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John's Public Policy Blog
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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.

 

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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  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 

General Assembly back in session

Posted By John Baker, Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Hello All,

The 148th General Assembly went back into session yesterday with the continued challenges of a very tight budget year, despite the last Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) estimate was more optimistic. Mark your calendars! The Senate and House will meet Tuesday through Thursday through January 28 (see calendar here)The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will begin meeting to build the budget Mondays through Thursdays, February 1 through February 25, then they will meet February 29 through March 3 on the Bond Bill (see the JFC calendar here).

The Governor’s State of the State is Thursday, January 21 at Legislative Hall. His budget presentation will be the following Thursday, January 28 at 1:00 p.m. in the Tatnall Building. Please check the Delaware.gov website for any updates or changes to scheduled events.

The DANA Annual Budget Update will be on February 17 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. We will bring you up-to-date on the Governor’s proposed budget and expected changes. This will be your opportunity to hear the latest from OMB, DHSS, the DSCYF, and the JFC.

The Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition, our nonprofit coalition, continues to meet weekly. We have a busy season of meeting with legislators and taking them our message, including the letter you all signed onto with your logos. Please schedule your own meetings and be sure to incorporate the three points that we agree to in the letter. This is important so our elected officials hear a consistent and unified message coming from the nonprofit sector, leaders, board members, volunteers, and clients. All of our efforts will culminate at Nonprofit Day in Dover at Legislative Hall in May. Stay tuned to this blog and our website for updates.

Delaware Bills to Watch

While the Delaware Competes Act, HB 235, doesn’t directly affect nonprofits, it is a good bi-partisan attempt to strengthen Delaware’s position and economy. The bill was just filed Friday, and is an effort to increase Delaware’s competitiveness in retaining existing corporations and attracting new businesses and corporations to our state. View the Act here

Regarding the proposed Clean-Water Bill, I spoke with bill sponsor, Senator Bryan Townsend, and he assures me that the bill will be revised to address the concerns of nonprofits and others. I’ll keep you updated as I learn more on this.

U.S. Federal Treasury Rule Withdrawn

Thanks to all of our efforts, including DANA’s filed comments to the IRS, the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS has withdrawn their proposed “Gift Substantiation Regulation” that would have required nonprofits to collect Social Security numbers of donors that contributed more than $250. A job well done by our nonprofit community!

As always, feel free to reach out to me via email jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org or by phone 302-777-5500.

John

Tags:  Bond Bills  budget  DEFAC  Delaware  General Assembly  Governor  Joint Finance Committee  nonprofits 

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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.

-John

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

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