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

4/4/2017
Standards for Excellence Workshop (Wilmington)

4/5/2017
Standards for Excellence Workshop (Dover)

4/6/2017
Standards for Excellence Workshop (Georgetown)

4/18/2017
Strategic Planning Toward Greatness (Wilmington)

4/18/2017 » 5/23/2017
Nonprofit Finance Fund Spring Webinar Series (2017)

 

 

John's Public Policy Blog
Blog Home All Blogs
John Baker, DANA's Executive Vice President of Policy & Programs, will be updating you on important public policy matters as they happen. He 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  charitable solicitation  government  National Council of Nonprofits  Public Policy  revenue  Attorney General  Legislative Hall  Lt. Governor  Task force  Board Member  Calendar  charities  Healthcare  Office of Management and Budget  taxes  Wilmington  Advocacy  Affordable Care Act  Bond Bills 

America Gives More Act

Posted By John Baker, Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hi All –

Just want to make you aware of this opportunity to ask for our U.S. Senators’ support in passing this important “America Gives More Act” that reaffirms and enhances how Americans support the charities they care about.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any comments or questions at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org or 302.777.5500.

-John

Action Alert
Message to U.S. Senators

The Nonprofit Community Calls on the Senate to Pass the America Gives More Act in September

You can help by delivering this simple message:

Don’t leave Washington in September until the Senate passes the America Gives More Act (H.R.4719); our communities are counting on you.

You can deliver the message by:

  • Calling your Senators’ local or Washington, DC offices (202-224-3121)
  • Carper – Wilm. – 302.573.6291 , Dover – 302.674.3308
  • Coons – Wilm. – 302.573.6345, Dover – 302.736.5601
  • Texting your Senators the simple message
  • Writing your Senators (see sample letter)

Before U.S. Senators recess for the November elections, it is imperative that they pass the America Gives More Act, a bill to promote giving to the work of charitable nonprofits in communities across the country. Simply put, Senators should address the pressing needs of our communities before they focus solely on their personal political careers and their re-election campaigns.

            Act now to urge your Senators to pass the America Gives More Act in September.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the America Gives More Act in July by a strong, bi-partisan vote. The legislation promotes giving back to communities in several ways. It renews and makes permanent expired charitable giving incentives that promote donations of nutritious food to food banks, conservation of land, and contributions from individual retirement accounts directly to charitable nonprofits. The measure would simplify a foundation excise tax, thereby making more funds available for good works. The bill also would permit taxpayers to claim charitable deductions from the previous year up through April 15. Go here for more background information on the America Gives More Act.

Senators are back home in August for the annual summer recess. When they return to DC, there are barely a dozen legislative days left in September before Congress adjourns again for the November elections. This means that Senators must return to Washington in September committed to passing the America Gives More Act as quickly as possible. And they must make known to their Senate leaders their commitment to passing the bill that is important to their communities and constituents, before leaving D.C. again to campaign for re-election.

Tags:  America Gives More Act  charities  National Council of Nonprofits  nonprofits  Senator 

Share |
Permalink
 

End-of-Session Updates

Posted By John Baker, Friday, June 27, 2014

Hi All –

Here are some "end-of-session” updates for you.

Grant-In-Aid - As we move into the wrap-up of the 147th Delaware General Assembly session, Monday, June 30 – July 1, we saw the Grant-In-Aid (GIA) bill come out of the Joint Finance Committee with level funding as compared to last year's. Some applicants went up nominally, some went down, and still others were eliminated. Considering the State’s budget struggles and the cuts they made elsewhere, level funding was pretty good for GIA. The bill will be available at the following link next week if you want to check before you receive your notification from the Controller’s office: http://legis.delaware.gov/ 
In the left column at the bottom, enter "GA147" for the session, then in the last box enter "Grant-In-Aid" and click "Go” to search.

