Visa Investor Program Hits More Troubled Waters

The head of a visa-investor operation in South Dakota pleaded guilty to illegally diverting funds, giving another black eye to the scandal-plagued EB-5 immigration program. reported on financial problems involving the South Dakota Regional Center three years ago, including bankruptcies and the auctioning of a $100 million slaughterhouse for $4.7 million.

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Why Start a Venture?

A Federal judge set a briefing schedule to examine Energy Transfer's claim that granting the easement is a "ministerial' action and mandated since the company has the related permit."

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Need to Reverse Cottonwood Decision

U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester and U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke underscored the urgency in reversing the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cottonwood Environmental Law Center v. U.S. Forest Service by introducing bipartisan bicameral legislation to do just that.

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Executive Order Lifts Anti Coal Regsulations

In reaction to President Trump’s executive orders directing the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers to rewrite the greenhouse gas regulations, the Waters of the U.S. rule, lift the moratorium on federal coal leasing, and repeal the Clean Power Plan, organizations across Montana have issued the following statements:

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Midnight Rule Relief Act

On Jan. 4, the US House of Representatives passed the Midnight Rule Relief Act, which would allow Congress to repeal multiple executive branch rules with a single piece of legislation. It would amend the Congressional Review Act, which currently requires a separate resolution of disapproval for each rule in question.

Wayne Crews with the Competitive Enterprise Institute reported, Since Congress is only in session part-time, 60 legislative days [the limit for regulations to be subject to the Congressional Review Act] go back a while. Congress could, potentially, vote to overturn every Obama regulation finalized since around the end of May or beginning of June.They won't do that, of course, but my current, regularly updated inventory of significant rules that qualify as potential candidates since May 31 now stands at 142. . . it's a substantial list.The Midnight rules legislation should be amended to incorporate significant guidance as well. Agencies issue far more sub-regulatory guidance, memoranda, notices, bulletins, advisories, letter circulars and so on than they do regulations, and these often have regulatory effect, agency denials notwithstanding.Importantly, the CRA and its legislative history plainly covers such regulatory dark matter, but that's not something often heard about. The CRA adopted the broad definition of rule's under the Administrative Procedure Act and therefore allows resolutions of disapproval for sub-regulatory guidance as well.The Midnight Rule Relief Act faces an uncertain future in the Senate, where it is widely expected to encounter greater opposition.

Corporate Income Tax

With federal tax reform efforts seeking to lower the 35 percent tax rate on corporations, it's also worth remembering that most states also impose taxes that can push business tax marginal rates above 40 percent. New analysis from Tax Foundation Policy Analyst Morgan Scarboro shows the corporate tax brackets and tax rates for these states and the District of Columbia.

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Regs Coming Fast & Furious

In a rush to cinch political agendas before the end of the current Administration, well over a thousand new rules and regulations, on businesses and industry, have been imposed by federal agencies, over the past few months. That includes 192 major rules, with 16 more “in the hopper”. Major rules are identified as those rules which will each cost the economy more than $100 million to implement.

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Court Upholds CEI Information Request

Last week the Supreme Court of New York ruled for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and against the New York Attorney General holding that the New York Attorney General’s office failed to comply with the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) statute. In fact, the court stated that the AG’s attempt to dismiss the case was a “complete failure” and has ordered that, within 30 days, the AG submit a response to the original FOIL request that “fully complies with the intent and purpose” of the statute. Further, the Court has granted CEI’s request for attorneys’ fees.

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