Washington

Impact

Government impacts business. And it impacts horticulture businesses in ways that it may not understand until its too late. That's why our team on Capital Hill exists to share the industry's voice and keep you informed of exactly what's happening as soon as -- if not before -- it does. The Washington Impact newsletter and briefings are exactly what you need to stay abreast of what Uncle Sam is up to.

Laurie-Ann Flanagan June 17 2020

We expect the President to issue an order within days that will place new restrictions on nonimmigrant visa programs. President Trump’s April 22 Proclamation called on the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor to review current temporary worker program and to recommend “measures appropriate to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and emp...

Craig Regelbrugge June 17 2020

Unrooted annual, perennial, and even some woody plant cuttings produced in growing operations outside the U.S. have become very important to the U.S. horticulture supply chain. In recent years, roughly two billion such cuttings have been imported to be finished here. But the cuttings are highly perishable, and any delays in the import process can lead to diminished quality or even product lo...

Tal Coley June 17 2020

The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration released further regulations on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) last week. The latest release focused on measures included in the PPP Flexibility Act, which was signed into law on June 5th.

The interim final rule codified some of the changes that were made with additional guidance to be released at a later date. Some k...

Craig Regelbrugge June 17 2020

USDA recently published implementation details for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Relief is now available to many crop and livestock producers, but USDA has not yet included nursery and floriculture crops for direct payment relief for COVID-19-induced losses falling during the period January 15 – April 15, 2020.

Nursery and floriculture crop growers hoping to...

Jennifer Gray June 03 2020

The Horticultural Research Institute has created a new web-based series featuring key research findings that help environmental horticulture businesses grow. The series is called tHRIve and aims to do just that: help the industry flourish. These web-based offerings cover research that is directly funded by HRI as well as federally funded research. New content will ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. June 03 2020

In response to public request for additional time, EPA announced that the comment period for the proposed interim decisions for five neonicotinoids has been extended by 30 days. Comments will now be accepted until June 18, 2020. The proposed interim decisions were released originally on Ja...

Tal Coley June 03 2020

The House passed a bill last week that would provide elements of flexibility for loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), addressing some of the key complaints with the program since inception. The appropriately named Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act passed by an overw...

Tal Coley June 03 2020

The Treasury Department finally released long-awaited details on loan forgiveness for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), releasing two interim final rules on Friday evening before Memorial Day Weekend. The rules address requirements for loan forgiveness as well as outlining PPP loan review procedures and related borrower and lender responsibilities.

Of interest is the loan forg...

Laurie-Ann Flanagan June 03 2020

Republican House and Senate lawmakers recently sent letters to President Trump urging that the H-2A and H2B visa programs not be included in a potentially restrictive Presidential action related to employment visa programs.

President Trump’s April 22 proclamation temporarily halting most legal immigration also called on the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor to review...

Tristan Daedalus June 03 2020

We mentioned in the last edition that USDA’s new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) didn’t yet extend relief funds to several agricultural sectors, horticulture included. To gather the information necessary to decide whether and how to tailor the program to additional sectors and offer this badly-needed assistance, the USDA’s Farm Service Agency has requested public...

In May 2016 the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final final rule doubling the salary level for "white collar" employees exempt from overtime pay, as well as the role of the overtime exemption for agricultural workers. We will discuss efforts to block the new overtime rule and possible strategies for employers to comply with the rule when it takes effect on December 1, 2016. From the...