Biz Team Alert - April 22, 2020
Apr 22, 2020
Congressional Phase 3.5 Legislation: The United States Senate has passed a $470B plus “Phase 3.5” Coronavirus relief measure that adds $310B to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which was created by the CARES Act stimulus law and offers guarantees for forgivable loans to small businesses if a majority of the money is used to retain employees. $60B of the new Phase 3.5 money is dedicated to minority and rural businesses that were disproportionately left out of the original funding. The bill also adds another $60B to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, $75B to hospitals and $25B for increased testing nationwide. The House is expected to vote on the measure Thursday. Please encourage your US House members to support the bill.
Looking Ahead and Heard from the Hill: KC Chamber staff have been in regular communication with our area senators, representatives and their offices and have consistently heard the belief that further legislation will likely be needed including a Phase 4 relief package and possibly beyond. From what the Chamber is hearing, a Phase 4 bill could include a host of provisions including aid to state and local governments, infrastructure spending and tax changes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated on Tuesday that the Senate will not take up any more bills until they reconvene in early May. The KC Chamber has hosted several virtual townhall meetings with members of the regional US Congressional delegation. Stay tuned for more Congressional member briefings in the coming weeks.
Kansas: Governor Laura Kelly extended the statewide stay at home order to May 3 at which time, the state, or parts of the state, may begin the process of opening sectors of the economy. As expected, the updated tax revenue estimates for Kansas look bleak with an estimated loss of $815M in the current fiscal year ending June 30 and down $549M in the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1. The state will be looking at widespread budget cuts and usurping the $900M that the state was hoping to hold in reserve as a “rainy day fund.” The Legislative Coordinating Council (LCC) voted unanimously today to delay the reconvening of the full legislature. The LCC must meet by May 6 to decide what to do regarding the rest of the session. The KC Chamber encourages leadership throughout the state to use science and regional approaches to make data-informed decisions about when and how to reopen the economy.
Missouri: Similar to Kansas, Governor Mike Parson extended Missouri’s statewide stay at home order through May 3. Missouri, too, is grappling with crippling losses to projected tax revenue. Governor Parson has cut over $220M in state spending for the current fiscal year in response to the loss of revenues from the economic slowdown. Missouri lawmakers will be back in session April 27 to pass a budget for FY 2021 and coronavirus-related bills along with a few priorities of legislative leadership that are still being worked out at this time. As the KC Chamber has relayed to leaders in Kansas, the KC Chamber encourages leadership throughout Missouri to make data-informed decisions using science and regional approaches when exploring ways to reopen the economy.
Local Government: Kansas City, Missouri City Council Member Kathryn Shields told the KC Chamber Kansas City, Missouri Affairs Committee at its April 21 meeting that she believes the city needs to be prepared for a substantial revenue shortfall. If you’d like to hear the meeting, contact Shelby Ostrom (firstname.lastname@example.org). KC Chamber staff is also working with chambers of commerce throughout the bi-state region on possible measures to ensure the region is adequately prepared to reopen its economy. Chamber staff have been engaged with the Johnson County Public Policy Council (JCPPC) to make sure business needs are adequately represented within the Johnson County, Kansas reopening taskforce.
Cathy Bennett (email@example.com)
Kansas and Missouri State Affairs: John Jenks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Federal Affairs: Adam Timmerman (email@example.com)
KCMO Affairs: Shelby Ostrom (firstname.lastname@example.org)