North America

Tamsin R. Kaplan to Speak at WBA’s “Mentors for Rainmaking” Program

On April 26, 2017, Davis Malm shareholder Tamsin R. Kaplan, will serve as a panelist for the Women’s Bar Association (WBA) Business Development Committee’s “Mentors for Rainmaking” program. Ms. Kaplan will discuss how to develop and expand a client base to help women lawyers grow their law practices to achieve increased independence, compensation, and control over their careers.

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North Carolina: Governor presents his budget proposal for the 2017-19 biennium

Gov. Roy Cooper recently released his proposed budget for the biennium 2017-2019, Common Ground Solutions for NC. The governor said he wants to focus on “invest[ing] in a better educated, healthier and more prosperous North Carolina without raising taxes or fees.” The plan contains no proposals to increase taxes or fees, nor does it deploy nonrecurring funds on recurring needs.
The $23.5 billion plan includes an additional $1.1 billion of spending over the current budget, reported USNews. Gov. Cooper defended this as “’catch up’ after years of neglect in education spending by GOP lawmakers.” The governor opined that the GOP had spent too much on income and corporate tax cuts, thus highlighting the main policy differences between the parties. Indeed, one republican lawmaker criticized the proposal as “reckless,” warning that the “$1 billion spending spree would surely return us to the days of high taxes and multi-billion dollar deficits.”
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South Carolina: Support for a gas tax increase the rise

According to the American Petroleum Institute, the national average gas tax as of its January 1, 2017 quarterly update is 49.44 cents per gallon. This consists of the following:
  • State excise taxes: 21.3 cents
  • Other state taxes: 10.01 cents
  • Federal excise taxes: 18.40 cents
South Carolina’s gas tax is less than that, at 35.15 cents per gallon, because the Palmetto State’s portion is so much lower than the national average:
  • State excise taxes: 16.00 cents
  • Other state taxes: 0.75 cents
  • Federal excise taxes: 18.40 cents

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Jury still out on whether sin taxes change behavior

In March 2015, Berkeley, California was the first city in the nation to pass such a law subjecting sugary beverages to a tax, of a penny-per-ounce.
And last year, much was made of new sugar-sweetened beverage tax laws in Boulder, Colorado, and three California jurisdictions, Albany, Oakland, and San Francisco. Boulder’s tax is 2 cents per ounce; Albany’s is one-cent per ounce; Oakland passed a one percent increase of the general sales tax; and San Francisco’s beverage tax is one-cent per ounce.
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What employers need to know about the American Health Care Act

On Monday, March 6, House Republicans released the American Health Care Act, their long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly known as “Obamacare.” While the goal for Republicans over the last eight years has been to repeal the ACA in its entirety, for the most part the new bill leaves much of the existing legislation in place.

The reason why stems from the rules for the process in which Republicans seek to pass the American Health Care Act: budget reconciliation. The advantage of passing the ACA repeal and replace legislation as a reconciliation bill is that only a simple Senate majority is required for passage (some may recall that parts of the ACA were enacted using the same mechanism).

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What health care providers need to know about the American Health Care Act

On Monday, March 6, the House Republicans released the American Health Care Act – the long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly known as “Obamacare.” When the ACA was enacted in March 2010, major themes included expansion of coverage, improving the efficiency and quality of healthcare, and lowering the overall cost of insurance. While the goal for Republicans has been to repeal the ACA, the new bill leaves much of the existing legislation in place. The House’s proposed repeal and replace legislation attempts to reduce the federal government’s investment in the ACA’s expanded insurance coverage by repealing many of the taxes that were implemented to fund the ACA, restructuring the federal subsidies for health insurance premiums as flat tax credits, and reforming Medicaid.

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Guidane regarding the new I-9 form released

Form I-9, aka the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of all individuals hired for employment in the U.S. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual hired to work in the U.S. This requirement is equally applicable to U.S. citizens and non-citizens. Both employees and employers (or the authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form.
Although simple on its face, Form I-9 continues to trip up employers for a variety of reasons. After revamping the form at the end of 2016, on February 14, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released further guidance to assist employers. The new “Handbook for Employers – Guidance for Completing Form I-9” (also referred to as M-274) is available here.
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D.C. Circuit Rejects NLRB Finding That FedEx Drivers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors and Raises Doubts As To Board’s Joint Employer Test

Steven M. SwirskyOver the past week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit weighed in on two separate related efforts by the Obama-Board to expand the protections of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”) to workers who are not in traditional employer-employee relationships.

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He who shares, wins – buying residential property

Where two or more individuals purchase residential property they have to decide whether they will hold the property as joint tenants or as tenants in common. The purpose of this article is to explain the distinction between these two options, provide some insight into the circumstances in which each may be most appropriate, and highlight some of the issues that need to be taken into consideration.

 

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Telehealth Outlook Under the Trump Administration

What will the telehealth landscape look like under the Donald J. Trump Administration?

The Trump Administration is likely to drive telehealth advancement in a positive direction. For example, President Trump’s plan to reform the Veteran’s Affairs Department includes improved patient care through the use of telehealth technology. There are also some indications that the newly confirmed Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Tom Price, is “telehealth friendly.” Recently, during the congressional confirmation hearings, Price mentioned a tele-stroke program in Georgia as a model of success, and he said he thought there were many things that can be done to mirror that kind of technological expansion. Price also said he is interested in promoting telehealth because it “holds great promise, particularly for rural areas experiencing physician shortages and for patients with limited mobility.”

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