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WASHINGTON – A bill that would require publicly-traded companies including banks to report employee stock options granted to chief executives and their next four highest paid officers was passed by the House of Representatives on July 20. The House approved the bill 312 to 111. H.R. 3574, the Stock Option Accounting Reform Act legislation was introduced on Nov. 21, by House Financial Services Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee Chairman Richard H. Baker (R-La). Small businesses would be exempt from expensing options, and newly public companies would be able to delay expensing for top executives in the first three years. “There is no dispute that the granting of stock options to a broad base of employees has been and remains a very strong component of job creation within our economy. Does it make sense for those who criticize what they mistakenly call a jobless recovery to take away one of the principal tools that does create jobs when they are still so badly needed? I think not,” Baker said. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio) added “our most successful enterprises, many of which are small businesses and venture capital companies, would not be as successful as they are today but for the ability to attract and retain talented employees by giving them ownership in the endeavor.”

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