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Federal Policy News

ACTION ALERT:  Nonprofit Nonpartisanship Under Attack in Congress
National Council of Nonprofits

Nonpartisanship is a cornerstone principle that has strengthened the public’s trust of the charitable community. Yet the longstanding legal protection (known as the Johnson Amendment) – which allows 501(c)(3) nonprofits to speak out on issues of the day and advocate on legislation, but keeps us away from the divisiveness of supporting or opposing candidates for office – is under imminent threat. In recent weeks, the President vowed to “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment,” the Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee said he intends to repeal the law as part of comprehensive tax reform, and the House Majority Whip is a lead sponsor of one of the bills to weaken the protection. That legislation (H.R.781; S.264) would blur the current clear language that conditions tax-exempt status and the ability to receive tax-deductible donations in part on not engaging in partisan, election-related activities for or against candidates for public office.
 
Nonprofits are safe spaces in our communities, designed to be above the political fray. Preventing the application of party labels allows us to focus on solving problems, helping our neighbors, and enriching our communities. Nonpartisan credibility is critical to the ability of 501(c)(3) organizations to work with elected officials of all parties at the local, state, and federal levels to address community needs. Keeping this protection in place is essential to nonprofit missions.
 
KNN has proudly signed, together with the National Council of Nonprofits, our nationwide network, and nonprofits and foundations from across the country, a special joint Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship. We urge your organization to join us in signing on and sharing the letter broadly with your board members, your colleagues at other organizations, and others in your networks so they can join in this vital effort to preserve the protections in current law. Together, we can protect nonprofit missions from the rancor of partisan politics.
 
Click to learn more from the email sent to KNN members.
CALL TO ACTION:  Click to Sign On to Support Nonprofit Nonpartisanship!
 
KNN Represents Kentucky Nonprofits at 100 Years of Giving Washington DC Fly-In

KNN CEO, Danielle Clore, stood with over 200 nonprofit executives, board members and funders from 37 states at a Capitol Hill Fly-In to mark the 100th anniversary of the charitable giving tax deduction. Kentuckians joining Danielle were KNN members Guy Adams, Christian Appalachian Project and Mike Delzotti, Markey Cancer Foundation.  Meetings were held with Reps. Hal Rogers and James Comer and staff members of Senator Mitch McConnell and Reps. Andy Barr, Brett Guthrie and John Yarmuth. The event was coordinated by the Charitable Giving Coalition to emphasize the importance of the this giving incentive and advance a proposal to expand the charitable giving deduction to all taxpayers as part of tax reform efforts.

Meetings confirmed that some early tax reform proposals will "protect" the charitable giving tax deduction, however the proposals also include a plan to increase the standard deduction.  This is problematic because 33% of individuals currently itemize their deductions, and this proposal is projected to drop this rate to as low as 5%. The impact on charitable giving could be as large as as loss of $26 billion in donations. Congress was urged to acknowledge the consequences of such a proposal and take the opportunity of tax reform to encourage more charitable giving by expanding the charitable giving deduction to all taxpayers, whether or not they itemize deductions.

KNN will continue to communicate with Kentucky's Congressional delegation on this important issue and plans to propose a similar opportunity to expand charitable giving as part of Kentucky's tax reform efforts.  
Click to Let Us Hear from You: Why Does Charitable Giving Matter? What Do You Think About the Expansion of the Charitable Giving Tax Deduction?
First Draft of Trump Budget Includes Hit List of Nonprofits, Funding Agencies
Nonprofit Quarterly

While it's very early in a long and complex budget process, a hit list of programs to eliminate has surfaced from Mike Mulvaney, the budget director for the Trump administration.  These include the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which helps to fund PBS and NPR), the Corporation for National and Community Service (which funds AmeriCorps and Senior Corps), and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Read more...
Click to Let Us Hear from You: How Would These Proposed Cuts Impact Your Mission?

A Unexpected Opportunity to Renew My Awe and Passion for Your Work
Danielle Clore, KNN CEO

15 years. February 13 marked the 15th anniversary of the day I went to work as a professional temporary at UK to create what was originally called the UK Center for Nonprofit Management, then I became permanent staff as the work evolved to become UK's Nonprofit Leadership Initiative and now we are the independent 501 (c) 3, Kentucky Nonprofit Network - your state association. For the most part, 15 years has flown by - I'm sure many of you can relate. There are days that have become routine and leave me questioning, "what's next" - for me and for KNN.  And then, there are days that serve as an important opportunity for renewal and remind me of why I am so passionate about you - Kentucky's nonprofit sector.  I am grateful for these opportunities that remind me of why I do the work I do.  It's you.  Your work is what inspires me.  

Read more...

State Policy News


SB 149 Would Continue Work to Streamline Nonprofit Contracts with Government

Senator Max Wise, a co-chair of the Government Nonprofit Contracting Task Force (established by HCR 89 in 2015) filed Senate Bill 149 to continue the important work of streamlining government contracts with nonprofits.  

Read SB 149 in it's current form
*Note: With limited time remaining in this legislative session, SB 149 may not see any movement.  KNN is working with Senator Wise on possible alternatives to continue this important work of streamlining nonprofit contracts with government, saving both time and money. This issue is a KNN priority. We'll keep you updated as we know more. 


HB 385 Aims to Modernize Outdated Laws Governing Nonprofits

House Bill 385, filed by Rep. Robert Benvenuit, supports KNN's continued efforts to modernize the laws governing nonprofits in Kentucky.  The majority of the laws, KRS 273, were written in the 1960's and other than House Bill 440 in 2015 - they have received few updates. These modernization efforts are the result of two task forces, once convened by KNN and one convened by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

HB 385 will not advance during this session and Rep. Benvenuti has indicated he intends to profile the bill for the 2018 legislative session. KNN believes it's important to keep the bill in front of legislators and nonprofits. 

Check out KNN's one page summary of HB 385.
Let us hear from you on this effort.
 
Congratulations to Members Recognized with KNN's Voice Award at the 2017 Nonprofit Day at the Capitol

Read more...
Check out more photos from the event...
Colon Cancer Prevention Project of Louisville honored legislators for House Bill 115.
Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs of Frankfort honored legislators for their work on Senate Bill 63.
Kentucky CASA Network of Louisville honored legislators for their support of a budget appropriation to expand CASA programs across Kentucky.
Lactation Improvement Network in Kentucky of Lexington honored legislators for their support of SCR 9.
KNN honored the legislators, cabinet officials and nonprofit executives serving on the Government Nonprofit Contracting Task Force.
2017 Kentucky Nonprofit Day at the Capitol Partners
Thank you to AT&T, our 2017 Kentucky Nonprofit Day at the Capitol sponsor!
Let Us Recognize You Next Year!
KNN members: if your legislative efforts are successful during the 2017 legislative session, we’d like to recognize you and the legislators/government officials supporting you at our rally and awards program in the Capitol Rotunda In 2018.  Please share your work with us ASAP.  Learn more about the annual Nonprofit Voice and Advocacy Partner awards.

Do you value Kentucky Nonprofit Network’s public policy work on behalf of the sector?  Become a member and stand with KNN, nonprofits across Kentucky and our nation’s nonprofit sector. To remain your trusted resource, we rely on your partnership and membership investment.

Copyright © 2017 Kentucky Nonprofit Network, All rights reserved.


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