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Public Policy & Advocacy


  • April 20, 2022 2:04 PM | Anonymous

    If you plan to head to the Capitol to view the legislative process or testify on a bill, here’s important information in regards to parking, attending committee meetings and registering your support or opposition to specific legislation. Anyone can also view videos from past House and Senate committee hearings.

    June 3, 2022 at 6:00 PM is the deadline for 3rd Reading & Final Passage w/o Consent

    - 82nd calendar day or 57th legislative day, whichever is first. Const. Art. III, §2(A)(3)(a)

    June 6, 2022 at 6:00 PM - Adjourn sine die; Session ends - adjournment sine die. Const. Art. III, §2(A)(3)(a)

    August 1, 2022 - Effective date of acts unless earlier/later specified. Const. Art. III, §19

    Upcoming Election Dates

    • April 23, 2022 – Early voting ends for April 30 general election
    • April 26, 2022 – Deadline to request absentee ballot for April 30 general election
    • April 29, 2022 – Deadline to receive absentee ballot for April 30 general election
    • April 30, 2022 – Municipal General Election

     


  • April 20, 2022 11:50 AM | Anonymous

    In the next couple of months, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will release new proposed regulations on the salary threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Currently, FLSA requires employers, including nonprofits, to pay their employees at least $7.25 per hour and to pay employees one-and-one-half time their regular rate of pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Employees are exempt from the FLSA overtime pay requirement if they:

    1. Are paid on a salary basis (meaning they are paid the same amount each week regardless of how many hours they actually work);
    2. They are paid at least $684 per week ($35,568 per year); and
    3. Exercise job duties that are classified as administrativeexecutive, or professional.

    In 2016, near the end of the Obama administration, DOL attempted to raise the salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay to $47,476 per year. Ultimately, federal courts stopped the implementation of the Obama-era overtime rule, and the Trump administration elected to use a lower salary threshold (the current level of $35,568) for exemption from overtime pay. It is likely that the forthcoming DOL regulations will set a salary threshold closer to that of the 2016 proposal. DOL also could make changes to the duties tests for administrative, executive, and professional employees.

    Some nonprofits from around the country met with DOL to discuss nonprofit-specific considerations in the forthcoming overtime regulations. They explained that nonprofits had expressed “moral support, but operational anxiety” about the 2016 overtime rule, since the proposed increase to the salary threshold would have meant significant pay raises for many low-income workers, but also would have created immediate new payroll expenses for many nonprofit organizations.

    When DOL releases its proposed regulations, it will provide an opportunity for public comments. The Alliance will share information on how and when your nonprofit can provide timely, substantive written comments to DOL.

  • April 20, 2022 11:49 AM | Anonymous

    The U.S. Department of Education has made important changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program which offers loan forgiveness for nonprofit and public employees after ten years of qualifying payments. Due to confusing bureaucratic regulations and an incredibly high rejection rate for borrowers, the Department of Education has issued a temporary waiver for some of the program requirements to help borrowers get back on track for loan forgiveness. Nonprofit employees and other eligible borrowers have until October 31 to take advantage of the Limited Waiver for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which provides for forgiveness of eligible federal loans after 120 eligible payments while working for 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits and government employers. Nonprofit workers who believe they are eligible for forgiveness or wish to have their employment at their current charitable nonprofit employer certified should take action through the PSLF Help Tool, available at www.StudentAid.gov/PSLF.


  • April 20, 2022 5:39 AM | Anonymous

    More than two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, charitable nonprofits continue to face financial and operational challenges related to the pandemic and to the nonprofit workforce shortage. These challenges are making it difficult – and unsustainable – for nonprofits to provide needed programs and services in our communities.

    Our elected leaders in Washington, D.C. have the power to help address many nonprofit pandemic and workforce shortage challenges. But for that to happen, we need organizations like yours to join a national effort to persuade President Biden and leaders in Congress to prioritize policy solutions to help solve three major problems hindering the work of nonprofits:

    1. Insufficient charitable contributions
    2. A severe workforce shortage in the nonprofit sector; and 
    3. The decline in volunteerism

    Urge Louisiana federal policymakers to enact several specific policy solutions that would address these three issues? Read the letter (updated with the names of all 1,500+ nonprofits that have signed on thus far). Thank you if your organization has already signed on to the letter!