We have also been updating you on the "Grant-In-Aid Reform Initiative” that the JFC Co-Chairs initiated in earnest this past Fall. We have been at the table on this reform, along with the United Way, Delaware Community Foundation, and various other key Delaware foundations. The process has been talked about for a very long time, but it has taken hold this year under the current leadership. The reform will occur over several years, but here are the first steps that were announced yesterday for the upcoming November applications:

1.) The application forms will look a bit different. You will be able to fill in the forms as "Fillable PDFs” and they plan to move to an online application process in the next couple of years once they have the computer / IT capabilities;

2.) You will be required to list all funding sources for your organizations including Pass-Throughs, Block Grants, and all other sources;

3.) Listing of all disbursements, including Salary and Benefits, as a percent of Revenue;

4.) List of grants and Pass-Throughs from 2014 and projections for 2016;

5.) Board of Directors contact information;

6.) More detailed programmatic section with detailed description of populations served;

6.) Description of what led to your deficit or surplus, and what your plans are for managing the financial position you're in;

7.) ED/CEO and Board Chair signatures required on the application;

8.) Audited Financial Statements within the past three years will be required. You will have time to put this expense in your budget, meanwhile, you will be able to provide a statement as to why you can’t provide audited financial statements.

Because of these changes, it will be important for you to attend the regularly scheduled "Grant-In-Aid Orientation” sessions in October. Check the site. The dates will be listed in the application packages that you typically receive.

The Joint Finance Committee will meet again in September to continue their "Grant-In-Aid Reform” discussions. They will determine what aspect of funding they will address next, but they believe that it may be the $8 Million in "Pass-Throughs”.

Workers Compensation Insurance Reform & HB 373 - The General Assembly also passed, and the Governor signed, HB 373 for Workers Compensation Insurance Reform. This bill continues the work of the Governor’s Task Force. This bill is on the heels of last year's actions that the Task Force thought would solve the steady annual requests for 40% increases, that have settled at near 20% increases the previous two years. The task force identified significant medical cost reimbursements as the main driver to Workers Comp. rate increase requests. This bill caps reimbursement of treatment expenses based on Medicare reimbursement rates beginning in 2017.

So in the meantime, if we can connect you with services like the Red Cross that can help you make your workplaces safer, let us know. Your Workers Compensation Insurance rates are based on your "Experience” so if you have one injury in a small organization it can significantly impact your rates. Talk to your insurance provider, too, and ensure that they’re helping you get every advantage possible.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any comments or questions at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org or 302.777.5500.

-John

Tags:  General Assembly  Governor  Grant-in-Aid  Insurance  Joint Finance Committee  task force  Workers Compensation 

Share |
Permalink
 

Delaware Workers’ Compensation Insurance Progress

Posted By John Baker, Friday, June 6, 2014

Over the past four years, workers’ compensation insurance premiums have grown by 40 percent. The majority of this premium increase results from medical costs. Nonprofits, that are businesses, small businesses and the overall economy are harmed by these increases. Because of these increases, Delaware’s workers’ compensation medical costs are among the highest in the country. The Workers’ Compensation Task Force, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and consisting of representatives of all interested parties, was charged with finding a solution to the soaring premiums.

The Task Force’s suggestion was to tie workers compensation medical procedure payment rates to Medicare. This would result in somewhat lower reimbursement rates made to health care providers for treating workers’ compensation patients. Over the next few years, these actions will target lowering workers’ compensation costs by 33 percent. The reimbursement rate will be set at 200 percent over Medicare—with the exception that surgeons and radiologists will be paid at a slightly higher rate as a result of higher costs and more complex treatments in their particular fields.

The proposal has near unanimous support across party lines, including key support by Governor Jack Markell. This past Wednesday this House Bill 373 was voted out of the House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance/Commerce Committee and is on its way to the House Agenda. The recommendation will likely be approved by the General Assembly before the end of session on June 30th. Know that we are watching this important matter for you.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any comments or questions at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org or 302.777.5500.

-John

Tags:  Insurance  Lt. Governor  Task force  Workers Compensation 

Share |
Permalink
 

Grant-In-Aid Assignments

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Good Afternoon, 

As promised, hot off the press is the below list of the Grant-In-Aid Joint Finance Committee member and staff assignments.  This should help you target your efforts as concerns your applications.  My current understanding is that the JFC hopes to hold the GIA at the 2014 level, but all is dependent upon the June 16th Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Committee meeting and report. As you know, "no decrease to GIA” can still result in shifts among the various applicants, some up, some down, some level. 

