The ASAE Public Policy team would like to update our community on the key issues that we have been following:

Tax

  • Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT)
    • ASAE’s UBIT Coalition will continue to bring together associations and nonprofits to urge Congress to delay or repeal the 21 percent tax on parking and transportation benefits provided by nonprofit organizations.
    • It is notable that full repeal of the UBIT provision was included in the House budget package. Unfortunately, an agreement was not reached before the federal government shutdown began and the new Congress convened. We know this issue is on the radar for the new House majority, and we will continue to make our case.
  • Excise tax
    • ASAE is still working on a legislative option to lessen the impact of the new 21% tax on certain executive compensation. Compensation subject to the new tax includes not just base salary but the cash value of most benefits, including those that have vested but haven’t been received, retirement benefits, and certain retention payments contingent upon service.

Voluntary Certification

  • Last year several states introduced legislation that challenges voluntary professional credentialing granted by associations and other groups. While the association community has had success in some states in pushing back against this legislation, 12 states have introduced bills that are concerning to ASAE.
  • In order to proactively bring the association community together to combat the spread of legislation impacting professional certification programs, ASAE and The Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) have formed the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC). The mission of the PCC is to inform the state legislative process about voluntary professional certification in the face of state legislative initiatives that would restrict, or even ban, certification.
  • The PCC has been successful in defeating or modifying legislation in numerous states. This month many state legislatures convene again, and we expect to see more legislation this year.

Health Care

  • ASAE and the other members of the Coalition to Protect and Promote Association Health Plans continue to meet with federal and state policymakers to ensure AHPs evolve into a viable, successful marketplace. This coalition was formed after the Department of Labor issued final regulations over the summer that would allow national trade associations and franchisee-based corporations to offer small employer and independent contractors members coverage through an AHP. The DOL regulations also allow local Chambers of Commerce and other similar associations with members that do not share the same industry to offer “large group” AHP coverage to their members located in the same state or metro area.
  • In December, ASAE and the Coalition to Protect and Promote Association Health Plans filed an amicus brief supporting the Department of Labor’s authority to issue its final AHP regulations last summer. To find out more read our story in Associations Now.

Overtime Rule

  • The Department of Labor (DOL) has again pushed back the date by which it plans to propose new regulations governing overtime exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), this time to March 2019. The agency is expected to propose an updated salary level and seek input from the public.

State Discriminatory Legislation

  • Another issue that ASAE is monitoring in the states is possible discriminatory legislation towards the LGBTQ community. In some cases, this legislation could lead to the denial of public accommodations for meeting attendees. We were successful in the past in combating this type of discriminatory legislation because associations, the meetings community, and other industry partners joined in opposition. If there is major legislation in this area ASAE Public Policy will be sure to engage members in the state.

As always, we thank you for being informed, passionate advocates for the association community. To get involved or for questions, contact publicpolicy@asaecenter.org.