American Rescue Plan - Updates & Resources

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Recent Announcements

01/19/2022 - U.S. Small Business Administration to provide web-based business start-up training to aspiring entrepreneurs

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Maine District Office announces its new “Business Smart” training program.  This three (3) module workshop series provides participants with step by step information on how to start their own business, how to obtain credit, and where to find no-cost resources to help their business grow.  This training is open to all, but is designed specifically for potential and newer entrepreneurs. 

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01/19/2022 - Update: U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers

On January 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an immediate stay of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (the OSHA ETS). The Court held that it was likely that the Secretary of Labor lacked the authority to impose the mandate. This decision means that private employers subject to the OSHA ETS vaccinate-ortest and mask mandate are not currently required to comply with the ETS requirements. OSHA is currently reviewing its options on how to proceed. It is possible that it will ask the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the merits of the ETS, a decision which could again be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, this approach seems unlikely since the Supreme Court indicated it would not uphold the ETS in its current form.

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01/18/2022 - Legal Update: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a Final Rule for the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, enacted as a part of the American Rescue Plan (ARPA). The Final Rule significantly broadens potential eligible uses of the Local Fiscal Recovery Funds and simplifies federal guidelines for determining eligibility. As a result, MMA’s Legal Services Department has substantially revised its guidance for municipalities on this topic.

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01/07/2022 - Treasury Issues Final Rule for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued the Final Rule for the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, enacted as a part of the American Rescue Plan (ARPA). Thank you to all of the municipal officials that relayed their experiences of navigating the Interim Final Rule. Your input influenced the many changes incorporated into the final rule. Maine Municipal Association’s ARPA Team will be dissecting the new documents over the next few days and will be providing updated guidance to members.

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01/06/2022 - Update: Maine BOSH to adopt OSHA Vaccination Mandate on 1/18/2022

On January 18th at 9:00 AM the Board of Occupational Safety & Health (BOSH) will hold a special meeting via Zoom to consider adoption of a work rule replicating the new OSHA Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). See MMA’s Legal Services updated guidance for more information on the meeting and the impact of adoption of the rule on municipalities.

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01/05/2022 - Mills Administration Announces $3.5 Million in Lifeline Loans to Cover the Property Tax Bills of Older or Disabled Maine People

The Mills Administration is launching the State Property Tax Deferral Program, a lifeline loan program through the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan that can cover the annual property tax bills of eligible Maine people who are ages 65 and older or are permanently disabled and who cannot afford to pay them on their own. The loan program will allow Maine’s most vulnerable community members to age in place and ensure that property taxes are still delivered to municipalities. The program requires repayment of the loan once the property is sold or becomes part of an estate.

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12/28/2021 - Entry-Level CDL Driver Training Regulations Go into Effect February 7, 2022.

New federal regulations go into effect on February 7, 2022, setting minimum training requirements that entry-level drivers must complete before being permitted to take certain commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills or knowledge tests. The regulations apply to individuals who obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) on or after February 7, 2022, or who obtain a Class A CDL or Class B CDL for the first time; upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or obtain a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time after February 7, 2022. These individuals must receive required training from a registered training provider.

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12/27/2021 - Legal Update: Electric Service Options

In light of recent questions from municipal officials, MMA’s Legal Services Department has issued an update briefly summarizing some of the electric service options available to municipalities. We also provide some guidance and resources for municipal officials who might be considering a new electric service provider or sourcing through a solar arrangements.

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12/23/2021 - Spirit of America Awards

Your municipal governing body is invited to pick a local person, project or group to receive the 2022 Spirit of America Foundation Tribute for outstanding community service and to honor the recipient at your annual town meeting or during National Volunteer Month (April).  There is no fee involved, and over 160 Maine municipalities chose a Spirit of America award winner this past year.  

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12/23/2021 - New Opportunities to Create Affordable Housing

A range of existing and future state housing programs will be explored in this 90-minute free webinar. The panelists will describe new housing programs being unveiled in 2022 to help finance the creation of affordable homes to be rented and owned.

The presentation will also focus on opportunities for regional and county collaboration, as well as the assistance available to local leaders charged with ensuring compliance and justification when using federal funds like ARPA to invest in housing. The panel will include representatives from the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, Maine State Housing Authority, and Maine Municipal Association.

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