- John 

 

GRANT-IN-AID COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS for the 147th GENERAL ASSEMBLY FISCAL YEAR 2015

Aging/Senior Centers/Fire Companies /Veterans Sen. McDowell & Rep. Smith
Analyst – Stewart

Arts/Historical/Cultural/Tourism Sen. Bushweller & Rep. Miro
Analyst – Jackson

Health/Disabled and Labor Sen. Cloutier & Rep. Johnson
Analyst – Griffith

Family and Youth Services Sen. Peterson & Rep. Heffernan
Analyst – Reinagel-Nietubicz

Alcohol/Drug Abuse Sen. Ennis & Rep. Kenton
Analyst - Nestlerode

Neighborhood and Community Services Sen. Ennis & Rep. Kenton (American Red Cross to Kingswood)
Analyst – Nestlerode

Neighborhood and Community Services Sen. Lawson & Rep. Carson(La Esperanza to YWCA)
Analyst – Griffith

Tags:  General Assembly  Grant-in-Aid  Joint Finance Committee 

Share |
Permalink
 

HB187 moving to next week

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hi All,

Keeping you posted on what I’m hearing about HB187 – Charitable Solicitation Registration. Looks like it’s moving to next week.

The Delaware Attorney General’s Office plans to submit a substitute bill Wednesday, May 7, which they expect will be set for committee next week, May 14. Due to the volume of changes, the AG’s Office decided that the bill will be more easily understood as a revised/substitute bill that incorporates all changes in one text, as opposed to the edited bill with amendments. The substitute bill looks like it will head to the Economic Development/Banking/Insurance/Commerce committee.

All of this is subject to change so check the House Committee Calendars at: http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis147.nsf/e955250df0285a27852568ac0070372a/28c44ffbbbb1c6b485257ccb0068d8cb?OpenDocument

The Substitute Bill has not been posted yet, but you can find it here when it is: http://www.legis.delaware.gov/LIS/LIS147.NSF/vwLegislation/HB+187?Opendocument

Know that DANA will be there looking out for your interests.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any comments or questions at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org or 302.777.5500.

-John

Tags:  Attorney General  charitable solicitation  General Assembly  nonprofits 

Share |
Permalink
 

General Assembly schedule for HB 187

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hi All,

I want to keep you posted on what I’m hearing about HB187 – Charitable Solicitation Registration. In checking the General Assembly’s House Agenda, it looks like HB187 will be on the schedule for this Thursday, May 8. It’s tough to tell what time, but it’ll be after 2PM. As you know, all of this is subject to change, but please know that DANA will be there looking out for your interests.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any comments or questions at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org or 302.777.5500.

-John

Tags:  charitable solicitation  General Assembly  nonprofits 

Share |
Permalink
 

Questions about the Charitable Solicitor Registration Bill

Posted By John Baker, Friday, March 14, 2014

Hi All,

 

Due to the volume of questions I’ve been receiving recently about HB 187, I wanted to reiterate our position on it.

 

In summary, DANA has worked with many of our nonprofit members over the past five years to get feedback, opinions, and suggestions on the HB 187 Charitable Solicitor Registration Bill. DANA, the Delaware Community Foundation, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Brandywine, the United Way of Delaware, and various fundraising consultants have worked with the legislators and Attorney General’s office closely to make this bill the least onerous on nonprofits as possible.

 

This bill has been working its way through the General Assembly since 2009. We have delayed it along the way to allow nonprofits a chance to recover from the recession. Originally, the bill’s fees exceeded $1,000, which was extremely excessive. Now, the fees start at $10 and top out at $100, on a sliding scale. Previous versions of the bill also required full audits for all nonprofits no matter their size, as well as reports of activities. Now, regularly filed 990 forms will be accepted, with full audits only being required for organizations with budgets over $1 million.

 

The Delaware Attorney General’s office has been very responsive to make this bill the least cumbersome for the nonprofit sector while achieving their goal of increasing the public’s confidence in the charitable nonprofits. Overall, it is hoped that with increased confidence and transparency, individual giving may increase. Delaware is one of eight states in the country that presently do not require nonprofit 501(c)(3) registration. All of our surrounding neighbor states require nonprofits soliciting in their states to register. Therefore, this bill will bring Delaware into alignment with our neighbors, as well as most of the nation.

 

If you have further concerns about the bill, please contact me directly. Also, the Attorney General’s office is very open to discussing any suggestions or concerns you may have.

