Dear NPW Community:

We are pleased to provide this Advocacy Alert which focuses on the Federal Government.

Some other items of importance are listed directly below. Special thanks to the National Council of Nonprofits for providing material for this update.

With appreciation,

Jan Fisher
Executive Director
Nonprofit Westchester

In this alert:

  • NPW Advocacy Platform
  • NPW County Budget Forums
  • Federal Updates
    • Advance Your Mission During August Recess
    • Federal Grants/Contracting Reform Bill Advances
    • Employee Retention Tax Credit - Protecting Legitimate Employers from Delays, Scam Artists
    • Improving Child Care Access
    • National Voter Registration Day

NPW Advocacy Platform

NEW! The NPW Member Advocacy Platform is an opportunity for member organizations to share information with the goal of creating awareness and potential action related to issues impacting the nonprofit sector, the people served and the nonprofit workforce. This platform is informational and does equal an endorsement of any legislative or other action by Nonprofit Westchester.  

NPW MEMBERS - PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR ADVOCACY ISSUES HEREReview NPW’s Advocacy Toolkit to learn how to successfully lobby as a nonprofit organization.




Advancing Mission During the August Recess

Both the House and Senate are on recess and away from Washington, DC, until after Labor Day. Most Members of Congress go back to their states and districts for much of the time. Nonprofit missions won’t be on hiatus in August, however, and public policy needs will continue even while lawmakers are taking a break from hands-on legislating. There’s an opportunity waiting to be seized: Meet with your elected officials in the coming weeks – while they are home!

Federal Grants/Contracting Reform Bill Advances

Before adjourning for the August Recess, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the bipartisan Streamlining Federal Grants Act (S. 2286). The legislation seeks to improve the effectiveness and performance of federal grants and cooperative agreements, simplify the application and reporting requirements, and facilitate greater coordination among federal agencies responsible for delivering services to the public. Notably, the bill mandates consultation with charitable nonprofits and governments and calls for improving services delivered to communities and organizations that historically have not received federal grants or cooperative agreements.

The substance of the legislation was informed by a hearing conducted in May; see National Council of Nonprofits testimony making the connection between the nonprofit workforce shortages crisis and the need for government grants and contracting reforms. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration, although no schedule for action has been announced. Efforts are also underway to promote introduction of the bill in the House.

Employee Retention Tax Credit - Protecting Legitimate Employers from Delays, Scam Artists

Congress and the Internal Revenue Service are dedicating considerable attention to problems arising from processing and enforcement of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), the pandemic-era refundable payroll tax credit intended to preserve millions of jobs. In late July, an oversight subcommittee convened a hearing, The Employee Retention Tax Credit Experience: Confusion, Delays, and Fraud, at which every witness expressed concerns over delays employers have faced in receiving promised relief. 

The National Council of Nonprofits submitted a detailed statement in support of the ERTC that, while acknowledging problematic payment delays and other challenges, also praised Congress for creating a lifeline for nonprofits by converting traditional income tax credits previously available only for for-profit entities into payroll tax credits available for entities not making profits. By highlighting how the ERTC “saved nonprofits and businesses, reduced unemployment and hardship, and helped alleviate untold suffering that would have occurred in our communities,” the statement makes the case for Congress to use the payroll tax credits approach in response to future disasters and economic crises.

The day after the congressional hearing, the IRS issued a new set of answers to Frequently asked questions about the Employee Retention Credit. The document provides answers to 20 of the most common questions about eligibility and application for the ERTC (also called "ERC" by the IRS). 

SAVE Repayment Plan

A new income driven repayment plan for student loan debt announced by the Administration last month will allow borrowers to see their exact monthly payment amount, require one-time (as opposed to annual) enrollment, determine payment amounts based on income and family size, and cut payments to $0 per month for an estimated 1 million borrowers, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan replaces the existing Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Plan. Borrowers previously in REPAYE will be enrolled automatically. Beta testing is available for borrowers now and will not need to be resubmitted once the website goes live later this month.

Improving Child Care Access

The federal government is proposing improvements to child care provider payment rates and practices to increase parental choice for child care arrangements and help stabilize operations for participating providers. Under proposed rules published this month by the Department of Health and Human Services, payments for child care by certain low-income families would be capped at no more than 7% of family income under the Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program, which supports 1.5 million children each month. An estimated 80,000 families would benefit under the proposed changes. Currently only 14 states have copayment rates at or below the affordability mark of 7% of a family’s income, while others require payments up to 15%. The public can submit comments by August 28.

National Voter Registration Day is just over a Month Away

National Voter Registration Day is on Sept. 19, 2023, and nonprofits need to get #VoteReadyOrder your voter registration resources and materials now and start preparing your Get Out The Vote activities! Sign up for updates from Nonprofit VOTE.

Nonprofit VOTE Webinars

Democracy Goes Digital: Voter Registration Drives Using Online Tools - Aug. 17, 2:00 PM

Join this discussion on online technologies to demystify the process and prepare organizations of all types to use digital voter registration tools to supercharge your voter outreach efforts and hear from experts with first-hand experience in using online registration tools to get their communities #VoteReady. Register now!

Staying Nonpartisan for 501(c)(3)s - Recorded July 11, 2003

Recognizing that there is nothing more important to voter engagement efforts of charitable nonprofit organizations than staying nonpartisan, this overview will you and your staff understand what’s allowed.

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