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Article 10/11/2018

2018 ESCA Federal Policy Conference & Lobby Day: Key Takeaways

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Pillars on a Government building

Employee-Owned S Corporations of America’s (ESCA) Federal Policy Conference and Lobby Day drew more than 160 ESCA members and guests to Washington, D.C., in September 2018. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, was a featured speaker and expressed his support of S corporation employee stock ownership plans (ESOP). Crapo referred to ESOPs as “an incredible part of America,” further stating he’ll “do his part to look for opportunities to move the S ESOP bill” as part of a broader tax or retirement security package.

Visits by other ESOP supporters included:

  • Dave Reichert, R-WA — lead Republican sponsor of ESCA’s bill
  • Ron Kind, D-WI
  • Ben Cardin, D-MD

President and Executive Director of ESCA Stephanie Silverman gave a political update and shared her outlook on the current legislative environment. She focused on the midterm elections and what they mean for ESOP legislation. She also encouraged ESCA members to remain actively engaged with their Congress members, as many pro-ESOP congressional members face difficult battles for reelection.

In more than 120 office visits, employee owners advocated for legislation in the Senate and House (S. 1589/H.R. 2092) to protect and promote S corp ESOPs. They also shared how S corp ESOPs have affected retirement savings and job creation in their communities. Three additional House members—Reps. George Holding of North Carolina, Brad Wenstrup of Ohio and Rick Larsen of Washington—added their names to the House bill immediately after the visits.

While employee owners visited legislators, professional members met with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and IRS officials, as well as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration Preston Rutledge. They discussed various hot topics, focusing on regulatory issues and challenges unique to S corp ESOPs.

To learn more about issues affecting S corp ESOPs, contact Angela or your trusted BKD advisor.