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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 

Workers Compensation Insurance Public Meetings

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hi All –

Since 2012, and as one of our continued Public Policy Agenda items again in 2015, 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. We have also given testimony at the public hearings in 2013, 2014, and will again next week.

With all that in mind, I wanted to pass along the notice below from the Insurance Commissioner.

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

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

DELAWARE COMPENSATION RATING BUREAU FILING 1502

 

INSURANCE  COMMISSIONER  KAREN  WELDIN  STEWART,  CIR-ML, hereby gives notice that a PUBLIC HEARING will be held on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 and Thursday, November 5, 2015 beginning at 10:00 a.m., in the auditorium on the Mezzanine level of the Carvel State Office Building, 820 North French Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. Although the Hearing has been scheduled to be held over the course of two days, the first day (November 4, 2015) will be reserved for the receipt of oral comments from members of the public, and the second day (November 5, 2015) will be reserved for the introduction of evidence by the parties to the proceeding.  If all parties agree, introduction of evidence by the parties may begin on the first day.

 

The purpose of the hearing is to consider whether the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau (DCRB) Filing No. 1502 dated August 28, 2015, complies with applicable law and should be allowed to go into effect, or whether the filing should be disapproved. The filing requests an overall increase in involuntary market rates of approximately 14.92% and an overall increase in the voluntary market loss costs of approximately 15.03%. The filing and other related public documents are available on the State of Delaware Department of Insurancwebsitat    http://www.delawareinsurance.gov/departments/documents/dockets/.

 

The hearing will be conducted pursuant to applicable law, including without limitation 18 Del. C. §§ 2605 and 2610 and 29 Del. C. §§10121-29. The docket number assigned to this hearing is 2916-2015.  The Honorable Joshua W. Martin,

III, has been appointed to serve as the Hearing Officer.

 

A party has the right to present evidence, be represented by Delaware counsel, and appear personally or by other representative. The Delaware Department of Insurance is obligated to reach its decision based on the evidence received.

 

Comments are being solicited from any person. Comments may be in writing or may be presented orally at the Hearing. Written comments must be received no later than Wednesday, October 28, 2015 by 4:30 p.m., and should be addressed to the attention of Rhonda West, Regulatory Specialist, Delaware Department of Insurance, 841 Silver Lake Boulevard, Dover, DE 19904. Also, those intending to provide oral comments at the hearing must notify Rhonda West at (302) 674-7379 or DOI_WorkersComp@state.de.us, no later than 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Octobe28, 2015.

Tags:  Delaware  Governor  Lt. Governor  nonprofits  Public Policy  Workers Compensation 

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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 

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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 

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Workers Comp Public Meeting

Posted By John Baker, Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hi All, 

DANA was present last evening representing the nonprofit sector at the Wilmington Public Meeting on Workers Compensation Insurance, hosted by the Delaware Department of Insurance. The program began with the Department’s Gene Reed giving opening remarks and introducing the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau’s (DCRB) Tim Wisecarver who described the DCRB’s Filing No. 1305 requesting an average 40% increase in the Workers Compensation rates for 2014. This was followed by comments from the "Rate Payers Advocate” and their actuary (position created by the Governor’s Task Force and legislation this past June). This Advocate and their Actuary recommends an average 20% increase. This was followed by a presentation by the Delaware Department of Insurance’s Actuary who recommended an average increase of 20% as well. 

The program concluded with the Delaware Department of Insurance’s Gene Reed announcing that a Public Administrative Hearing will be announced on the Department’s website and will be presided over by the Hon. Judge Martin. The Judge will make a recommendation to the Insurance Commissioner, Karen Weldin Stewart, who will render a final decision on any rate adjustment. 

There will be an opportunity for the public to make statements at the Public Administrative Hearing and DANA will be there. 

Meanwhile, the Governor’s Task Force on Workers Compensation Insurance continues to meet to develop a course forward that is fiscally responsible and continues to support Delaware’s economic recovery.  

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me.

-John

Tags:  Governor  Insurance  public meeting  Public Policy  Task force  Wilmington  Workers Compensation 

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Fees, taxes, and PILOTs in the City of Wilmington

Posted By John Baker, Monday, April 8, 2013

This morning, DANA CEO Chris Grundner and I met with Wilmington Mayor Williams’ Chief Strategy Advisor Velda Jones-Potter, and Chief of Staff John Matlusky. We requested the meeting as part of DANA’s Public Policy Agenda. We went there to voice our concerns about the city possibly imposing fees, taxes, or PILOTs (Payments In Lieu of Taxes) on nonprofits. Such fees have been mentioned by the Mayor as a source of revenue in Wilmington. Our position on the matter remains that we are against the imposition of fees, taxes, or PILOTs being imposed on nonprofits.

We have seen the topic of fees on nonprofits come up in years past, and they have been successfully defeated. DANA is closely watching as PILOTs are being considered in other cities around the nation, as all municipalities struggle through the current challenging economic conditions. The City of Wilmington and Delaware nonprofits alike are struggling with the same challenging economic conditions, as nonprofits aim to meet the demands of the increasing numbers of clients in need.

By maintaining an ongoing engagement with the mayor’s office, we anticipate a successful outcome from this current round of discussions regarding fees, taxes, and PILOTs. Wilmington’s Mayor Williams and his staff understand the value of the nonprofit sector and recognize us as key partners in city services. They understand that any imposition of fees will only limit our ability to address the needs of Wilmingtonians.

Chris and I left the meeting this morning with a secure understanding that there will be no fees, taxes, or PILOTs in the proposed budget for 2013 through 2014, and that Wilmington has no plan to move forward with any such imposition without thoroughly engaging Wilmington nonprofits in the discussion. In coordination with the mayor’s office, DANA will be forming a representative working-group of nonprofit leaders to meet with the mayor, his staff, and City Council representatives in the coming summer months. The focus of this group will be to gain a thorough understanding of the sector, and an aligned course going forward.

I will keep you posted with any developments. In the meantime, I may reach out to some of you to serve as representatives of the sector within this new working-group.

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

-John

Tags:  fees  Mayor Williams  nonprofits  PILOTs  Public Policy  taxes  Wilmington 

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