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Public Policy & Advocacy

  • September 26, 2023 11:01 AM | Anonymous

    The new fiscal year (FY) begins on October 1, 2023, and Congress has so far enacted none of the 12 appropriations bills setting discretionary spending levels. Lawmakers have until midnight on the final day of the fiscal year – September 30 – to enact legislation to fund the programs covered by the appropriations process, or the government will shut down. A continuing resolution (CR) to allow lawmakers more time to complete work on spending bills is likely to be considered. A shutdown in FY 2024 would affect all federal activities covered by discretionary appropriations, as opposed to the most recent FY 2019 shutdown that began in late 2018 and extended into early 2019 that affected only departments and agencies covered by the seven appropriations bills that Congress had not yet enacted.

    The comprehensive Q&A list answers each of the following questions: 

    What is a government shutdown? 

    What services are affected in a shutdown and how? 

    Is the government preparing for a shutdown? 

    How would federal employees be affected? 

    How and why do mandatory programs continue during a shutdown? 

    How many times has the government shut down? 

    Does a government shutdown save money? 

    How can Congress avoid a shutdown? 

    What is a Continuing Resolution? 

    How often does Congress pass CRs? 

    What are the disadvantages of using CRs? 

    How is Congress addressing funding? 

    How does a shutdown differ from a default? 

    How does a shutdown differ from “sequestration” or “sequester”? 

    Source: Committee for a Responsible Federal Government

  • September 26, 2023 10:43 AM | Anonymous

    Four proposed amendments to Louisiana’s constitution await voters in the Oct. 14 statewide primary election. Voters will decide whether election officials can accept donations from nonprofit organizations, whether in-person religious services deserve an extra layer of constitutional protection, how the state should allocate surplus money and whether cities should have the right to take away a lucrative property tax break from landlords that have serious code violations. 

    As part of the mission to educate voters ahead of the election, the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana will host a Constitutional Amendment Webinar on Oct. 4 at 12:00 p.m.

    Click here to register

    PAR recently released the 2023 Guide to the Constitutional Amendments, a nonpartisan, educational review to help people understand the issues and the proposed changes on the ballots. Join PAR along with Daniel Erspamer, CEO of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy; Barry Erwin, President of the Council for a Better Louisiana; and Jan Moller, Executive Director of the Louisiana Budget Project, for an in-depth discussion about this year's proposed amendments.

    The Louisiana Budget Project also released a guide to the constitutional amendments. 

  • September 21, 2023 7:27 AM | Anonymous
    • The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a notice of proposed rulemaking that would restore and extend overtime protections to 3.6 million salaried workers. The proposed rule would guarantee overtime pay for most salaried workers earning less than $1,059 per week, about $55,000 per year. 

      The next Office of Advocacy Roundtable will meet virtually to discuss the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Proposed Overtime Rule. DOL proposes to increase the minimum salary threshold for the “white collar” exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from $35,568 to $55,068 annually.  This threshold may be increased in the final rule based on the most recent data available, possibly up to $60,209.  These meetings will be held virtually using Microsoft Teams on Tuesday, September 26th and Wednesday, September 27th

      TUESDAY, September 26, 2023, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Eastern Time
      WEDNESDAY, September 27, 2023, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Eastern Time

      Send your RSVP for ONE of these meetings to Janis Reyes at

      **A meeting link will be provided to you when you RSVP. 

      Draft Agenda 

      I.          Introductory Remarks (1:00 PM – 1:20 PM)      

      Janis Reyes, Assistant Chief Counsel, SBA Office of Advocacy
      Jessica Looman, Principal Deputy Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, DOL

      Ms. Looman will provide a high-level overview of this proposed rule. 
      After her briefing, the agency will listen to small business concerns. Comments expressed during this roundtable do not take the place of submitting written comments to the regulatory docket. Written comments on this rule are due to DOL on November 7, 2023.  


      II.       Input from Interested Small Entities (1:20 PM – 3:00 PM) 

      We would welcome you input on issues such as:

    • ·       Whether DOL’s proposed salary level threshold should be raised, and whether the DOL’s proposed threshold levels are appropriate levels for small businesses.
    • ·       The numbers of small businesses, small non-profits and small governmental jurisdictions that would be affected by this rule.
    • ·       The compliance costs of increasing the salary level to small entities, such as increasing wages and managerial costs.
    • ·       Possible regulatory alternatives that would minimize the compliance costs for small entities while achieving regulatory goals.
    • ·       The best methodology for updating the salary level and the appropriate frequency of updates. 

