Highlights of This Edition
- Treasury Seeking Input for Next Priority Guidance Plan
- ACT NOW: Mobilize Members to Support the Charitable Act
- #FORUMCON23 to Feature Public Policy and Advocacy Programming
Federal Public Policy News
Debt-Limit Legisltion Passed the Senate and Goes to President Biden
Last night the Senate passed legislation to lift the nation's debt ceiling, as reported by ABC News. The passage comes after the House passed a verion that was largely negotiated by President Biden and Speaker McCarthy. The president plans to sign the bill ahead of the Treasury’s estimated deadline for avoiding default on June 5th.
ABC News noted that President Biden celebrated the fact that the deal protects Medicare and Social Security. Speaker McCarthy praised the deal for reducing government spending and the deficit. The deal will cap non-defense government spending and raise the debt ceiling until January 1, 2025. It will also add work requirements to SNAP and reduce funding for the Internal Revenue Service.
Submit Comments on Treasury’s 2023-2024 Priority Guidance Plan
Last week, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) invited the public to submit recommendations for items to be included on the 2023-2024 Priority Guidance Plan. The deadline to submit comments is Friday, June 9, 2023.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy and the IRS use the Priority Guidance Plan each year to identify and prioritize the tax issues that should be addressed through regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, notices, and other published administrative guidance.
The 2023-2024 Priority Guidance Plan will identify guidance projects that the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to actively work on as priorities during the period from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024.
The Forum will submit recommendations and encourages PSOs to do the same via the regulations.gov website.
Alternatively, if PSOs would like to add their organizations’ name to the Forum’s recommendations, please email Senior Director of Public Policy, Matthew L. Evans by Wednesday June, 7, 2023.
Provide Feedback to the House Agriculture Committee About the Farm Bill
Last month, the House Agriculture Committee created an online portal for the public to comment on the Farm Bill. The deadline for submitting comments is June 9th.
The portal allows individuals and organizations to submit input about a variety of programs which fall under the bill. It also includes ways to comment on the 2018 Farm Bill and recommendations for new programs to be considered for the 2023 Farm Bill.
See the online portal to submit feedback about the Farm Bill.
Supreme Court Precedent Could Impact Foundations and Nonprofits
The Hewlett Foundation recently commissioned a paper which lists potential ramifications, for the charitable sector, of a forthcoming Supreme Court decision about affirmative action. The Court has been asked to overturn the precedent which allows colleges and universities to use race-conscious admissions policies. The paper points to ways the sector could be impacted by the ruling, including four areas of increased litigation risk.
The Supreme Court’s forthcoming decisions could also affect voting rights, as noted in The Hill’s preview of decisions to be released this month. The preview highlighted that a case from Alabama could weaken the Voting Rights Act. In the case, Alabama state Republicans and community advocates are at odds about whether recent redistricting violated the Voting Rights Act.
Post-Graduation Scholarship Bill Introduced in the House
Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced a post-graduation scholarship bill in the House last week. The bill defines post-graduation scholarship grants as charitable activity and excludes the grant from recipients’ taxable income.
Post-graduation scholarships are a public policy priority for several regional PSOs within the Forum’s network. Forefront’s fact sheet about post-graduation scholarships notes their potential use for workforce development, student debt reduction, and incentivizing college graduates to live in small towns and rural communities.
PSO Advocacy Resources + Updates
#FORUMCON23 to Feature Public Policy and Advocacy Programming
The Forum’s Annual Conference will be held July 17-19, 2023, in New York City. Among the many topics scheduled for conference programming, the role of public policy and advocacy in building a more courageous philanthropic sector will be front and center.
Conference programming will include sessions focused on public policy as a practice for PSO professionals and foundation leaders and the role of philanthropy in advocating for rural equity, among others.
Register for #FORUMCON23 today. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore how PSOs can work together, promoting a strong sector and advocating for vibrant, equitable communities.
Act Now: Mobilize Your Members in Support of the Charitable Act
The Forum encourages PSOs to rally members in support of the Charitable Act, which will implement a universal charitable deduction for 2023 and 2024, if passed.
PSOs can mobilize members by sending them a link to our Advocate Action Center. The Action Center includes a pre-written letter that is sent directly to Senators in less than five minutes.
Act now and urge your members to support charitable giving.
June PSO Advocacy Check-In Registration Now Open
The Forum’s next PSO Advocacy Check-In is scheduled for Thursday, June 29th. Check-Ins feature comprehensive updates and analysis on legislative issues impacting the sector at the federal level, as well as an open discussion on current policy hot topics, and timely tips on public policy best practices for PSOs and their members.
