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DANA's Public Policy Blog
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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.


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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 

DEFAC Down Again

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hello All,

The DEFAC forecast just came in and the funds available for appropriation are down by $700,000; not as bad as it could have been, but not good like past years when this last report would tick up.

Sheila and I have been in deep discussions with Joint Finance Committee (JFC) members and our other Senators and Representatives as they prepare to finalize the Budget, Bond, and Grant-In-Aid Bills. They’re commending many of you on your efforts to communicate your successful outcomes.

The social media campaign trumpeting your successes continues to roll through Delaware. #‎OurDelaware ‪#‎PartnersInAstrongerDelaware Many of you have sent us powerful images and stories that we’ve been able to get out to our public officials over social media. Keep them coming and we thank you!

Contact your JFC Members and Legislators

As you saw in the letter we sent you Monday morning from the JFC Co-Chair, Melanie George Smith, she intends to try to make any necessary cuts based on the JFC member recommendations, as opposed to “across-the-board.” Because of this, it’s that much more important for you and your boards, staff, and clients to reach out to them and make certain they know your great outcomes. Carefully craft a brief message for them to use in emails and phone messages, in 3 or 4 sentence talking points, that state how you make your clients lives better, as well as what the impact a 5% or 10% funding cut would have on the services you provide, or how a 5% or 10% cut in funding could impact employment at your nonprofit.

The final meeting for the Grant-In-Aid Bill will be on Tuesday, June 28 at 12:30 pm in the JFC Meeting Room at Legislative Hall, Dover, DE.

Voter Voice – We’ve added this new tool for your convenience in getting your important messages to your elected officials.  You can just send this link along with your specific talking points (for them to add to the Voter Voice message) to your board, staff, volunteers, and clients and they can send a message to your elected officials.  

Here’s the list of the Joint Finance Committee Assignments, that we sent out to you in May. Download the file here.

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


Tags:  DEFAC  Delaware  Joint Finance Committee  Legislative Hall  nonprofits 

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Governor Markell's State of the State

Posted By John Baker, Thursday, January 23, 2014

Good Morning!

If you are looking to catch Governor Markell’s State of the State address from Legislative Hall, House Chambers beginning at 2PM today, you can follow it live at

Governor Markell will present his budget next Thursday, January 30, 2014, at the Tatnall building in Dover (located next to Legislative Hall).

Remember to register for the Annual Budget Update brought to you by DANA and sponsored by Nemours. We’ll have presentations from Delaware’s OMB, DHSS, and DSCYF (Kids Dept.), as well as a representative of the Legislature, and Drew Fennell, to talk about Advocacy and Lobbying. Register on our website by clicking here.

DANA's Annual Budget Update:
February 21st in Wilmington at the DCCA, and February 28th in Dover at the Modern Maturity Center
Times: 9:00 a.m. – Noon

As always, if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact me.


Tags:  Advocacy  budget  Governor  Legislative Hall  Office of Management and Budget  State of the State 

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Grant-In-Aid and Charitable Solicitation Registration

Posted By John Baker, Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hello all-

I'm just getting back to the office from Dover and the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) review of the Grant-In Aid (GIA) Bill draft. The committee, under Representative Smith George’s leadership, was charged with being very deliberate with their recommendations. There will be no aggregate or across-the-board recommendations for GIA this year.

Overall, there was a net aggregate of $513,156.00 increase to the "Community Agencies," going from $16,215,516.00 to $16,728,672.00 in the GIA draft that will now go to the General Assembly for a vote. Some others saw slight increases, some saw decreases, but most remained level. There were also several one-time grants proposed. This was a very tight budget year. The JFC is concerned about the 2015 budget being even tighter, so they were very conservative this year.

Click here to see the GIA draft

Here’s the latest on HB 187:

With a busy legislative session, HB 187 will not come out of committee until January 2014. This is the bill that will bring Delaware in line with 44 other states that already have Charitable Solicitation Registration requirements for nonprofits and for-profit fundraisers. Our surrounding states of NJ, MD, and PA all require similar registration. DANA has worked on this bill with the Attorney General’s office, the Delaware Community Foundation, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Brandywine Chapter and International), the United Way of Delaware, and many more of our nonprofit colleagues.

Since discussion began in 2008, the bill has been much improved. It now accepts IRS 990 nonprofit tax returns for many nonprofits, raises the budget level at which an audit is required, reduces the annual registration fee from $250 for the smallest "Charitable Nonprofit” to $25, and tops out at $100, instead of the $1,000 in past versions. Also, the provision that would have required the submission of donor lists has been eliminated. The system will be online, and will use the Uniform Registration System (URS) that most other states use for this purpose. Additional fees or further regulations are difficult for our nonprofit sector to bear, but we have fought to make this the least-onerous and least-expensive Charitable Solicitation Registration possible. The bill’s primary sponsor is Rep. Osienski, Co-Sponsors are Rep. Kowalko and Sen. Sokola, with additional sponsorship of Rep. Keeley, and Sens. Townsend and Simpson. View the bill by clicking here

As always if you’d like to discuss this piece of legislation, feel free to contact me.


Tags:  Attorney General  budget  charitable solicitation  General Assembly  Grant-in-Aid  Joint Finance Committee  Legislative Hall  registration  Uniform Registration System 

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Budget Markups Start Today

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The pencils are being sharpened as the budget markup process begins today!

Updated budget projections were released yesterday at the May Delaware Economic & Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) meeting at Buena Vista in New Castle. The Council revised their revenue projections upward for 2013 and 2014 by $15.4 million and $4.8 million, respectively. There will be one more DEFAC meeting on June 17th in which the projections will be updated again. I’ll be sure to update you when that happens.

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will begin meeting today at noon for the budget markup process. These meeting are open to the public. With the exception of today, the meetings on May 22, 28, 29, 30 and 31 will take place at 10:00 a.m. All meetings will be held in the JFC meeting room in Legislative Hall in Dover. The meeting room is located on the ground floor, which is one level down from security, on the right hand side near the cafeteria.

If you plan to attend, make sure to check the JFC calendar for updates and changes.  

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments.


Tags:  budget  DEFAC  Joint Finance Committee  Legislative Hall 

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