Efforts Continue on Hatch Act, SubsidiesPublished: Wednesday, May 02, 2012
A Hatch Act reform bill that was scheduled to advance in a Senate committee vote last week was held back due to an issue that arose regarding state and local government employees. That is separate from the bill's main provision of interest to federal employees, which would allow for penalties for violations ranging down to a reprimand, rather than the current requirement for firing that can be reduced on appeal to no less than a 30-day suspension. Meanwhile, a House tax panel looking at tax provisions due to change at the end of this year has been asked to address the subsidy that the federal government and other employers can pay for workers to use public transit in commuting. The monthly tax-free maximum fell from $230 to $125 effective this calendar year, and efforts to increase it so far have not produced results. Earlier plans called for reinstating a maximum of $240 retroactive to the start of the year, but this far into the year the outlook for that approach is dimming.