    *** Roundtable meetings are open to all interested persons and are intended to facilitate an open and frank discussion about issues of interest to small business. These meetings are off the record and not intended for press purposes. Direct quotations of presenters or attendees may not be used without direct written approval of the person(s) making the statement. All press inquiries should be sent to Agendas and presentations are available to all.***

    Topic Summary

    1.       Overview of Department of Labor’s Overtime Proposal

    On August 30, 2023, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a rule which will increase the minimum salary for the “white collar” overtime exemption from $35,568 to $55,068 annually (equivalent to $17.10 per hour and $26.48 per hour, respectively). To be exempt from overtime pay, workers must be paid a salary of at least $55,068 and must also meet certain job duties for executive, administrative, and professional employees. Workers with a salary below this threshold must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week. This threshold may be increased in the final rule based on the most recent data available, possibly up to $60,209 (equivalent to $28.95 per hour). DOL will also increase the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees from $107,432 per year to $143,988 per year. DOL also plans to automatically update earnings thresholds every three years. 

    DOL estimates that this rule will have the following Year 1 costs for small entities:

    • An average total cost of $4,323 per entity, with a range of total costs of $1,833-$146,781 per entity.
    • One hour to read the rule.
    • 75 minutes of manager costs for wage adjustment.
    • Average payroll increases of $2,638 per affected entity, with an estimated range of payroll cost increases of $768-$103,871. 
    • Average weekly earnings for affected workers in small entities are expected to increase by about $6.91 per week per affected worker. 
    • DOL estimates the following costs per small entity in selected industries: construction ($4,028), retail trade ($5,210), food services and drinking places ($9,332), and nonprofit ($3,570). 
    • DOL estimates that small entities will spend 10 minutes to respond with automatic salary updates every three years.

    Comments on this rule are due November 7, 2023. 

    • ·       Submit electronic comments here.
  • September 21, 2023 6:39 AM | Anonymous

     Today, The Times-Picayune, has endorsed Stephen Waguespack for Governor"We support Wags because he will best represent Louisiana to the nation and the world by projecting an image of competence, courage and compassion. Those same qualities will be indispensable in uniting and guiding Louisianans through the challenges that await us in the coming years."

    On June 7, Congressman Garrett Graves also endorsed Stephen Waguespack.  “He’s the person in this race who can put politics aside, do what’s right and give us the Louisiana that we deserve,” Graves said in a Twitter video posted by the Waguespack campaign.

    At the end of July, Senator Bill Cassidy endorsed Jeff Landry. Cassidy said he and Landry agree Louisiana needs to prioritize affordable flood insurance, access to mental health services and develop the “new energy economy.” Their common ground on these issues is one of the reasons Cassidy felt comfortable with his endorsement, he said. 

    But the two men have different political styles. Since winning his second term in office, Cassidy has been more willing to work across the aisle with Democrats in Congress, particularly on infrastructure deals. He’s also been publicly critical of former President Donald Trump.

    Looking at recent poll numbers, it’s likely more endorsements will follow in the next two weeks….and another candidate possibly dropping out of the race.

  • September 20, 2023 3:25 PM | Anonymous

    Republican state Rep. Richard Nelson of Mandeville, whose signature issue was eliminating the state income tax, dropped out of the Louisiana governor's race and endorsed GOP frontrunner Jeff Landry. Nelson, 37, was the youngest of the seven major candidates in the race.

    Nelson has touted a goal of jettisoning Louisiana's state income tax to make the state more attractive to young people and align it with neighbors like Texas. He took more moderate stances than other Republican candidates on some issues, pledging to support exceptions to Louisiana's strict abortion ban in cases of rape and incest. 

    Other major candidates in the race include: Republican state Sen. Sharon Hewitt; Independent attorney Hunter Lundy; Republican Treasurer John Schroder; former Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President Stephen Waguespack, a Republican; and Democrat Shawn Wilson, former Louisiana transportation secretary.

    The primary election is Oct. 14 with the runoff election set for Nov. 18.

  • September 18, 2023 8:39 AM | Anonymous

    The Internal Revenue Service announced last week that it will not process new Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) applications until at least 2024 because of the recent proliferation of ERTC scams. This means that nonprofits that were eligible for the ERTC for 2020 or 2021 and have not yet filed for the tax credit will need to wait until at least early 2024 for the IRS to process their applications. Nonprofits that have pending ERTC applications should expect delays during the moratorium period, because the IRS is processing existing claims at a much slower pace than usual.


    The IRS also issued new guidance and tools for helping determine ERC eligibility, including frequently asked questions and a new question and answer guide to help nonprofits and businesses better understand if they meet the qualifying standards for the ERTC.

    In addition, the IRS is developing a settlement program for repayments for those who received an improper ERC payment due to the proliferation of scammers. More details will be provided this fall.

    Lastly, the IRS is finalizing details that will be available soon for a special withdrawal option for those who have filed an ERC claim but the claim has not been processed. This option – which can be used by taxpayers whose claim hasn't yet been paid– will allow the taxpayers, many of them small businesses and nonprofits who were misled by promoters, to avoid possible repayment issues and paying promoters contingency fees.

