Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In
Member Sign In
Sign In securely

Executive Director (E2E) Peer Networking Session (Wilmington)

Executive Director (E2E) Peer Networking Session (Dover)

Executive Director (E2E) Peer Networking Session (Georgetown)

Telling the Story of your Impact: Outcomes Reporting (Georgetown)

Delaware Nonprofit Advocacy Day



DANA's Public Policy Blog
Blog Home All Blogs
DANA will be updating you on important public policy matters as they happen. We will also post about the activities of the Governor, Delaware's General Assembly, local issues, hearings & meetings, and legislation that relates to DANA's Public Policy Agenda.


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: nonprofits  budget  Joint Finance Committee  General Assembly  Delaware  Grant-in-Aid  Governor  DEFAC  Workers Compensation  Insurance  Delaware Nonprofit Day  government  charitable solicitation  National Council of Nonprofits  Public Policy  revenue  Attorney General  Legislative Hall  Lt. Governor  Task force  Board Member  Calendar  charities  Healthcare  Nonprofit  Office of Management and Budget  taxes  Wilmington  Advocacy  Affordable Care Act 

Grant-In-Aid plus Nonprofit Day

Posted By John Baker, Wednesday, April 27, 2016

As I’m certain you know, because I’ve seen a lot of you in in Leg. Hall, it’s been a busy period in Dover. Sheila Bravo and I have been busy meeting with General Assembly Leadership and members (Sen. Blevins, Rep. Schwartzkopf, Rep. Longhurst, Sen. Hall-Long), and Joint Finance Committee Members & staff (George-Smith, McDowell, Bushweller, Peterson, Cloutier, Carson, Kenton, Lawson) with the balance to follow. These meetings are critical as we work to preserve overall funding in the budget for contracts, the $2.3 Million “Nonprofit Partner” funds the Governor included in his budget, and the Grant-In-Aid funds.

The Delaware Economic Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) on April 18th held the forecast pretty stable with only a $9 million decrease since December, due mainly to revenues adjustments related Dupont. May and June’s reports will be important to watch.

This week has been the Bond Committee Hearings with no surprises as of this blog writing.

The Grant-In-Aid Committee Assignments are out, so be sure to review these assignments and reach out to the assigned staff and legislators responsible for your GIA application. Download the file here.

Delaware Nonprofit Day is Wednesday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Legislative Hall. It's free to attend, but be sure to register in advance for this important event! They’ll be Government Tributes & Declarations by Leadership as well as lunch served. Be ready to advocate because Government Leadership and your General Assembly members will be present for you to speak with. Bring your staff, volunteers, and clients to demonstrate the strength of the Nonprofit Sector to our elected officials.  The day is a Coalition Effort with DANA, United Way of Delaware, Delaware Community Foundation, Delaware Grantmakers Association, UD’s CCRS, and AFP.

Joint Finance Committee’s Budget Markup begins the week following Delaware Nonprofit Day so let’s turn out in force and make our voices heard.

As always, please reach out to me with any questions or comments at:


Tags:  Delaware Nonprofit Day  Grant-in-Aid  Joint Finance Committee  nonprofits 

Share |

Updates from Dover

Posted By John Baker, Thursday, March 24, 2016

As I’m certain you know, because I’ve seen most of you in in Leg. Hall, it’s been a busy period in Dover with February’s month-of-Joint-Finance-Committee (JFC) hearings. Kudos to all of you who gave testimony or made statements to the JFC. We’ve had the opportunity to meet with each of the committee members and they confirm that, even with the improved revenue forecasts compared to September’s, it’s still going to be a challenging year for all funding, including Grant-In-Aid. The takeaway here is to make sure you continue talking with the JFC members, your General Assembly members and the Controller General's staffer that’s reviewing your application. We’ll post these assignments as soon as they’re out, which is usually in late April. 

Sheila and I have also been meeting with the General Assembly Leadership including Senate President Pro Tempore Blevins, House Speaker Schwartzkopf, and House Majority Leader Longhurst. We have appointments with remaining leaders and members throughout April and May. Our message: that nonprofits are important and key partners with government, which has been acknowledged and strongly affirmed.

