As part of its mission to be the nation’s leading advocate for responsible state treasury programs and related financial practices and policies, NAST maintains an office of federal relations in Washington, DC. The organization’s advocacy is guided by resolutions adopted by the membership.
NAST’s Legislative Priorities include:
TAX-EXEMPT MUNICIPAL BONDS: CRITICAL FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
Tax-exempt municipal bonds are the primary financing mechanisms for state and local infrastructure projects. If the current tax treatment is eliminated or capped, the payment burden to finance much needed infrastructure projects will shift to states and municipalities. Proposed changes would force state and local governments to curtail investments in critical infrastructure projects.
HIGH QUALITY LIQUID ASSETS: THE DEFINITION ON MUNICIPAL SECURITIES
In 2014, federal regulators finalized a Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) Rule that did not define municipal securities as high quality liquid assets (HQLA). NAST supports bipartisan, House-passed legislation (H.R. 2209), introduced by Representatives Luke Messer (R-IN) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), that ensures highly rated municipal securities are treated as level 2A liquid assets.
FINANCIAL LITERACY PROMOTION
Financial literacy programs enable individuals and families to make the best use of their financial resources at key points in life. State treasurers and their private sector partners are working diligently to provide education and hands-on training to teach Americans of all ages these critical skills.
COLLEGE SAVINGS PLANS: EXPANDING ACCESS TO COLLEGE
529 College Savings Plans are the primary tax advantaged way for families to save for college. As a part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Congress and the Administration approved common sense legislation to make improvements to the 529 program (H.R. 529/S. 335). NAST and its affiliate, the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) look forward to working with Congress to improve 529 plans as Congress considers other changes to the tax code and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
ABLE ACT: PROVIDING BENEFIT TO THE DISABLED COMMUNITY
Signed into law in 2014, the ABLE Act (H.R. 637/S. 313) amends the Internal Revenue Code to include tax-exempt ABLE accounts for individuals with disabilities. State treasurers and 529 administrators are working diligently to ensure that this new program benefits the disabled community in the manner intended.
Members come together to discuss these and other issues at the annual legislative conference held in Washington each spring. For more information, contact the office of federal relations at (202) 347-3864.
Story Excerpt: The National Association of State Treasurers recently outlined some legislative priorities that would broaden ABLE accounts’ reach..