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Public Policy & Advocacy

  • June 02, 2022 4:55 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    The American Rescue Plan Act expressly authorizes state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments to invest their allocations of the $350 billion in funds in charitable nonprofits. Yet, while nonprofits are eligible for that funding, they are not entitled to receive these funds – nonprofits must make a case for funding. The recently updated Special Report: Strengthening State and Local Economies in Partnership with Nonprofits, provides the latest federal guidance and fresh examples from across the country, plus insights gleaned from effective nonprofit advocacy campaigns and examples of how foundations can support the equitable distribution of ARPA funds. Read the Executive Summary, the full report. And check back regularly for updated resources and other information.

  • May 05, 2022 8:03 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    It’s time to renew advocacy efforts with new mayors across Louisiana. Nearly every incumbent mayor on the ballot (five out of six) lost their jobs in the last elections. Incumbent mayors in Bunkie, Mansfield, Natchez, St. Martinville and Winnsboro lost their re-election bid. Tallulah Mayor Charles Finlayson was the exception and won another term. Six women made it to this weekend's mayoral runoffs and three won, including Winnsboro Mayor-elect Alice Wallace, Natchez Mayor-elect Patsy Ward Hoover, and Bunkie Mayor-elect Brenda Sampson. Mayor-elect Sampson not only beat incumbent Mayor Bruce Coulon 58-42, but she will become to the city’s first black mayor.

    June 4: There will be a parish councilman primary in Sulphur

    July 20: Qualifying opens for the November 8 congressional primary ballot

    On the federal front, one of the big stories of the week has been the news about Cedric Richmond leaving the Biden White House team to join the DNC to help with mid-term elections.

  • May 05, 2022 8:02 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    The New Orleans "Yes for NOLA kids" campaign supporting a property tax to fund 1,000 early childhood education seats, passed by 61 percent this past Saturday. The tax proposition was the only item on the New Orleans ballot in Saturday’s election. The revenue generated by the tax will fund an additional 1,000 early childhood education seats for New Orleans students, and a state matching grant could double that, expanding the program to 2,000 seats. 

    Friday, May 6, is a day to thank a childcare provider. Child care providers -- teachers, nannies, and caregivers -- were “essential” long before the pandemic, keeping children safe, nurturing their curiosity, and preparing them for a lifetime of learning and growth. Today, as the country continues to re-open and employees return to in-person work, a robust child care workforce will be key to ensuring families can continue to earn a paycheck and our economy continues to recover. In support of the day, and providers, our colleagues at the YWCA USA have prepared a toolkit with social media content. You are invited/encouraged to send out a shout-out to child care providers

  • May 05, 2022 5:41 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    The Nonprofit Sector Strength and Partnership Act is a piece of bipartisan federal legislation that gives nonprofits a seat at the table on federal policy that impacts our sector. The Act is scheduled to be introduced in Congress this week, so please sign-on to the letter of support today.
    The Act would establish a White House Office and Interagency Council on Nonprofit Sector Partnership and create an Advisory Board on the Nonprofit Sector. It would also require the federal government to publish quarterly economic data on the nonprofit sector, allowing for deeper, data-driven insights into the impact of nonprofits on our nation’s economy and the strength of our sector.
    Our partners at Independent Sector are leading the campaign to pass this bill and they need nonprofits in Washington State to lend their voice. Take one minute now to sign onto the letter of support and join nonprofits around the country in endorsing nonprofit participation in the legislative process.

  • April 20, 2022 2:04 PM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    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 | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    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 | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    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 | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    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 | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    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 | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    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.

P.O. Box 1924
Baton Rouge, LA 70821

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