News Updates

Gov. Ricketts Delivers State of the State Address

January 13, 2022

The Governor identified four priorities this legislative session: provide tax relief, protect public safety, secure our water resources, and invest ARPA funds in one-time projects that will benefit our state.

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Not Enough Hours in the Day or Days in the Session

January 11, 2022

The Legislature simply won't have enough time to address everything senators want to this session. That was the message given this morning by Speaker Hilgers.

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Gov. Ricketts to Hold State of the State Address

January 10, 2022

Governor Ricketts will hold his annual State of the State Address on Thursday, January 13, 2022, at 10 a.m. to lay out his top priorities for the legislative session ahead. You can tune in by visiting Nebraska Public Media's website at https://nebraskapublicmedia.org/en/schedules/#live-programming.

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OSHA Vaccine Mandate Compliance Information

January 10, 2022

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has dissolved the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard. OSHA can once again implement this workplace health standard. To account for any uncertainty created by the stay, OSHA is exercising enforcement discretion with respect to the compliance dates. To provide employers with sufficient time to come into compliance, OSHA will not issue citations for noncompliance with any requirements of the ETS before January 10 and will not issue citations for noncompliance with the standard’s testing requirements before February 9, so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.

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What Employers Need to Know About Vaccine Mandates

January 10, 2022

The Biden Administration’s Path out of the Pandemic Plan mandated, and directed various agencies, to require vaccinations for four specific groups: federal employees, employees of federal contractors, employees of companies with at least 100 employees, and employees of healthcare providers receiving funds from Medicare or Medicaid. Read more from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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Build Back Better Act remains stalled as Senate returns from recess

January 07, 2022

Members of the Senate returned to Capitol Hill from their holiday recess and it became apparent as the new legislative session got underway that the obstacles that prevented Majority Leader Charles Schumer from getting the Build Back Better Act through his chamber by his self-imposed Christmas deadline may not be overcome quickly.

New R&D credit documentation requirements clarified

January 07, 2022

The IRS has provided guidance to taxpayers and internally on its new documentation requirements for administrative refund claims of the Sec. 41 business tax credit for increasing research activities (the R&D credit). The new requirements take effect Jan. 10, 2022. An R&D credit refund claim on an amended return must contain certain specified items of information before it can be deemed to meet the specificity requirement of Regs. Sec. 301.6402-2(b)(1) by containing sufficient information concerning the grounds and facts upon which the claim is based. This is a threshold requirement for the IRS to accept the claim as valid.

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Supreme Court to consider workplace vaccine requirements

January 07, 2022

The Supreme Court is holding a special session today to weigh whether President Joe Biden's team can enforce vaccine-and-testing rules issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for larger private employers and a vaccine mandate for most health care workers. Unusually, the court is hearing arguments on cases that haven't been fully aired in lower courts, and the justices don't have to issue a definitive decision on whether the administration's vaccine rules are lawful. Instead, they are considering whether the White House can implement the rules now while more detailed litigation continues. The cases will nevertheless require the justices to assess whether the Biden administration has credible claims that it stayed within legal boundaries as it has sought to use longstanding laws to introduce far-reaching rules in the name of public health.

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Why target-date funds aren't always the best fit for savers

January 07, 2022

A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has found that target-date funds, with their "one-size-fits-all" approach, are not necessarily the best way to invest in retirement portfolios. Though not all target funds follow the same algorithms for reducing equity exposure over time, known as “glide paths,” they do follow largely similar ones. For investors 40 or so years from retirement, for example, typically around 90% of portfolio investments are allocated to equities. The equities allocation declines gradually to around 50% for investors at retirement age, and to as low as 30% for those well into their retirement years. The NBER study used historical data to set up a model of the economic environment in which people earn, save and invest over their lives. It found that the typical glide path used by target-date funds is too conservative starting at the age of 50. In contrast to an equity exposure level that drops to 50% by retirement age and to as low as 30% during retirement, the average recommended equity exposure in the researchers’ model never falls below 60%. On average for the very wealthiest of investors, for example, the model found that the optimal equity allocation is close to 100% even during retirement. In contrast, the average recommended equity allocation for those with the least amount of wealth is around 20% during retirement years.

Gov. Ricketts, Revenue Committee set tax relief as legislative priority

January 06, 2022

On Jan. 6, 2022, Governor Pete Ricketts held a press conference in the State Capitol Rotunda with members of the Legislature’s Revenue Committee. The Governor and Revenue Committee Chairwoman Lou Ann Linehan both called on the Unicameral to prioritize tax relief during its 60-day short session in 2022.

