Connecting Your Business with the Industry’s Best
Print Access Find the right printer for the BEST results.
print Access

ACCESS FOR AMERICANS FACING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE - PIA Fights Rule 30e-3

Posted Thursday, July 14, 2016 by Jules VanSant.

alt text*From Lisbeth A. Lyons – VP, Government Affairs Printing Industries of America*

As Congress breaks for the presidential nominating conventions and summer campaigning, I wanted to provide an update on the status of PIA’s legislative effort to block the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) from implementing its proposed Rule 30e-3. This rule that would direct the agency to change its existing method of mailing certain printed financial information to investors – and instead essentially replace it with email instead. Many of you are familiar with the debate, so I will skip straight to the update. (For those who wish to review or learn more about this issue, please visit www.paperoptions.org.)



SEC
The SEC has yet to indicate a date certain when it will finalize and implement this rule. As such, PIA and its allies in the Coalition for Paper Options (CPO) continue to leverage opportunities to raise concerns before the SEC. This week, the SEC Investor Advisory Committee held a forum on proposed investor modernization rules, including Rule 30e-3. Linda Sherry, a representative of Consumer Action (which partners with PIA and CPO), presented arguments against the proposed rule. Linda’s message that SEC should NOT move forward with the rule was very effective and was certainly noted by the SEC. I’ve attached her statement. Also presenting viewpoints to the SEC was the Investment Company Institute (ICI), which supports going to an email delivery system, and Broadridge Financial Solutions. PIA will certainly highlight Linda’s statement with lawmakers on Capitol Hill as well.

House
CPO champion Representative Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) had initially sought to add an amendment to the Financial Services appropriations bill that would block the SEC from funding and implementing this rule. While he did achieve solid support on his policy position, the chairman of that subcommittee, Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), remained opposed and, rather than risking a losing vote on the amendment that may have damaged further prospects, Poliquin eventually withdrew from this effort. However, he did engage in a colloquy (a formal, on-the-record discussion between lawmakers) with Chairman Crenshaw on the floor of the US House. During the colloquy, Chairman Crenshaw indicated he believed it was important to strike a balance between the interests of investors and the mutual fund companies before the SEC finalizes the new rule. This was a positive development for CPO and puts the Chairman on record in support of modifications to the rule. He promised to work with Poliquin and the SEC to get this resolved. This discussion will be carefully noted by leaders at the SEC. (The specific discussion between Reps. Poliquin and Crenshaw occurs at about the 6:22:45 mark in this video: http://www.c-span.org/video/?412290-2/us-house-legislative-business).

Senate
PIA and its allies achieved the most significant success in the Senate. The full Senate Appropriations Committee approved funding for the SEC that included a provision banning the expenditure of resources to implement its proposed Rule 30e-3. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), who serves as co-chairman of the Senate Paper & Packaging Caucus, championed the language for several weeks (even highlighting it during his remarks at PIA’s legislative conference in June). Under regular order, this appropriations bill would next be voted on by the full Senate and conferenced with the corresponding House appropriations bill. However, it is all but certain that the Financial Services & General Government bill (which funds the SEC) will be rolled into an omnibus-type package of multiple appropriations bills in September or, more likely, at the end of this year. It will be PIA’s goal to ensure the Boozman language is not stripped from the bill during a future floor vote AND to ensure that it is included in any final appropriations package approved by both the House and Senate. While the provision has a long way to go in the legislative process before it carries the force of law, it nevertheless sends a strong signal to the SEC that the full Senate Appropriations Committee stands squarely against their proposed rule.

Next Steps
CPO will utilize the August recess month for strategic planning on legislative and grassroots plans that can be implemented when Congress returns after Labor Day. In the meantime, interested PIA member companies should monitor www.paperoptions.org for updated information. PIA also encourages its member companies to follow CPO on Twitter (@PaperOptions) and to retweet the #SEC messages in order to create a larger voice in opposition to this rule. Finally, should member companies have an opportunity to attend a campaign or town hall event with Senators or Representatives, they are encouraged to let lawmakers know that this rule is of considerable concern to the paper and print industry.

Thank you, and please feel welcome to contact me with any questions or concerns related to this or other legislative issues. LL

*Lisbeth A. Lyons
VP, Government Affairs
Printing Industries of America
1001 G Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20001
llyons@printing.org
PH: 202.627.6925
www.printing.org