American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), otherwise known as the f...
quot;No Reason Absentee Voting” Bills

HB 4367 (Rep. Stanley) passed the Michigan House of Representatives on April 30. Th...
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Erin Skene Pratt Capitol Update One Pager

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Erin Skene Pratt Capitol Update One Pager

  1. 1. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), otherwise known as the federal stimulus package, authorized $787 billion of funds in “stimulus” money for the United States economy. The majority of the funds available for nonprofit organizations are available through one of two funding streams: formula dollars (an expansion of dollars available in currently-existing programs) and competitive grants. A list of available competitive grants and corresponding grant application requirements and deadlines (where known) is available online at www.michigan.gov/recovery. Frequently Asked Questions about the stimulus monies and answers to those questions are available on MNA’s website at www.mnaonline.org. Charitable Tax Deductions in President’s Budget Proposal President Obama has indicated that he will issue a budget proposal that will include a stipulation to reduce the tax incentives for charitable contributions by taxpayers earning more than $250,000 in order to raise the funds necessary to implement health care reforms. Estimates on how much this decreased tax incentive would cost nonprofits in charitable donations range from $1.63 billion to over $7 billion per year. While the potential of such a drop in charitable giving is of concern to the nonprofit sector, at the same time, charitable organizations face enormous challenges in finding resources to pay the rising costs of health care for the employees who are essential to carrying out their work for communities. They also see firsthand the consequences to people coming to their organizations for services who are unable to afford health care coverage. State Budget Update The state of Michigan continues to struggle under a deficit that is both structural and cyclical. At the end of April, the state’s revenue experts estimated a deficit of $1.3 billion for the remainder of the fiscal year; projections into next year are not looking much better. The Governor released an Executive Order on May 5, making a list of recommendations to balance the state budget for the remainder of the year. One of the items currently being debated at the State Capitol that would affect many nonprofit organizations is the proposed elimination of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL). The Governor’s Budget Recommendation for FY 2009-2010 would distribute HAL programs to six different state departments; a recently unveiled bipartisan package of bills would close HAL and transfer its programs to the Department of State (Secretary of State). Uniform Prudent Investment of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) SB 411 (Sen. Switalski), called the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA), is a replacement of and modernization to the current Uniform Investment of Institutional Funds Act (UMIFA). Among other items, the bill would remove the current requirement that organizations not spend down or accumulate money in their endowment funds (the value of which is calculated according to quot;historic dollar valuequot;). Instead of requiring that organizations hold the historic dollar value of their fund(s) steady and spend appreciation and income, this bill recognizes that the current economic climate has changed the way institutional funds should be handled for the long-term benefit of the organization holding those funds, and allows organizations to spend or accumulate money in their endowment funds as long as such changes are handled quot;prudentlyquot; according to the mission of the organization.
  2. 2. quot;No Reason Absentee Voting” Bills HB 4367 (Rep. Stanley) passed the Michigan House of Representatives on April 30. The bill would implement quot;no reason absentee voting,quot; meaning voters would not be required to provide a reason or justification for requesting an absentee ballot. Additionally, registered voters could apply for and return absentee ballots to their clerks by mail, in person, by fax, or by email. Serve America Act President Obama signed the Serve America Act into law on April 21, 2009. The Act will dramatically expand national service opportunities to address America's most pressing challenges. The House and Senate both passed this bill with an overwhelming bipartisan majority vote; the bill authorizes a massive expansion of national service programs for Americans of all ages, but implementation is tied to the availability of funds. The President is expected to release a detailed budget for Fiscal Year 2010 in May. Public Good IRA Rollover Act (S 864) Introduced in U.S. Senate Senators Dorgan (ND-D) and Snowe (ME-R) introduced the companion bill to HR 1250 that extends and expands the availability of the IRA charitable giving incentive. It would extend the current IRA rollover permanently, remove the current dollar limit on donations per year, and expand the types of organizations that may receive rollovers. Michigan Nonprofit Caucus Launched in Michigan Legislature The Michigan Nonprofit Caucus, officially launched in April 2009, is a bipartisan, bicameral forum through which lawmakers can lead and collaborate on legislative and regulatory issues impacting charities and foundations in Michigan. The caucus will focus on issues that globally impact the nonprofit sector, monitoring and taking a leadership role on legislative issues that impact Michigan's nonprofit sector and serving as a resource for information on the sector for their fellow legislative colleagues. Co-chairs of the caucus include Senator Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit), Senator Mark Jansen (R-Gaines Township), Representative John Proos (R-St. Joseph) and Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit). Michigan’s Nonprofit Sector Employs 1 in 10 Workers Michigan’s nonprofit sector generates $108 billion each year in economic activity according to the 2009 Economic Benefits of Michigan’s Nonprofit Sector report, commissioned by the Council of Michigan Foundations, Michigan Nonprofit Association and the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University and compiled by Public Sector Consultants. There has been a 14% increase in the total number of nonprofits organizations in Michigan since 2001, and total employees of nonprofits have increased 2.6% since 2006. The full report, along with a database of the results that is searchable by type of nonprofit and geographic region, is available online at www.mnaonline.org. Nonprofit Day now Michigan Nonprofit Lobby Day Nonprofit Day, formerly a conference day mostly focused on training, will now be a more purposeful lobby day, providing updates on state policies impacting nonprofits as well as opportunities for nonprofit representatives to meet with legislators about issues of importance to their organizations and Michigan's nonprofit sector. Join your nonprofit colleagues from across the state on September 22, 2009 in Lansing for Michigan's annual nonprofit lobby day.

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