 

Follow my Public Policy blog here, and our social media channels (Facebook: /DEnonprofit & Twitter: @DE_Nonprofit @JohnDBaker1) to stay up-to-date on public policy items DANA follows for the sector.

 

- John Baker, EVP of Policy and Programs, DANA

Tags:  990  Attorney General  audit  charitable solicitation  General Assembly  nonprofits  Public Policy 

Share |
Permalink
 

Workers Comp Rate Request Decision

Posted By John Baker, Friday, February 28, 2014

Hi All-

I case you haven’t heard, I wanted to let you know that the Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart has announced an increase in Workers’ Compensation rates of 11.4% in residual market rates and 14% in voluntary markets. The effective date of the increase is retroactive to December 1, 2013 for new and renewal business.

While this is certainly less than the 40% increase requested by the Workers’ Compensation Rating Bureau, DANA still believes that more must be done to reform the system. This is the second rate hike in as many years. We, as nonprofits, cannot pass these added costs to our “customers” as other businesses can. Instead, it comes out of the services that we are providing. Less services in a time of such great need is not what Delaware needs.

We will continue to work with the Delaware Insurance Commissioner, the Lt. Governor, and the Governor to initiate real system-wide reform to ensure proper operation of the system as required by the statute with a goal of keeping future increases as small as possible, as well as safety improvement programs implemented by nonprofits to keep costs down.

If you’d like to read the full article from the State of Delaware, click here.

If you’d like more information about the Delaware Department of Insurance, click here.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any comments or questions at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org or 302.777.5500.

-John

Tags:  Governor  Insurance  Lt. Governor  nonprofits  Workers Compensation 

Share |
Permalink
 

IRS and 501(c)(4)s

Posted By John Baker, Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hi All –

Just want to update you on an issue that DANA has been watching and working on with our National Council of Nonprofits: the IRS’s proposed rules and comment period for these proposed rules. Our concern is that these proposed rules could result in the limitation of 501(c)(3)'s ability to promote their missions. Please see the summary of public comments filed by the National Council of Nonprofits in response to the proposed Treasury/IRS regulations involving 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations:

Treasury/IRS Proposed Regulations

  • Begin by identifying the core problem to be solved – the serious need for corrective action to stop the use of 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations for partisan political purposes, that is, among other things, causing confusion with and harming the work of 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits;
  • Present principles for solving the core problem in a way that protects and promotes rather than impedes the significant contributions that charitable nonprofits and social welfare organizations make in their communities;
  • Apply those principles by showing how the proposed regulations would negatively affect the ability of 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits to advance their individual missions and their collective role in ensuring a strong democracy; and
  • Conclude by calling on the Treasury Department and the IRS to withdraw the proposed regulations and begin anew with the guiding principles in mind, and by calling on Congress to address the significant statutory issues that are beyond the scope of rulemaking authority.

As always, if you have any questions or comments please contact me at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org or 302.777.5500

-John

Tags:  IRS  National Council of Nonprofits  nonprofits  regulations  treasury 

Share |
Permalink
 

Workers Comp in the News

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hi all –

Since 2012, and as one of our continued Public Policy Agenda items again in 2014, DANA has been working to limit growth in Workers Compensation Insurance (WCI) rates. We attended the weekly meetings of the Governor’s Task Force on Workers Comp. Insurance, which was chaired by Lt. Governor Denn, as a representative of the nonprofit sector in Delaware.

In addition to the Governor's Task Force, we've discussed the matter with legislators as well as colleagues at the Chambers of Commerce. Chris has also given testimony at the public hearings in 2013 and 2014.

With all that in mind, I wanted to pass along an article from the Monday, February 17 issue of The News Journal that expresses Lt. Governor Denn’s outrage over the proposed 2014 WCI rate increases. In it, Denn is calling for the General Assembly to step in to help fix the system.

Click here to read: "Denn takes swing at workers' compensation insurance bureau"

Please always know that we at DANA are closely watching this issue on your behalf.

As always, if you’d like to talk about this with me please give me a call at 302.777.5500 or email me at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org

-John

Tags:  General Assembly  Insurance  Lt. Governor  Matt Denn  Public Policy  Workers Compensation 

Share |
Permalink
 
Page 4 of 6
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6