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Government Affairs 

Updated 2/26/15 USDA Opens Public Comment Period for Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Interim Final Rule
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting public comments on its interim final rule for the new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), designed to help producers protect working agricultural lands and wetlands. Read More.

Updated 2/26/15 Statement by Thomas Vilsack Secretary of Agriculture Before the House Committee on Agriculture
Secretary Vilsack appeared before the House Agriculture Committee to cover the state of agriculture and the Farm Bill that was passed in 2014.  He mentioned during this meeting that he was working with the EPA to help the group understand the impacts that their WOTUS proposal would have on agriculture. Read More.

Updated 2/26/15 FAA proposes long-awaited drone rules
The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed much-anticipated rules governing the commercial use of small drones that would require drone operators to obtain certification and pilot aircraft without line of sight only during daylight hours. Read More.

Updated 2/19/15 1031 Changes May Change Your Business in 2015
Institute member, Brad Lyle, ALC, had the opportunity to sit down with his Senator Orrin Hatch to discuss the changes to the Like-Kind Exchanges provisions. Read More.

Updated 2/5/15 Conservation Easement Incentive Act 2015
A bipartisan coalition introduced the Conservation Easement Incentive Act of 2015 in the House and Senate. The legislation provides a permanent enhanced tax incentive to family farmers, ranchers, and other landowners who do not wish to develop their land. Read More.

Updated 2/5/15 Forest Service releases final Land Management Planning Framework
The U.S. Forest Service announced availability of final planning directives, a key set of agency guidance documents that directs land managers’  implementation of the 2012 planning rule. Read More.

Updated 2/5/15 Federal Land Bill Calls for Expansion of Red Rock Canyon
The U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act on December 12, which included a package of land bills providing more space for outdoor enthusiasts' enjoyment. Read More.

Updated 2/5/15 NAR Statement on the WOTUS Hearing
NAR has stated their opposition to the vague and misguided "waters of the US" proposed regulation. On April 21, 2014 Congress held a hearing "Impacts of the Proposed Waters of the US Rule on State and Local Government. At this hearing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) proposed to reduce the amount of scientific analysis needed. Read the Statement from NAR.

Updated 2/5/15 D.C. Efforts to Prohibit Pre-Hire Marijuana Tests
The City Council of Washington D.C. has proposed city legislation that would legalize the posession, consumption, display, purchasing or transporting marijuana for personal use for persons over 21. While this is a local issue at the time, the trends are concerning across the nation. Read More.

Updated 1/30/15 Tax Deferred 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges
Congress has proposed repealing this tax code. This repeal would negatively affect business and the economy in general. REALTORS® Land Institute is involved in bringing awareness and information to the Hill to explain the importance of keeping this code in place. Read more.

Updated 1/23/15 US House passes natural gas pipeline permitting reform bill
The US House of Representatives approved a bill aimed at reforming federal natural gas pipeline permit reviews by establishing stricter deadlines for other agencies to submit information to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Read more.

Updated 1/14/15 Williams & Jenson Washington Update
Read the latest update from Williams & Jensen.

Updated 1/13/15 The Tax Treatment of Like Kind Exchanges
The Treasury Department Office of Tax Analysis published analysis of the 1031 like kind exchange discussing rationale.  It includes that the Federal Budget does not consider the 1031 exchange a tax expenditure.  The analysis indicates that eliminating 1031 exchanges would hurt liquidity of which would negativity affect consumers and the economy. Read more.

Updated 1/13/15 From Agriculture to energy, GOP intent on pushing back in 2015
Republican senators poised to lead major committees when the GOP takes charge are intent on pushing back many of President Barack Obama’s policies, setting up potential showdowns over environmental rules, financial regulations and national security. Read more.

Updated 1/13/15 FAA Releases Drone Exemption Process
Recognizing the demand to expedite integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS), the FAA continues efforts to develop the regulatory framework for safely integrating small UAS into routine NAS operations. This will primarily be accomplished by the small UAS (sUAS) rule, which is scheduled to be released for public comment later this year. Read more.



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