We’re also gearing up for Nonprofit Day on May 18 at  Legislative Hall in Dover so mark your calendars. This year we’ll have the formal presentations by the Governor and General Assembly Leadership, but we’re also working with our coalition partners, Ability Network of Delaware, United Way of Delaware, Delaware Community Foundation, Delaware Grantmakers Association, University of Delaware’s CCRS, and AFP-Brandywine Chapter, to have as many employees, clients, volunteers, and supporters come out for a Nonprofit Rally on Nonprofit Day. The rally will be on the steps of Legislative Hall and will include the presentation of a Joint Resolution of the General Assembly that recognizes the day as Delaware Nonprofit Day. It will be important to have as many of our supporters present for this portion of the programming so that our elected officials see the power of the nonprofit sector! Mark your calendars for May 18 from 11am to 11:30am for the Rally and 12-1 for the formal program with your Executive Directors and Board Chairs in the Senate Majority Meeting Room. Click the hyperlink above to register!

We were at the Monday, March 21 Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) meeting where we learned that the forecast for the “98% Appropriation Limit” decreased by $12.6 million from the December forecast, due to the recognition of the “Delaware Competes Act” and the decreased corporate and Personal Income Tax related to Dupont changes. The April and May DEFAC reports are expected to improve, given no additional losses of major employers.

Wednesday, March 23 was the hearing of Senate Bill 39 on proposed minimum wage increases, in the House Economic Development Committee. The bill did not make it out of committee. There was a great deal of support expressed for the working poor, but there was also strong concern expressed about the tenuous nature of our economic recovery and that now was not a time to make this change. There was discussion that the “Earned Income Tax Credits” may be a better way to address the challenges of the working poor in Delaware. DANA provided our statement: that we believe in addressing the challenges of the working poor, but given that our economic models are so dependent upon our partnership and contracts with government, the sector will first need to see increases in our contracts.

Remember that the Delaware Presidential Primary Election is on April 26, 2016. After the primaries, DANA will be surveying the candidates for state-wide public office about their support for the nonprofit sector. We’ll then get the results out to you in a Nonprofit Sector Voter’s Guide prior to the General Elections on November 8, 2016.

As always, please reach out to me with any questions or comments at:


Tags:  Board of Directors  Delaware Nonprofit Day  General Assembly  Governor  Grant-in-Aid  Joint Finance Committee  nonprofits 

Share |

Annual Budget Update LIVE and more from Dover

Posted By John Baker, Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hi All –

Register HERE for the DANA Free Event of the Season…The Annual Budget Update on Wednesday, February 17 (next week!) with OMB, DHSS, Kids Dept., JFC, and Advocacy! This is always a really popular and packed event, so don't miss the opportunity to reserve your seat.

I also have a number of updates for you from Dover:

We’ve just entered the second week out of the four weeks of JFC’s Hearings. Check the calendar here. 

Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition

The report of the “Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition – Expenditure Review Committee” is in. Find it here.

There is no issue too tough for the nonprofit sector. They're continuing work to achieve efficiencies in Criminal Justice, Medicaid, Foster Care, State Personnel, School Districts, and Central and Fleet Services.

Report Conclusion:       

“Delaware state government has undertaken substantial actions to control costs in recent years, which has mirrored national trends.  Given continued costs pressures, the Committee believes it important to maintain this focus.  While many of the recommendations require further study and analysis, they provide a general course of action that should meet the Committee’s charge to identify opportunities to provide services more efficiently, effectively or at less cost to taxpayers.” 

The report focused and issued recommendations on:

1. Outcomes-based Approaches for the following:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Medicaid
  • Foster Care program

2. Personnel Cost Containment

3. Use of Consolidation, Sharing and/or Centralized Services

  • School Districts
  • Government central services to include other fleets

Leadership Meetings

Sheila and I met with Senate President Pro Tempore, Patricia Blevins and Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf and updated them on the challenges of the sector and the good work of the sector-wide Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition.

They both acknowledged the good news of the Governor including in his budget proposed increases to Contracts and pass-throughs with the “Nonprofit Partners” Line of 1% or $2.3 Million, as well as holding the Grant-In-Aid line level at $43 Million.

They both also emphasized the need for heavy advocacy from the whole sector to maintain these items in the budget. So keep engaged with the Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition and DANA. The next event you can participate in on this front is the Annual Budget Update next week (see the full agenda below), then March 23rd at a DelARF day in Dover, and attending Nonprofit Day and Rally on May 18th at Legislative Hall in Dover, 11am-1pm. More details to follow, but you can reserve your spot now by clicking here.

State of the Sector to Joint Finance Committee 

We’re finalizing the date near the end of February on which Sheila  will present to the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) about the “State of the Nonprofit Sector.”

