Last week, House Resolution 3956, Simplifying Technical Aspects Regarding Seasonality (STARS) Act was introduced to Congress by Reps. Jim Renacci, Kurt Schrader, Lynn Jenkins and Jim Costa. The Legislation has long been overdue as it addresses the employer mandate provision within the affordable care act. Representative Kurt Schrader made an effort in 2014, along with the above Reps, by introducing STARS Act HR 5213 but the legislation stalled in the House Committee on Ways and Means. Due to the politics of the Affordable Care Act, there are two different definitions of seasonal workers, one created by the Treasury Department and the other created by the Affordable Care Act stature.

Ending the confusion

The proposed bipartisan legislation will end the confusion that has been imposed on employers of seasonal workers by eliminating the ACA definition and adopting the Treasury Departments definition. This will allow the IRS to exclude politics of seasonal employees being defined as "full-time employee." If passed, employers would only be mandated to provide seasonal employees with minimum essential health care coverage. Now, the resolution was again referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means; with hopes that this time partisan politics will not be played and the bill will move quickly and get passed in Congress. Congressman Lynn Jenkins said that small businesses and the agriculture sector deserve clarity and relief from the unnecessary negative impact or penalties of this confusing regulation.

Strong show of support

Today the American Farm Bureau praised the introduction of the STARS Act, as it offers clarification for small and agriculture businesses on the meaning of seasonal worker and seasonal employee. Making it easier to comply with ACA regulations while cutting time and cost in the administrative duty of determining the actual employment size.

It would help employers to focus on growing and investing in their business. American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall dispatch a letter to House members urging them to cosponsor the legislation.

Reps. Jim Renacci said, "Seasonal business owners across the country continue to struggle to meet the conditions of ACA regulations." Being a former small business owner, he knows how hard it is to navigate thru the tax code and the amount of time and money it takes to following confusing rules. This bill will lessen the confusion for seasonal employers.”