    Louisiana Congressional members

    Louisiana U.S. Senators

  • April 13, 2022 1:59 PM | Anonymous

    Last year’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) expanded and improved the child tax credit in three important ways:

    1. It increased the amount of the tax credit from $2,000 per child to $3,600 for children under the age of six and $3,000 for children ages 6-17.
    2. It made the credit fully refundable, providing financial assistance to many low-income families who don’t normally pay income taxes. 

    It provided advance payments of the credit for the final six months of 2021, providing immediate cash assistance to millions of families in the form of monthly checks.

    The expanded and prepaid child tax credit helped lift many families with children out of poverty, helping them pay for child care, food, home and car repairs, and medical expenses last summer and fall. Most families with children received half of their child tax credit as monthly payments during the second half of 2021, thanks largely to nonprofits helping these families provide the necessary information to the Internal Revenue Service.

    Families are due to receive the remainder of their child tax credits as refunds when they file their 2021 federal income taxes. Your nonprofit can do three things to help families in your community access the full child tax credit.  

    1. Encourage families to file their federal taxes by April 18. This is particularly important for families that normally don’t file tax returns because their income isn’t high enough to owe federal taxes.
    2. Provide clear information about how to file for the child tax credit. The www.childtaxcredit.gov website has clear and accurate information you can share, including flyers, sample social media posts, and toolkits with resources for nonprofits.
    3. Connect people with free tax filing assistance. To get their child tax credit, families will need to fill out their IRS Form 1040 and Schedule 8812 (the child tax credit form) correctly.  Free tax assistance for people with incomes below $58,000 is available through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and United Way MyFreeTaxes.
  • April 13, 2022 5:37 AM | Anonymous

    Last week, the White House released President Biden’s blueprint for the FY 2023 federal budget. The President’s budget recommendations include a total of $5.8 trillion in federal spending and plans to reduce the federal deficit by $1 billion over the next decade. A few of President Biden’s tax proposals could have implications for nonprofits, including:

    • A provision clarifying that a contribution from a private foundation to a donor advised fund (DAF) does not count toward the foundation’s 5% payout requirement unless (a) the DAF funds are expended as a qualifying distribution by the end of the following taxable year and (b) the private foundation maintains adequate records. The goal of this provision is to ensure that private foundations are transparent in their grantmaking. 
    • A proposed Billionaire Minimum Income Tax (20%) on taxpayers with incomes exceeding $100 million. The Administration estimates that the new tax would raise $360 billion over the next decade. 
    • Proposed changes to estate and gift taxes and capital gains taxes that could encourage more donors to consider making bequests to nonprofits. 

    The President’s budget recommendations are not binding on Congress, but they highlight some of the Administration’s tax, spending, and policy priorities for the upcoming year.

  • April 13, 2022 5:35 AM | Anonymous

    Action on the ‘‘Bipartisan COVID Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022,’’ will have to wait until the Senate returns from a two-week recess because of disputes over an unrelated immigration issue. The COVID preparedness bill, negotiated by Leader Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Romney (R-UT), is set to be offset with funds “repurposed” (clawed back) from unspent COVID funds. Notably, the offsets include all leftover money ($1.93 billion) in the SBA Shuttered Venues Operators Grants program and nearly $1 billion in unused funds dedicated to the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.


  • March 23, 2022 4:28 PM | Anonymous

    March 23, 2022 Update: 

    Last week, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, H.R. 2471, that provides about $1.5 trillion in funding for the federal government through the end of the current federal fiscal year 2022, which ends on September 30. The legislation increases nondefense spending by 6.7% and defense spending by 5.6%, and it includes $13.6 billion in emergency aid for Ukraine. A last-minute change removed a provision that would have rescinded some of the funds states were to receive in their second tranche of Coronavirus State and Local Relief Fund payments to use as a “pay-for” for some of the $15.6 billion in emergency funding for the coronavirus pandemic.