Annual Budget Update Agenda

8:30 – 9:00am     Registration/Continental Breakfast – Courtesy of Nemours Foundation

9:00 - 9:15am      Welcoming remarks – Sheila Bravo, President & CEO of DANA

9:15 – 9:20am     Moderator: George Meldrum, Nemours

9:20 – 9:45am     Bert Scoglietti, Office of Management and Budget

9:45 – 10:00am   Rep. Melanie George Smith, Co-Chair Joint Finance Committee (JFC)

                                (General Assembly’s Outlook on the Budget)

10:00 – 10:30       Kevin Kelley, Division of Health and Social Services (DHSS)

10:30 – 11:00       Kate Carlson, Department of Services for Children Youth and their Families (DSCYF)

11:00 – 11:30       Rebecca Kidner, ESQ., Registered Lobbyist, Government Relations

                                 (Advocacy – The Opportunity for Voice and Legal Concerns)

11:30 - 11:50am   The Legislative Budget Cycle

                                 (John Baker, EVP for Public Policy & Programs, DANA)

11:50- 12:00pm    Closing remarks - George Meldrum, Nemours Foundation

As always, if you have any questions call or email me: 302.777.5500


Tags:  budget  Delaware  Delaware Nonprofit Day  Joint Finance Committee  nonprofits  Revenue 

Share |

State of the State recap

Posted By John Baker, Friday, January 22, 2016

Hi All –

I had the distinct pleasure of teaming up with my colleague Kristin Davis Sommers yesterday as we attended the Governor’s State of the State address representing the Delaware Nonprofit Sector. You probably saw Kristin live-tweeting from our DANA handle @DE_Nonprofit about the highlights of the Governor’s final State of the State. 

Remember that DANA will have it’s “Annual Budget Update” in Dover on February 17th with the Office of Management and Budget, DHSS, and the Kids Dept. giving you their updates on how the Governor’s proposed budget will impact these key state agencies and their contracts with nonprofits. Also, attendees will hear from the Joint Finance Committee and be able to hone advocacy skills with Dover’s own Rebecca Kidner, Esq. This program will take place after the Governor’s budget release on January 28th, so we’ll have the latest figures drilled into the presentations. We’ll be emailing you when registration is open in the coming weeks.

The Governor’s State of the State highlighted the many accomplishments of the administration through the challenging economy: maintaining the state’s “Triple A Bond Rating” that impacts all that we do; highlighting job growth initiatives like ZipCode Wilmington and Pathways to Prosperity; discussing increases in preschool enrollment that lays a stronger foundation for success in other school initiatives like STEM and building a global workforce through language initiatives; improving the criminal justice system including automotive, culinary, and computer skills training, making mandatory sentencing changes, and other ways to help inmates become contributing Delawareans once they’ve served their time. The Governor also announced plans to restructure state employee health benefits to gain control of this major budget cost driver. In his closing, the Governor acknowledged that there is much work to do over the next six months as the budget bill is written by the General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee and passed by the General Assembly.

The Joint Finance Hearings will begin in February, so check the schedule here and come make your voices heard.

DANA’s “Nonprofit Day” will be on May 18th from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Majority Meeting Room at Dover’s Legislative Hall. Watch for more details in the coming weeks and months. This is a rally with the Nonprofit Coalition (DANA, United Way of Delaware, Delaware Community Foundation, Delaware Grantmakers Association, University of Delaware – CCRS, and Association of Fundraising Professionals- Brandywine Chapter), so make sure to keep this day marked on your calendar. The time in the Meeting Room will be for Executive Directors to hear from our Elected Officials, and the subsequent rally on the steps of Legislative Hall is a great opportunity to bring your board members, volunteers, and clients so our elected officials can see our numbers as they work to finalize the state budget.

As always if you have any questions or comments please give me a call or send me and email.


Tags:  budget  Delaware Nonprofit Day  economy  General Assembly  Governor  Joint Finance Committee  nonprofits  State of the State 

Share |

Workers Compensation Insurance Task Force

Posted By John Baker, Monday, May 13, 2013

Hi All,

The Governor’s Task Force on Workers Compensation Insurance concluded it’s work last Friday and presented their proposals at the Delaware State Chamber offices this Monday morning, May 13, at 10:00 am. The recommendations were presented to the Governor and General Assembly, as well.