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What to know about cryptocurrency taxation

January 06, 2022

Some people who traded cryptoassets in 2021 saw significant gains, meaning they must be aware of tax implications. Investors might face long- or short-term capital gains rates, depending on the length of time they held on to cryptocurrency.

Will the Fed move more quickly to raise rates?

January 06, 2022

During a December meeting, Federal Reserve officials noted progress in the economy and voiced concerns about inflation, minutes show. Given the economic outlook, officials pointed out that "it may become warranted to increase the federal funds rate sooner or at a faster pace than participants had earlier anticipated," according to the minutes.

Legislature convenes Jan. 5, 2022

January 05, 2022

The second session of the 107th Nebraska Legislature kicks off Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. It's a "short" 60-day session, which means floor debate on carryover legislation from 2021 can start almost immediately. (In an odd year, the Legislature has a "long" session lasting 90 days.) Once the session is under way, senators will have 10 days to introduce new legislation. Hundreds of bills will be introduced between Jan. 5 and Jan. 20. Jan. 13 will be Gov. Pete Ricketts State of the State Address, where he will outline his priorities for the session. Since we're in an even year, the Governor will be releasing proposed adjustments to the state's two-year budget adopted last year. In addition, the Governor will outline his recommendations for spending the nearly $1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that are available to Nebraska and will be allocated this session. Speaker of the Legislature Mike Hilgers has announced that committee hearings will occur at 1:30 p.m. on weekdays until every bill has had its legally required public hearing. The all-day hearings implemented last year due to COVID are now a thing of the past. This session is the last one for nearly 25% of the legislative body due to term limits. In Nebraska, senators are limited to two consecutive four-year terms (eight years), after which they must wait four years before running again. 2022 will be the last session for the following 12 senators: Sen. Curt Friesen, Henderson, District 34 Sen. Mike Groene, North Platte, District 42 Sen. Matt Hansen, Lincoln, District 26 Sen. Robert Hilkemann, Omaha, District 4 Sen. Dan Hughes, Venango, District 44 Sen. Mark Kolterman, Seward, District 24 Sen. Brett Lindstrom, Omaha, District 18 Sen. John McCollister, Omaha, District 20 Sen. Adam Morfeld, Lincoln, District 46 Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, Lincoln, District 28 Sen. John Stinner, Gering, District 48 Sen. Matt Williams, Gothenburg, District 36

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Welcome to 2022: The Winds of Change

January 04, 2022

Welcome to 2022! We can't imagine a more transformative year for America. After two years of unprecedented government actions, the winds of change are blowing hard. The economy has been buffeted by short-term factors since 2020; this year, long-term fundamentals should re-assert themselves as the most important drivers of economic and financial performance.

Jan. 7 set for U.S. Supreme Court arguments on OSHA & vaccine mandates

December 23, 2021

In a rare move right before the holidays, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear arguments at a special session on Jan. 7, 2022, regarding two federal vaccine mandates: OSHA’s vaccinate-or-test Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for employers with 100+ employees and the vaccine mandate for healthcare facilities.

How to help older relatives spot financial scams

December 22, 2021

Financial scams can significantly damage the financial well-being of older Americans, but research suggests retirees are less likely than members of other groups to be concerned about this type of fraud. Consider using holiday gatherings as an opportunity to address the issue with older relatives.

Digital assets, intangibles among priorities on FASB’s new research agenda

December 21, 2021

FASB has announced comprehensive changes to its research agenda. In response to feedback, FASB chair Rich Jones said its agenda will now include: accounting for exchange-traded digital assets and commodities; accounting for and disclosure of intangibles; hedge accounting; and accounting for financial instruments with environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-linked features and regulatory credits.

Employers get vaccine mandate reprieve

December 21, 2021

The Biden administration is pushing back the date by which large businesses must comply with its COVID-19 vaccine requirement amid continued legal uncertainty about the mandate. Following a federal appeals court ruling reinstating the administration's vaccination rules, the Labor Department said it would give employers until February 9, 2022, to comply with the rule's testing requirements and until January 10, 2022, to comply with the rest of it. The original deadline was January 4, 2022. The rules apply to employers with 100 or more workers and cover roughly 84 million people.

Lawmakers demand answers on IRS backlog before next tax season

December 21, 2021

A group of 99 House Republicans has sent a letter to Internal Revenue Service commissioner Charles Rettig asking for information about how the IRS plans to fix the backlog of unprocessed tax returns before the 2022 filing season.

The Good Life Is Calling!

December 21, 2021

The story of Nebraska has been under-told and under-sold and it's time for that to change. Join us as we promote our welcoming communities, work-life balance and the widespread opportunities that exist in our state. Help us be a voice for Nebraska as we show the rest of the country that the Good Life is Calling.