  • September 18, 2023 8:28 AM | Anonymous

    The new fiscal year (FY) begins on October 1, 2023, and Congress has so far enacted none of the 12 appropriations bills setting discretionary spending levels. Lawmakers have until midnight on the final day of the fiscal year – September 30 – to enact legislation to fund the programs covered by the appropriations process, or the government will shut down. 


    A stopgap spending bill known as a “continuing resolution” (CR) would allow lawmakers more time to negotiate full details of an appropriation plan and provide temporary funding for the federal government. 


    A shutdown in FY 2024 would affect all federal activities covered by discretionary appropriations, as opposed to the most recent FY 2019 shutdown that began in late 2018 and extended into early 2019 that affected only departments and agencies covered by the seven appropriations bills that Congress had not yet enacted.


    If Congress is unable to take either of these actions, large parts of the federal government will shut down beginning on October 1. Government shutdowns can harm nonprofits and the communities they serve by causing delays in nonprofits’ payments from federal agencies and creating disruption in the delivery of federal benefits.


    While Congress and the White House agreed to spending levels in June as part of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, both chambers appear to be ignoring that agreement, with the Senate proposing significantly more spending, and the House asking for greater spending cuts. Negotiations are more challenging than usual this year because a small group of House members are poised to block any spending plan or continuing resolution that does not include severe spending cuts and controversial policy provisions that are unlikely to meet the Senate’s approval.


    Below are links that explain in more detail the consequences of a federal government shutdown: 

    What is a government shutdown and why are we likely to have another one?



  • September 18, 2023 8:07 AM | Anonymous

    A new public opinion poll suggests that there is broad public support for tax incentives for charitable giving like the Charitable Act (H.R. 3435/S. 566). The poll found that:

    • 87% of voters support restoring the universal charitable deduction permanently for all taxpayers including 51% of voters who strongly support this giving incentive.  
    • 82% of voters support expanding the universal charitable deduction to up to $4,500 for all Americans, including at least 80% of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.  
    • 53% of voters say they would donate more to nonprofits if they were able to claim the charitable deduction.

    Restoring and improving tax incentives for charitable giving remains a high priority for all nonprofits. The Alliance will work with our national partners to use this new polling data to help advocate for Congress to pass the Charitable Act and other similar legislation. Please feel free to share the poll results with your members, donors and local media to build a broader awareness and advocacy base for this important issue.

  • September 18, 2023 8:01 AM | Anonymous

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released new proposed regulations on the salary threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed regulations would increase the salary threshold for overtime pay by nearly 55% over the current level to $55,068 per year. 

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that its Office of Advocacy is hosting virtual roundtables for small employers (including nonprofits) on September 26 and 27 (both are from 1-3 p.m.) to get input on the proposed DOL overtime rule. For more information, including details on how to RSVP for one of the roundtables, click the SBA’s announcement.

    Nonprofits and others have until November 7 to submit public comments on the proposed rule. After DOL receives and reviews these comments, it could make some changes to the proposed regulations before issuing final regulations. The salary threshold in the final regulations be even higher than the level in the proposed regulations – possibly as high as $60,209 per year.  The new salary threshold will likely take effect sometime in 2024.

  • August 23, 2023 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    The U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee recently published a “request for information” (RFI) about “political campaign intervention” by 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits and 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations. Federal tax law prohibits 501(c)(3) nonprofits from engaging in partisan election-related activities like endorsing or opposing candidates for public office or making financial contributions to political campaigns. However, longstanding guidance from the Internal Revenue Service makes clear that 501(c)(3) organizations can participate in nonpartisan voter registration, voter education, and get-out-the-vote work.

    The Ways and Means Committee’s request for information seeks feedback on a series of questions, which focus on:

    1.     Whether there is a need to update definitions and guidance on nonprofit “political campaign intervention”;

    2.     Potential new reporting requirements for nonprofits on their election-related activities, potentially including new reporting on permissible nonpartisan voter engagement activities of 501(c)(3) nonprofits;

    3.     Identification of tax-exempt nonprofits whose voter engagement work or other programs and services have the effect of favoring one candidate or political party;

    4.     Information about the influence of foreign nationals on the election-related programs of 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organizations; and

    5.     Specific examples of 501(c)(3) nonprofits that have misused donor funds in ways that benefit nonprofit executives or are inconsistent with donors’ intent.

    While the committee’s request for information letter seeks information about activities of tax-exempt nonprofits that benefit any candidate or political party, the letter concludes with several examples of nonprofits’ election-related activities that the committee chairs suggest have benefitted Democratic candidates. The vast majority of 501(c)(3) nonprofits that engage in election-related activities do so in a nonpartisan way with intent of maximizing voter participation in their communities and without any expectation that their activities will benefit particular candidates or political parties.

    Louisiana Alliance for Nonprofits is working with national partners on this issue. Comments are due to the Ways and Means Committee by September 4. The committee is accepting comments by email at

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