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Public Policy & Advocacy

  • June 22, 2022 4:59 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)
    Nonprofit Community Letter that boasts more than 1,700 signers from all 50 states was sent to the White House and the House and Senate leaders. The letter addresses several issues:
    • Supporting the Nonprofit Sector Strength and Partnership Act (H.R. 7587) |PDF
    • Workforce and volunteer shortage
    • Restoring and Improving Charitable Giving Incentives (H.R. 1704/S.618) | PDF
    • Reinstating the Employee Retention Tax Credit (H.R. 6161/S.3625) | PDF
    • Public service loan forgiveness program
    • WORK NOW Act (S. 740/H.R. 1987)
    • Increasing the Volunteer Mileage Rate (H.R. 7432) | PDF

    Please feel free to reach out to Louisiana Congressional members with this letter (or the sections directly related to your organization) to remind them of the challenges the nonprofit community and your organization has faced since 2020 and ask for their support. Remind congressional members – and their legislative policy staff - how they can help nonprofits who have been on the frontlines throughout the pandemic—and continue to serve Louisiana communities.

  • June 22, 2022 4:59 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    The IRS recently announced that for the final six months of the year (starting 7/1/2022), the business mileage rate will rise to 62.5 cents per mile, four cents higher than the previously announced rate. In announcing the change, IRS Commissioner Rettig said, "We are aware a number of unusual factors have come into play involving fuel costs, and we are taking this special step to help taxpayers, businesses and others who use this rate.” The IRS, however, did not adjust the volunteer mileage rate of 14 cents/mile because it is fixed in statute and has not changed since 1997.

    Late last month saw the re-introduction of the DELIVER Act of 2022 (H.R. 7872/S. 4291) by Reps. Morelle (D-NY) and Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Sens. King and Cornyn. See King news release. The legislation would only apply to meal deliveries to seniors, a much narrower focus than the bill, H.R. 7432.

  • June 02, 2022 4:56 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    In early May, the Senate took up but failed to advance a $48 billion package of COVID relief for restaurants and other for-profit businesses. That stalemate leaves legislation (H.R. 6161/S. 3625) that would restore the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) for small businesses and nonprofits as the best and perhaps only viable proposal that could be enacted in the near term. The legislation enjoys strong bipartisan support, with more than 100 cosponsors in the House and Senate, and a growing recognition that Congress made a mistake when it repealed the refundable payroll tax credit for the fourth quarter of 2021. A broad coalition of small businesses and charitable nonprofits is making the case that “employers still require financial relief to provide the final push in recovery from economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” See sign on letter.


    The urgency of the issue for charitable nonprofits was made clear recently in Inaction On Retention Credit Risks Nonprofit Staff Cuts (Law360, premium). The article explains that for nonprofits “the credit offered a means to keep workers on payroll and even raise their wages.” Further, nonprofits that “were counting on the credit for the fourth quarter of 2021 in their budgeting are having to adjust, and services and employment could suffer as a result.” The article includes quotes from representatives of the League of American Orchestras, National Council of Nonprofits, Opera America, and YMCA of the USA, all explaining that a failure of Congress to reinstate the ERTC as soon as possible will result in more layoffs for nonprofit employees, longer waiting lists for services, and loss of essential services in local communities.

  • 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

P.O. Box 1924
Baton Rouge, LA 70821

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