Advocacy Check-Ins are designed for PSO executive, public policy, public relations, and communications staff.
State Public Policy News
TPC Expert Featured on Podcast About Medicaid and State Budgets
Richard Auxier, with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC), recently discussed the state of Medicaid and state budgets on the Public Money Pod. The podcast, produced by the University of Chicago, included an overview of how the state-federal Medicaid funding partnership works.
In the interview, Auxier mentions the ongoing impact of Medicaid renewal, which was restarted at the end of the federal pandemic emergency declaration. The episode also highlights eligibility for the program and how it impacts state budgets and policy decisions.
Growing Number of States Pass SALT Workarounds
Per Bloomberg Government, more states are enacting workarounds for the $10,000 federal cap on State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions. This month, Iowa and Montana enacted policies, and Nebraska and Hawaii are expected to follow.
Among the states that have a tax structure in which a workaround is an option, only Delaware, Maine, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and the District of Columbia have not yet made strides to enact one.
The Philanthropy + Policy Update regularly features state updates from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities’ State Priorities Partnership (SPP).
Kansas Action for Children Helps to Defeat a Flat Tax Bill
Kansas Action for Children (KAC) helped defeat a flat tax bill. The proposal would have gutted revenue available to support childcare, health care, special education, and more. KAC worked to inform legislators and the public about the bill, and to shore up a governor’s veto. When the Legislature took up a vote on whether to override the veto, KAC’s work to line up opposition — on both sides of the aisle — meant the veto stood. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities supported KAC by deploying a rapid advocacy grant, providing technical assistance to support a targeted campaign, and curating Network cohort spaces that ultimately fueled effective, sustained advocacy to defeat the proposal.
The Center, in partnership with the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), provided KAC with flat tax talking points and provided strategic support on message and audience. CBPP’s Communications and Campaigns teams worked closely with KAC staff to stand up a patch-through program connecting Kansas residents directly with their members of the Legislature to voice their opposition to the flat tax and urge a “no” vote on the veto override. CBPP also provided message guidance to communicate the value of a progressive personal income tax, to help tell the positive, aspirational story of what Kansas could do with fairly raised, adequate revenue, along with the “reject the flat tax” message.
Arkansas and Florida SPP Partners Advocate for Medicaid Access
With Medicaid renewals underway in many states, SPP partners have been highlighting the impact. In Arkansas, about 82 percent of the total renewal cases closed were closed because of bureaucratic or paperwork issues and not because of a true determination of ineligibility, according to analysis by Arkansas Advocates for Family and Children.
Tens of thousands of children in Florida will be kicked off Medicaid, Florida Policy Institute and 50 other organizations said in a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis. The coalition called on him to stop the renewal process before health care is taken away from more families.
Advocacy Across the Network
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy Releases First-Ever Public Policy Agenda
Recently, the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP) developed their first-ever public policy agenda. CCP surveyed members and found that addressing housing needs and building public-private partnerships were top priorities.
The announcement also highlighted that a model is being developed to expand to additional public policy issues in the future.
Read the announcement from CCP.
GIH Annual Conference to Feat. Keynote from HHS Sec. Becerra
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra will give the keynote address at Grantmakers In Health’s (GIH) annual conference, Advancing Philanthropy's Commitment to the Long Game, next week in Minneapolis.
During the speech, Secretary Becerra is expected to address HHS’ priorities, including reproductive health, maternal health, and strengthening partnerships between the Department and philanthropy.
Check out the GIH conference agenda.
PNY Fellow Pens Blog About Philanthropy and Advocacy
Ariane Cruz, a Philanthropy Fellow at Philanthropy New York (PNY), authored a blog titled: A Journey from Foundations on the Hill to NYC. In the blog, Cruz noted that Foundations on the Hill 2023 was the first time that she or anyone within her Filipino/Asian American family had advocated on Capitol Hill or met with lawmakers representing New York.
The piece goes on to explain how Cruz is building on these experiences by eliminating barriers between her and public policy and continuing her advocacy journey in New York.
Read this engaging blog to learn more.
House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is out of session.
View the House of Representatives calendar.
United States Senate
The United States Senate is in session.
View the United States Senate calendar.
2023 State Legislative Session
For State Legislative Calendars:
View the National Conference of State Legislatures' 2023 State Legislative Session Calendar.