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Public Policy & Advocacy

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  • February 01, 2023 12:14 PM | Shelly Dupre (Administrator)

    LABI (Louisiana Association of Business & Industry) announced plans this week for LA23, “a bold initiative to position Louisiana as an economic leader in the South by 2030, crafted through extensive research and a vetting process with a broad array of stakeholders.” According to LABI’s press release, the mission of LA23 is to define and articulate key issues that face the people and businesses of Louisiana. It is a strategic plan and 8-year vision, but with specific near-term milestones to provide informed policy guidance for candidates in the fall 2023 elections.

    Throughout February and March, LABI will host regional listening sessions throughout the state to share current research, key concepts and solicit input from businesses and Louisianans. The second round of listening sessions will be held this summer. They are also sending surveys out statewide for the broadest level of input possible. LA23 will be released in late summer or early fall of this year. 

    We know the vital role that charitable nonprofits play in communities across Louisiana. We will forward more information on the upcoming regional listening sessions and surveys as your organization, board members and other stakeholders' participation are important to charitable nonprofits being included in Louisiana’s economic success.

    To learn more about LA23, click HERE


  • February 01, 2023 12:09 PM | Shelly Dupre (Administrator)

    Two major candidates who might join the Louisiana governor’s race said they still aren’t ready to announce whether they are launching a campaign. Congressman Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, said he hasn’t made up his mind yet over whether he will run for governor. Louisiana Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, a Democrat, said he will make an announcement “sooner rather than later” about whether he is launching a campaign.

    The race already has four declared Republican candidates: Attorney General Jeff Landry, State Treasurer John Schroder, state Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, and state Rep. Richard Nelson, R-Mandeville. Lake Charles businessman Hunter Lundy has said he will run as a political independent.

    After U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced that Graves is going to be chair of the Elected Leadership Committee, was given a spot on the House Republican Steering Committee, and (McCarthy) made an appearance at Washington Mardi Gras, folks thought that Graves would keep his D.C. digs, but he hasn’t confirmed one way or another. It’s likely polls are in the field and we’ll know more in the next few weeks.

    Source: The Daily Comet

  • February 01, 2023 12:06 PM | Shelly Dupre (Administrator)

    Senators Royce Duplessis and Caleb Kleinpeter were officially sworn in this week. Senator Duplessis, a former state representative, won in a special election after former Senator Karen Carter Peterson resigned last year. Because he is filling the final year of Peterson’s seat, Duplessis will have to run for re-election this year in Senate District 5.

    Caleb Seth Kleinpeter, a first-term West Baton Rouge Parish councilman, won a seat previously held by a fellow parish resident, former Senator Rick Ward. Kleinpeter, a Republican from Brusly, defeated state Rep. Jeremy LaCombe, D-New Roads, and Dr. Kirk Rousset, a Republican from Oscar. Kleinpeter is a pipeline technician with Enterprise Pipeline who served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the U.S. Marine Corps. Ward relinquished the seat after he accepted a job in the private sector.

  • January 18, 2023 6:23 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    Buckle up and hold onto your hats because election season is starting to really heat up, and there will be plenty of twists and turns and deal making between now and November. As of now, those on the right side of the aisle announcing their intent to run for Governor include Treasurer John Schroder, Attorney General Jeff Landry, State Senator Sharon Hewitt. State Representative Richard Nelson is also expected to announce soon in addition to a possible surprise announcement by Congressman Garret Graves. 

    On the left side of the aisle, Democratic Party Chair Katie Bernhardt is seriously considering throwing her hat in, and Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson’s name has also been mentioned as a well-known and possible contender. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore also stated that he’s considering the top spot.

    The only Independent in the race so far is Lake Charles attorney Hunter Lundy who announced his candidacy months ago.

    La. R.S. § 24:56 states that “No fundraising function shall be held during a regular legislative session for or by a legislator unless written notice of the function has been given to the board not less than thirty days prior to the function.” The 2023 Regular Legislative Session will convene at noon on Monday, April 10, 2023 and adjourn no later than 6:00 pm on Thursday, June 8, 2023; therefore, current legislators have had to start making decisions if they intend to jump into Fall races¾particularly the top spot where Attorney General Jeff Landry already has a hefty piggy bank compared to the other candidates mentioned who have announced and even those who are still mulling it over.

