Public Policy Update - October 2022
Each month, Philanthropy Southeast provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, Philanthropy Southeast's vice president of member engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Policy at the 2022 Annual Meeting
Philanthropy Southeast’s 53rd Annual Meeting is less than two weeks away – and starts just one day after this year’s midterm elections. If you’re joining us in Amelia Island or online, you won’t have to wait long to learn what the results mean for philanthropy and the region.
On Friday, November 11, the Annual Meeting will host a special breakout session, “What Do This Year’s Election Results Mean for Philanthropy and It’s Work?” Starting at 9:45am, the session will feature policy experts, including Philanthropy Southeast members, discussing Tuesday’s results, how they will affect the sector’s policy priorities in the next two years, and how foundation leaders can best respond.
The session will be moderated by Sandra Swirski, founder of Integer, an advocacy firm based in Washington, D.C., that specializes in nonprofit policy. She will be joined by Sara Barba, vice president at Integer, and two Philanthropy Southeast members: Christine Calpin of Casey Family Programs and Susan DeVenny, president and CEO of the Arras Foundation.
If you haven’t signed up for the Annual Meeting, it’s not too late – visit the Annual Meeting website to learn more.
Charitable Sector Priorities in Play for Busy Lame Duck Session
Congress will face a packed agenda when returning to Washington in November for a post-election Lame Duck session. Must-pass defense policy legislation and government funding will likely be top of mind for lawmakers, but whether Congress passes a fiscal year 2023 spending package or opts for another temporary funding measure may hinge on the outcome of the midterms. Importantly, a FY2023 spending package would likely contain earmarks for nonprofits and could also carry aid for areas impacted by recent natural disasters.
End-of-year negotiations on a tax package are also likely. While lawmakers are in their home districts this month, their staffs are busy considering what a year-end tax package could look like. Democrats are expected to press for reviving the enhanced Child Tax Credit, while Republicans are likely to seek the reinstatement of tax benefits for businesses’ research and development costs. Reviving the universal charitable deduction and reinstating the Employee Retention Tax Credit through 2021 are also on the table for a year-end tax bill.
Much like government funding, the scope of a tax package will depend on the outcome of the midterms if either party believes it could gain leverage by waiting until the new year to take up some of these issues. Amid all this, both chambers are also expected to attempt to reach a bicameral consensus on Electoral Count Act reforms, same-sex marriage legislation, and bipartisan retirement legislation, which includes increased incentives to make charitable gifts from individual retirement accounts.
Nonprofits Stand to Benefit as Congress Continues Its Appropriations Work
Many organizations will be closely watching FY2023 funding negotiations in the Lame Duck session due to the inclusion of congressionally-directed spending for nonprofits, commonly known as earmarks. The Senate Appropriations Committee’s lead Democrat and Republican are both retiring at the end of this Congress and are highly motivated to reach one final deal on an annual appropriations package.
If a post-election funding deal is reached, hundreds of nonprofits will directly benefit from as much as $2 billion in congressionally directed spending. In a recent article in The NonProfit Times, Integer Principal Steve Taylor points out that earmarks afford representatives an opportunity to influence where federal funds are sent, and several have directed them to a select group of savvy nonprofits. Access to earmarks should be broad, and although the election outcome is still unknown, nonprofits are expected to be eligible for earmarks in the FY2024 government funding cycle.