On Oct. 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a change to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program rules for a limited time as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency. Millions of non-profit and government employees have federal student loans and may now be eligible for loan forgiveness or additional credit through the Limited PSLF Waiver. Under normal PSLF rules, borrowers must make 120 payments on a Direct Loan while on a qualifying repayment plan and be employed by a qualifying public service employer. Now, for a limited period of time, federal student loan borrowers may receive credit for past periods of repayment that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF. You can learn more about the waiver here.
The waiver will allow borrowers to gain additional PSLF credit, even if they had been told previously that they had the wrong loan type or the wrong repayment plan. The waiver ends October 31, 2022. After that, normal PSLF rules will apply. This means that many borrowers need to submit a PSLF form and/or consolidate their non-Direct federal student loans by October 31, 2022, to get the benefit.
Last year’s Federal Reserve COVID-19 Community Impact Survey into the impact of the pandemic on individuals and the nonprofits serving them led to crucial data the sector used for effective advocacy.
Please help the Federal Reserve and nonprofits by taking this follow-up survey to demonstrate how nonprofits are faring now. A robust response can help our collective advocacy efforts for more much-needed relief.
The Federal Reserve Survey is open now through August 23.
CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY
Louisiana Democrats give Republican incumbents Mike Johnson and Garrett Graves a pass. No Democrats qualified to run in the November 8 election for the 4th and 6th congressional district seats. Congressman Johnson is unopposed and Congressman Graves has two opponents – one Libertarian and one Republican.
State Senator 5th Senatorial District
Representatives Royce Duplessis and Mandi Landry, both Democrats, both qualified for an open seat left open by former State Senator Karen Carter Peterson
State Senator 17th Senatorial District
Representative Jeremy S. LaCombe and two others, Caleb Seth Kleinpeter and Kirk Rousset, recently qualified for the senate seat vacated by former Senator Rick Ward. Ward resigned to take a new job opportunity. Louisiana GOP Senate President Page Cortez named GOP Leesville Senator Mike Reese to replace Ward as chair of the Commerce, Consumer Protection and International Affairs committee.
To learn the names of all candidates who qualified for 2022 fall races, see here.
Governor John Bel Edwards, local elected leaders in North Louisiana and Higher Education Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed announced a $130 million ARPA investment to bring more affordable and accessible Internet to more than 66,000 households and small businesses through Internet Service Providers in 50 parishes. The total investment from the ARPA plan is $176 million, out of which $130 million is being used in the first phase. Visit www.connect.la.gov to see the list of parishes.
Monday, August 1st is the effective date for acts passed during this year’s regular legislative session, unless the bill provides for another date. This year, there are 470 new laws taking effect on August 1, 2022. View the dates of all acts here.
The chronic shortage of nonprofit workers throughout the country means people suffer because nonprofits don’t have the staff to deliver the volumes of services the public needs. The National Council of Nonprofits published an updated Special Report, Nonprofit Workforce Shortages: A Crisis That Affects Everyone, to identify progress and continuing challenges in the effort to alleviate workforce shortages. *This report is a good leave-behind when speaking with your elected officials to advance policy solutions at the local, state, and federal levels to eliminate this crisis that affects everyone.
The Department of Education published a formal notice of proposed rulemaking to address student loan forgiveness and affordability issues. The rules propose making permanent some, but not all, of the relaxed eligibility terms in the temporary Limited PSLF Waiver set to expire Oct. 31. Key provisions would allow more kinds of payments (certain types of deferment and forbearance, and payments made in advance, late, or in lump sum) to count as qualifying payments; clarifying and expanding the definitions of full-time employment and qualifying employer; and codifying the reconsideration process. The proposed regulations, if adopted, would also provide a hold-harmless option for deferment or forbearance, automate progress toward forgiveness, and eliminate prospective interest capitalization not required by statute. Public comments to the proposed rule are due on or before August 12. See this updated Comparison of Key Provisions chart from the National Council of Nonprofits to get started.
In the coming days, the Senate could take up President Biden’s Build Back Better bill. Initially proposed at $3.5 trillion in spending and later passed by the House with a $1.9 trillion price tag, the version of the Democrats-only budget reconciliation bill being prepared for Senate action is expected to only address prescription drug price negotiations (saving $280+ billion) and a two-year extension of Affordable Care Act premium subsidies. Gone, for now at least, are environmental programs, child-care subsidies and tax credits, and hundreds of other policy priorities originally attached or intended for these two bills. Congress will recess on August 6 and reconvene on September 6.
Louisiana's Republican-dominated Legislature won't come into session Saturday to attempt to override any of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards' vetoes after enough senators opted out of the meeting. It takes a majority of votes from one chamber to scrap the session, and 25 of 37 senators turned in ballots to cancel - 14 Republicans joined all 11 Democrats to scuttle the veto session, easily exceeding the 20-vote majority threshold needed. There were enough House members who wanted to come into the override session, but if one chamber opts out, the session is canceled.
The 2022 regular legislative session ended on June 6, 2022. In ARTICLE III., Section 18 of the Louisiana Constitution, a bill, except a joint resolution, shall become law if the governor signs it or if he fails to sign or veto it within ten days after delivery to him if the legislature is in session on the tenth day after such delivery, or within twenty days after delivery if the tenth day after delivery occurs after the legislature is adjourned.
Last month, 25 mayors sent a letter to congressional, tax, and small business committee leaders calling for the restoration, extension, and improvement of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). Among the signers are the mayors of Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco. Earlier, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution “supporting relief for arts and cultural institutions” that expressly calls out support for restoration of the ERTC. The resolution also calls for restoration of the universal charitable deduction (S. 618 / H.R.1704 / H.R. 1081), among other things.
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