  • January 18, 2023 6:23 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)
    Last week, the Internal Revenue Service issued a notice raising the standard business mileage rate to 65.5 cents per mile for 2023 (up from 62.5 cents per mile for the last six months of 2022). Many nonprofits use this rate when reimbursing their employees for work-related driving. The volunteer mileage rate – the amount that is tax-deductible when your nonprofit's volunteers drive on behalf of your organization – remains at 14 cents per mile and can only be changed by Congress.
  • January 18, 2023 6:22 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    In addition to funding the federal government, the 4,155-page omnibus bill makes a variety of other changes to federal laws. Two of these changes could affect personnel policies for some nonprofits:

    1. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which the Senate added to the omnibus bill, requires employers, including nonprofits, with 15 or more employees to provide pregnant workers with reasonable accommodations like additional bathroom breaks or not having to carry heavy objects unless these accommodations would impose undue burdens on the employers. This law takes effect on June 27.
    2. The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act, which was also added to the omnibus bill in the Senate, requires employers, including nonprofits, with 50 or more employees, to provide reasonable break time for employees who are nursing mothers to express milk. It also requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide a place other than a bathroom where employees who are nursing mothers can express milk “that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.” The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act took effect last Thursday when the omnibus bill was signed into law.

    If your nonprofit has 15 or more employees, you may need to revise your personnel policies to ensure that you are complying with these new laws. Smaller nonprofits can also include these accommodations for pregnant or nursing employees in their personnel policies even though they are not legally required to do so.

  • January 18, 2023 6:22 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    President Joe Biden recently signed into law a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill (H.R. 2617) to fund the federal government through the remainder of the fiscal year (through September 30). Unfortunately, the omnibus spending bill does not restore the universal charitable deduction and two other incentives for charitable giving that expired at the end of 2021, nor does it retroactively restore the Employee Retention Tax Credit, which had expired after the third quarter of 2021. It also doesn’t reinstate the enhanced child tax credit, which had led to record-low child poverty levels last year and which also expired at the end of 2021.

    On a positive note, the omnibus spending bill does include several spending increases that will benefit many nonprofits, including a 30% increase in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, increased funding for the Community Development Block Grant and the Homeless Assistance Grants, and significant new investment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The bill also spends $15 billion on 7,200 earmarks to local governments and nonprofits around the country. 

    To help your organization better understand the implications of the omnibus spending bill for charitable nonprofits, the National Council of Nonprofits has provided a helpful two-page summary of highlights and lowlights in the bill for nonprofits.

  • January 18, 2023 6:21 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    After several days of balloting, the Republican party, which won back majority of the US House of Representatives, elected Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as the new Speaker of the House. This allowed for the Representatives to be sworn in and the House rules to be adopted.

    The Louisiana Alliance for Nonprofits recommend that your organizations get to know Louisiana’s congressional members and invite them for visits to your organization or any special events when the congressional members are in Louisiana. The more informed they are of the work that nonprofits do in Louisiana, the better they can advocate for programs you implement and obtain the resources needed in order to continue to serve Louisiana communities.  

  • December 14, 2022 4:11 PM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    Nonprofits continue to be impacted by the pandemic and the economic downturn. As we know, these events have made the need for charitable giving more important than ever. The Universal Charitable Deduction makes a difference to individual donors as many nonprofits have seen a huge drop off in that tax bracket since the new standard deduction took effect.  

    The Charitable Giving Coalition has a new letter that is being used as the primary advocacy tool for making the case for restoring, extending, and improving the universal charitable deduction. To date, the letter has over 700 signers from all 50 states. Although this isn’t a National Council of Nonprofits letter, the messaging is good to share with congressional members should your nonprofit elect not to sign onto the letter.

    Congressional members are off for the holidays after December 15th. The House calendar and swearing in of new elected congressional members will be held on January 3, 2023. If you don’t have relationships with your congressional members or the Louisiana and D.C. staff, now is the time to call to schedule a meeting with your members and/or their staff to discuss your organizations’ major challenges and how they can help.

    Nonprofits around the country are focusing advocacy efforts using the following three points:

    1. Charitable nonprofits are still reeling from years of significantly increased demand for services and unstable or declining resources;
    2. The charitable giving incentives enacted by Congress, especially the Universal Charitable Deduction, helped nonprofits meet those needs and maintain services until the incentives expired at the end of 2021; and
    3. We ask that you immediately restore and extend the charitable giving incentives through 2023 to provide support for nonprofits now while giving Congress time to consider permanent solutions.

    Please email if you have seen a huge drop in your donations since the new deduction took effect.


  • December 05, 2022 4:10 PM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    In the National Council of Nonprofits blog, Tiffany Gourley Carter has an in-depth article on student loan policy developments, providing an overview of the changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and an update on the many moving parts related to student debt cancellation proposed by the Administration.

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