negotiations...more

USDA Raises Hurdles to Bankruptcy Sales of PACA-Regulated Produce Businesses

One of the main advantages of purchasing a business out of bankruptcy is that the process can be quick, orderly and predictable. Yet, recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) has challenged the ability...more

Bridging the Week - March 2015 #5

SEC Proposes FINRA Oversee Certain High-Frequency Trading Firms; FINRA and FIA Issue Best Practice Guidance - The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed changes to an existing rule that, if adopted, would require...more

Proposed Changes to Australia's Foreign Investment Framework

In response to the findings of a recent report on Foreign Investment in Residential Real Estate (Report) by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics (Committee), the Commonwealth Government of Australia is...more

Australian Renewable Energy Agency Announces Funding For Biofuel Production

On February 24, 2015, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced $5.2 million in funding that would go to the design and construction of a pilot scale biofuel production facility in Perth. ...more

BRDI Grants For Science And Engineering Research

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) is accepting research and education grant applications for projects to integrate science and engineering research in...more

Congressional Proposals for Nonprofit Tax Breaks and Extenders

In February, the House of Representatives passed several tax bills and the Senate Finance Committee approved several tax bills that, if ultimately enacted, would impact tax-exempt organizations....more

End of 2014 Tax Law Changes

ABLE Accounts: A new law titled “Achieving a Better Life Experience” (ABLE) allows the establishment of tax-free accounts that can be used to save for disability-related expenses. ABLE accounts can be created by individuals...more

Treasury Department Eases Cuba Sanctions

New Rules Open Opportunities for Exports, Financial Services, and Travel- On January 16, 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department issued new sanctions regulations easing the 54-year old Cuban embargo. Coming in the wake of...more

Local Agencies that Can Recover Fees Through Prop 218 Process are Ineligible for State Reimbursements

Decision from the Commission on State Mandates - Several agricultural water suppliers seeking reimbursement for state-mandated activities under the Water Conservation Act of 2009 are ineligible to receive state...more

USDA Revises Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees

On December 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the final rule for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP is intended to help mainly businesses, as well as some state, local, and tribal...more

Banking Bulletin: Saddle Up! Livestock Lenders and Livestock Leasing

On August 14, 2014, in a dispute regarding entitlement to proceeds resulting from an auction of livestock in possession of a dairy farmer-debtor, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an order in favor of a...more

Court Holds Small Business Administration and Farm Service Agency Must Consult on Loan Guarantees

A federal district court in Arkansas recently issued a decision clarifying that the obligation to consult under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) extends to the Small Business Administration and the Farm...more

CFTC Agricultural Advisory Committee to Meet on December 9

The Agricultural Advisory Committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will convene on December 9 to discuss deliverable supplies of agricultural commodities and related implications for position limits and the...more

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Announces Small Business Awards

On November 12, 2014, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy held a press conference to announce the recipients of the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. In her comments, Administrator McCarthy stated that "a...more

Bridging the Week - October 2014

NJ-Based Trader Previously Sanctioned by UK FCA, CFTC and CME Indicted in Chicago for Same Spoofing Offenses - New Jersey resident Michael Coscia, the prior manager and sole owner of Panther Energy Trading LLC, was...more

USDA Awards Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels, LLC $105 Million Loan Guarantee

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has guaranteed a $105 million loan through Bank of America, N.A. to help Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels build a plant in McCarran, Nevada that would convert municipal waste into renewable...more

USDA Announces Value-Added Producer Grants To Support The Bioeconomy

On August 19, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Agency is investing $25 million to support 247 businesses throughout the country under the Value-Added Producer Grant program (the program). The...more

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