    The passage of the legislation allows for the full implementation of the historic investments in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. With the federal government operating under a continuing resolution, many of the infrastructure bill’s funding increases and new programs could not move forward. The omnibus also contains the return of earmarks, some of which are transportation focused. 


    March 9, 2022 Update: 

    The $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill must be passed by Friday to avert a federal government shutdown or require passage of another temporary funding measure known as a “continuing resolution.” The mammoth bill—because it would include all 12 appropriations bills that Congress is required to enact each year – will not just identify how much will be spent on which government programs, but is also expected to include billions of dollars for nonprofits in the form of “congressionally directed spending” (earmarks) and additional policies and items of interest to charitable organizations.

    The omnibus spending bill is seen as the best, but not only, legislation to advance charitable nonprofit priorities in the areas of giving incentives, workforce shortages, and volunteerism. Even if the omnibus spending bill doesn’t include nonprofit policy priorities, other opportunities exist to enact nonprofit-focused relief. Another possible avenue might be in a revised version of the House-passed Build Back Better Act. Also, Senator Manchin (D-WV) identified several tax, climate, and social spending priorities from that legislation that he could support, reviving interest in a Democrats-only budget reconciliation bill this spring.

  • March 23, 2022 3:57 PM | Anonymous

    On November 13, 2021, Louisiana voters approved Constitutional Amendment Number 2 (“CA2”)1, which amended Article VII, Section 4(A) of the Louisiana Constitution. With the adoption of this constitutional amendment, additional income tax statutory changes became effective. The purpose of this guidance is to explain changes to Louisiana’s individual income tax and to encourage taxpayers to review their withholdings and estimated tax payments beginning with the 2022 tax year. There is no impact to the 2021 tax returns due May 16, 2022.

    Constitutional Changes to Individual Income Tax

    CA2 contained two major changes – one specific to individual income tax and one applicable to all Louisiana income taxes:

    1. Maximum income tax rate for individuals set at 4.75%; and
    2. Federal income taxes paid may be deductible as provided by legislation.

    For tax years before the 2022 tax year, Louisiana taxpayers receive a constitutionally mandated deduction for federal income tax liability. CA2 changes the nature of this deduction from constitutionally mandated to one that is permissible and authorizes the Legislature to provide for this deduction by statute.

    Statutory Changes to Individual Income Tax Act 395 of the 2021 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature contains several statutory changes to individual income tax, all of which became effective for the 2022 tax year upon the adoption of CA2:

    1. Income Tax Rate Reduction
    2. Limitation on Excess Federal Itemized Personal Deductions

    Through the 2021 tax year, taxpayers are entitled to Louisiana’s Excess Federal Itemized Personal Deductions (“EID”). If a taxpayer itemized her deductions at the federal level via IRS Schedule A, she/he received a deduction for state tax purposes equal to the amount that the federal itemized deductions exceed the federal standard deduction. Such deductions include (1) medical expenses; (2) state and local taxes paid on income or sales tax, real estate taxes, and personal property taxes; (3) interest paid on home mortgages and mortgage insurance premiums; (4) charitable contributions; (5) casualty and theft losses; and (6) certain other deductions, such as gaming losses. Beginning with the 2022 tax year, the EID is limited to medical expenses. 7 The calculation remains the same, except that medical expenses must be deductible at the federal level and exceed the federal standard deduction for the taxpayer’s filing status.

    https://revenue.louisiana.gov/LawsPolicies/RIB%2021-032%20LA%20Individual%20Income%20Tax%20Reform%20IIT%20Effective%202022.pdf

  • March 23, 2022 3:55 PM | Anonymous

    On March 14, 2022, Governor Edwards announced that he will not renew the state’s COVID Public Health Emergency Order since cases and hospitalizations are declining and vaccines are widely available.

    On Monday, March 21, 2022, the City of New Orleans’ public health guidelines requiring proof of vaccination or proof of recent negative COVID test to enter certain establishments has been lifted.

     









 
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Baton Rouge, LA 70821

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