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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 

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 

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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 

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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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Charitable Solicitor Registration and Markell’s 2015 Budget Proposal

Posted By John Baker, Friday, January 31, 2014

Hi all-

Here’s a quick update on two key Public Policy topics:

First, HB 187 Charitable Solicitor Registration was voted out of the "House Economic Development / Banking / Insurance / Commerce Committee yesterday with DANA, AFP, and the United Way of Delaware present in support of the bill being released from the committee. We will keep you posted as to when it will make it on to the House Agenda for discussion and vote.

The bill has been working its way through the General Assembly since 2009. The Delaware Attorney General’s office has been very responsive to make this bill the least onerous on the nonprofit sector while achieving their stated purpose of increasing the public’s confidence in the charitable nonprofits that they want to donate to. Overall, it is hoped that with increased confidence and transparency, individual giving may increase. Delaware is one of eight states that presently does not require nonprofit (501c3) registration. Our surrounding neighbor states require nonprofits soliciting in their states to register, so this will bring Delaware into alignment with our neighbors, as well as most of the nation. The legislation began with much higher fees, and requirements, but in its current form is the most nonprofit friendly. If you have concerns about the bill please contact me. Also the Attorney General’s office is very open to discussion any suggestions or concerns you may have.

Second, I attended Governor Markell’s presentation of his Delaware 2015 Proposed Annual Budget on Thursday at the Tatnall Building in Dover. His initiatives include:

Investments

  • Education – Preparing students for college and/or careers
  • Public Safety – Preventing illegal firearms and crime
  • Job Growth – Supporting innovation and workforce development partnerships

Unleash Potential

  • Expanding College Opportunities
  • Reducing barriers to employment & increasing re-entry services for offenders
  • Aligning workers’ skills with employers’ needs

Quality of Life

  • Investing in our transportation network
  • Revitalizing our Downtowns
  • Clean water for Delaware’s future

The Governor's proposal also includes increasing Grant-In-Aid by $500,000.

In our opinion, all of this will be challenging with Delaware’s financial forecast being less than desirable. The proposed budget looks at a variety of ways to balance the budget and pay for initiatives. These include decreases to some expenses and increases of certain incorporation fees. It also includes an increase to the gas tax.

The General Assembly will discuss all of this thoroughly over the coming months.

Please check out the details at this link: http://budget.delaware.gov/fy2015/documents/budget-presentation.pdf.

Resister to learn about the anticipated impact on the Nonprofit Sector at the "DANA Annual Delaware Budget Update” program on February 21st in Wilmington at the DCCA, and on February 28th in Dover at the Modern Maturity Center. Click here to register.

As always feel free to reach out to me at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org or 302.777.5500.

-John

Tags:  Attorney General  budget  charitable solicitation  General Assembly  Governor  Grant-in-Aid 

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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.

-John

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

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