Lt. Governor Matt Denn provided solid leadership for this task force and the members were diligent in their work, with committee meetings beginning February 8th, and taking place every Friday. Their work concluded this past Friday with the report recommending and finding:

  • That the committee should meet quarterly; an increase in frequency from annually 
  • That data was not being provided to the Healthcare Advisory Panel and Date Collection Committee in a timely manner as required by the 2007 legislation, and it will now be provided to the panel as required and more frequently
  • That Healthcare Costs were driving the increases in Workers Compensation Insurance, and not just claims, and recommendations were made to control cost and the committee will continue to watch these costs closely
  • That an "Advocate Attorney” should be hired by the Department of Insurance, in place of the typical second Actuary, to advocate on behalf of Employers when rate changes are proposed

The Task Force will continue to work on controlling costs and reforming the process to make it one of the best in the country. DANA will continue to work with the task force and with the nonprofit sector to introduce programs for improved workplace safety, and to introduce new Workers Compensation Insurance options. You can view the report by clicking HERE.

See you at Nonprofit Day on Wednesday, May 15th in Dover. Click here for details.


Tags:  Delaware Nonprofit Day  General Assembly  Governor  Healthcare  Insurance  State Chamber  task force  Workers Compensation 

Share |

First of many

Posted By John Baker, Friday, April 5, 2013

Welcome to my new Public Policy Blog and thank you for checking in! I’ll be keeping you up to date on important public policy matters and activities of the Governor, Delaware’s General Assembly, City and Local issues, hearings and meetings, as well as legislation that is part of the DANA Public Policy Agenda.

Since this is a new blog, I’ll bring you up to speed with a few items from earlier this year, like the Governor’s Proposed Budget for FY 2014:

The Governor presented his proposed 2014 budget on January 24 with the following new initiatives:

  • Expand in-school behavioral health services $3,300,000
  • Statewide targeted prevention programs for youth $2,225,000
  • DSCYF – Youth aging out of foster care $515,000
  • Delaware National Guard Youth Challenge $93,000
  • Accelerate the development of school safety plans $300,000
  • Six State Police Troopers $530,000
  • Total New Initiatives $6,963,500

The Governor’s budget is paid for based on the December Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) Revenue Projections. The DEFAC projection for March was up by $11.1 Million. The final DEFAC projection will be in June, prior to the Delaware Legislature finalizing the 2014 Fiscal Year Budget Bill.

The Governors proposed budget has a deficit of $56 Million, which is paid for with $28.7 million in Agency and Program cuts, and continuation of certain 2009 tax changes. This results in an additional $27.3 million. Between cuts and retaining some tax increases, the budget proposal is balanced for FY2014.

Grant-In-Aid (GIA)

The GIA included in the Governor’s budget includes a $1.2 million elimination of a "one-time” GIA line-item, which leaves the GIA proposal level at $43 million.

The March (ultimately June) DEFAC projection will impact the final GIA and overall budget bills as economy strengthens or weakens.

The March 18 DEFAC meeting revealed an increase in revenue projections of $11.1 million, and I expect June to tick up some more. This is all good news for the budget and GIA.

Joint Finance Committee Hearings (JFC)

The JFC hearings took place in January and February with the State Agencies, Divisions, and Departments presenting their budgets to the JFC. Their budgets were all in line with the Governor’s proposed budget discussed earlier.

Their first mark ups of the budget, including the GIA and the Bond Bills, will be May 21, 22, and 23. The final mark up should be the second week of June, after the June DEFAC projection. Keeping in line with their trend of recent years, the budget bills should get to the legislators in time for a thorough review before they vote on the last day of June.

You can find the Joint Finance Committee meeting schedule HERE.

It was good to see so many of you during the DANA Annual Budget Update at the Medical Society in Newark on February 14, and at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover on February 15, where we had presentations by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), DHSS, and DSCYF (Kids Department). Thanks for your solid turnout!

A few dates to note:

  • March 28 marked the end of the three-week General Assembly session. The two weeks following is their Spring Break. The Assembly will reconvene on April 16.
  • Make sure you mark down May 15 for Delaware Nonprofit Day! Join us as we demonstrate the cohesive, coordinated, and collaborative nature of our Delaware Nonprofit Community. You’ll have a chance to chat and mingle with our elected officials. More details can be found on our website calendar.

Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments.


Tags:  Bond Bills  budget  Delaware Nonprofit Day  General Assembly  Governor  Grant-in-Aid  Joint Finance Committee 

Share |