This part of our website will keep you up to date on any happenings with our Goverment Affairs Committee !!!
Bill Ford
Southwest Goverment Affairs Representitive 
Hello SW franchisees/ARLs,

The next D.C. Fly in is scheduled for Sept 16th - 19th.  If you are interested in attending to meet/lobby your congressional representatives, please let me know no later than 8/14.   This time is needed to set up your itinerary and ensure we can schedule time with your specific Senator/Representatives.  Simply email me at [email protected] and let me know who will be attending and the zip code you live and/or own KFC in so I can get you appointments with right people.

You would be responsible for travel costs to and from but can take advantage of the special room rate that we secured at hotel below.  Once you notify me of desire to attend I will forward link to hotel rate. 

“Save the dates (September 16, 17 & 18) for the fly-in.  The hotel reservation link should be out soon.  We are booked into the Key Bridge Marriott, 1401 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA, 22209-1201 at $229 per night.”


Regardless of your desire to attend/not attend, I represent you during this fly-in so please forward me any specific legislative concerns/issues that you would like me to address.

Thank you,

Bill Ford
Director of Operations
Stewart Restaurant Group
New July 2019 
​​
Current State of Play – Congressional Update – Dan Gans  

Tax Reform/QIP
•           McConnell and leadership are aware of the issue. If any tax fix moves forward, this will be our top priority. 
•           Andrew Grossman, Chief tax counsel on Ways & Means Committee noted in a public speech last month that the fix will be a priority for the committee.
•           H.R. 1869/S. 803 Senators Toomey and Jones' legislation - the Restoring Investments in Improvements Act - would ensure the full cost of store, office, or building improvements can be immediately expensed as was originally intended in 2017 tax reform. - *40 Representatives and 5 Senators have joined these bills since our last call. The House version now has 158 cosponsors and the Senate now has 35.

Minimum Wage
•           H.R.582/S. 150- the Raise the Wage Act is expected to move forward with a floor vote later this month.  Despite concerns by some in the party that the bill goes too far in rural communities and for small businesses, party leaders feel confident that they have the votes needed to get the measure passed before the end of July.
•           Sen. Bernie Sanders has simultaneously called McConnell to put this bill on the Senate floor, but it is unlikely to move in a Republican controlled Senate.
•           The issue has become fodder on the presidential campaign trail, with a majority of the 2020 candidates endorsing a $15 minimum wage.
•           Walmart Chief McMillon is also calling on Congress to raise the minimum wage.
•           Big labor’s think tank is rallying grassroots support for the bill and has already submitted over 8,451 letters of support.
•           In the meantime, states continue to take the lead addressing wage violations- in May, Colorado became the latest state to pass a law directly addressing “wage theft.”
•           An increase to the federal minimum wage could be on the horizon if Senators and Trump have to “throw a bone” to blue collar workers in this election cycle.
•           H.R. 3515- To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to prohibit States and municipalities from adopting certain laws and ordinances, and for other purposes- This was introduced by Rep. Rodney Davis-D-IL and Rep. Dusty Johnson- R-SD on June 26th. Polaris has a call set up this week with the IFA- they are in support and plan to update us on their strategy for the coming months. We will circulate updates as we have them.

Federal Overtime Rule
•           On March 22nd, the overtime proposed rule was published.
•           The regulation includes the following:
o          Raises the overtime threshold to $35,308/year ($679/week).
o          Does not implement automatic updates, but the proposal seeks comment on conducting regularly scheduled rulemakings to update the salary threshold consist with the methodology used in this proposal.
•           The comment period is closed. We will keep the GAC updated as this proposed rule progresses. There is not yet a final rule.

Joint Employer
•           It is possible the DOL may be working on at least three additional proposed regulations affecting the Fair Labor Standards Act after the deadline for comments on the regular rate and joint employment are due on or before June 12, 2019 (this was also extended to June 25th) and June 25, 2019, respectively. What exactly that means is TBD, but we will keep the GAC updated as this progresses. There is not yet a final rule.

ACA Repeal/Replace
•           Election Implications: Since the Democrats took the House in the elections, we will most likely not see any movement on this project for the foreseeable future.
•           The new House Democratic majority will be limited in its ability to enact health care legislation with Republicans still in control of the Senate and White House.
•           Proposals such as Medicare for All and additional subsidies for state insurance exchanges will be next to impossible to achieve.
•           Medicare for All will likely also be a hot topic in the Dem primary.

40-Hour Workweek
•           The Employee Flexibility Act- would change definition of a workweek back to 40 hours.
•           This is the voter voice we just sent out- encourage GAC members to click & send to their Senators and Congressmen if they have not already!

Renewable Fuel Standard
•           Congressional Biofuels Caucus co-chairs, Representatives Collin C. Peterson (D-MN), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) led a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler regarding the EPA’s proposed rulemaking involving modifications to the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver for 15 percent ethanol (E15) and regulatory changes to the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market. Currently the EPA is attempting to finalize a rule that would allow the sale of E15 to be sold year-round. It is possible a bill may be introduced soon. We will keep the GAC updated as this issue progresses throughout this Congress.

Tariffs
•           No need for engagement right now.
•           AKFCF will actually be a beneficiary of Trump policy on China tariffs.
•           If we were no longer be able to export KFC dark meat to China, that may be inflationary for us and concerning. We will keep the GAC updated.

Pending Bills –

House:

•           H.R.582 - The Raise the Wage Act
Position: AKFCF is against this bill
Cosponsors: 205 (Ds)

•           H.R. 2782- The Employee Flexibility Act
Position: AKFCF is in support of this bill
Cosponsors: 4

•           H.R. 1869- The Restoring Investments in Improvements Act
Position: AKFCF is in support of this bill
Cosponsors: 158 (Ds and Rs)- *added 40 cosponsors since last month

•           H.R. 3515- To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to prohibit States and municipalities from adopting certain laws and ordinances, and for other purposes
Cosponsors: 2 (Rep. Rodney Davis-D-IL and Rep. Dusty Johnson- R-SD)

Senate:

•           S. 1510- The Employee Flexibility Act
Position: AKFCF is in support of this bill
Cosponsors: 4 (2 Ds, 2 Rs)

•           S. 803- The Restoring Investments in Improvements Act
Position: AKFCF is in support of this bill
Cosponsors: 35 (Ds and Rs)- *added 5 cosponsors since last month

Feed and Greet with Leader McConnell at the September fly-in.

Please Contact Bill Ford if you have any inquries.  [email protected]
I    
CALL TO ACTION
Association of Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchisee Members:
 
In light of two bills recently introduced in Congress, we are making another push to get Congress to institute a 40-hour workweek.
 
Issue Overview: This 40-hour workweek legislation was introduced in both the House and the Senate on May 16, 2019. The Employee Flexibility Act of 2019 (H.R. 2782/S. 1510) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the 30-hour threshold for classification as a full-time employee for purposes of the employer mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and replace it with a 40 hour definition.
 
What's At Stake: As you know, with already tight budgets, the 30-hour workweek definition has forced many of us to cut employees’ hours, negatively affecting employees and their families. The introduction of these bills is an excellent opportunity for our franchisees to engage their Senators and Representatives on this important issue and encourage them to co-sponsor the cited bills.
 
What You Can Do: The link below makes it easy for anyone to contact their members of Congress with our targeted message already created for them. Just insert this link into your browser. You will be taken directly to our website where the issue is explained succinctly, and then can personalize our pre-crafted message with details about your business.  It’s very easy to use – please try it yourself!
 
Our message about the need to establish a 40-hour workweek is getting through, but Congress needs to hear more from constituents that this issue is critical.  You can help!
 
Thank you for working to provide relief to our AKFCF employers and increase employee hours, flexibility, and income.

Sincerely,

Ray Aley
AKFCF GAC Chair
​​​​​​​
Please click the icon to  send your message: 

Update March 2019
​​Reps. Panetta, Walorski Introduce Bipartisan Restoring Investment in Improvements Act​


For Immediate Release 
March 26, 2019
https://panetta.house.gov   

Contact:  Sarah Davey 
(202) 225-2861
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Reps. Panetta, Walorski Introduce Bipartisan Restoring Investment in Improvements Act
Helps spur renovations and investment in local restaurants, retailers
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN) introduced the Restoring Investment in Improvements Act, bipartisan legislation that ensures restaurants and retailers are able to properly benefit from a tax provision meant to aid renovations and spur investment.
The 2017 tax law made significant changes to the federal tax code, including allowing businesses to immediately write off costs associated with improving facilities instead of having to write off those expenses over 15 years.  An inadvertent drafting error required restaurants, retailers, and other leaseholders to instead write those expenses off over a much longer period of 39 years, resulting in cost-prohibitive renovation projects and stalled investments.  Reps. Panetta and Walorski’s bipartisan Restoring Investment in Improvements Act would ensure the full cost of store, office, or building improvements can be immediately expensed as was originally intended.  The Joint Committee on Taxation has concluded that this legislation would have no impact on the federal budget deficit.
"The loss of immediate expensing has hurt many of our family-owned small businesses that are critical to the success of our Central Coast economies and communities," said Congressman Panetta.  "The Restoring Investment in Improvements Act fixes that problem, known as the “retail glitch,” by restoring the 15-year schedule for Qualified Improvement Property (QIP) and making these improvements eligible for immediate expensing as was originally intended.  Our bill will allow restaurants, retailers, and other businesses to make the improvements they need to keep their stores competitive and safe and plan for the future."
"Tax reform has helped businesses across the country invest, expand, and hire more workers, but investments in interior improvements were inadvertently excluded from some tax benefits,"Congresswoman Walorski said.  "The Restoring Investment in Improvements Act is a small but critical fix for our job creators, and technical corrections like this are a normal part of the process when Congress enacts major reforms.  This bipartisan, commonsense bill will allow restaurants, retailers, and other small businesses to unlock the full benefits of tax reform and continue driving our nation’s economic growth."
Ted Balestreri, Chairman and CEO of The Sardine Factory Restaurant said, "We are excited to see Congressman Jimmy Panetta and his colleagues fighting for restaurant owners in California and across the country.  A permanent correction restoring the appropriate tax treatment of our improvements will allow our restaurant operators, small and large, to support their employees and expand their businesses.  This legislation will benefit restaurants and local economies throughout the country."
"The IAFC applauds Rep. Panetta for developing this bipartisan and cost-neutral legislation to correct the drafting error which limits the ability of property owners to invest in the safety of their buildings.  Fire sprinklers are proven to decrease death rates in fires by up to 87%.  This bill provides a crucial mechanism to make these life-savings systems more accessible to building owners across the United States," said Fire Chief Dan Eggleston, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
Original cosponsors of the legislation include Reps. Steven Horsford (D-NV), Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA), Terri Sewell (D-AL), George Holding (R-NC), Susie Lee (D-NV), Andy Barr (R-KY), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), David McKinley (R-WV), Dina Titus (D-NV), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Lou Correa (D-CA), and Kenny Marchant (R-TX).  A companion bill was also introduced in the Senate by Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Doug Jones (D-AL).

###
Download

​Almost there - language to correct expensing/depreciation rules has been put into bill.  Waiting on bill number and hopefully put to vote soon.  Bi-Partisan bill so hopefully slam dunk once on agenda!