Elected official represent the community they serve. It is important that nonprofits and their interests are known to elected officials. The Kansas Nonprofit Chamber encourage nonprofits to know, and write, their state and federal representatives.
The Kansas Legislature includes 125-members of the Kansas House of Representatives and 40 members of the Senate. Representatives are elected in two-year terms and Senators in four-year terms.
Each session begins the second Monday in January and ends in early May. Currently, the Kansas Legislature is out of session. Session is set to resume January 10th, 2022 at 2:00pm.
Senator Jerry Moran
Senator Roger Marshall
Kansas 1st: Congressman Tracey Mann
Kansas 2nd: Congressman Jake LaTurner
Kansas 3rd: Congresswoman Sharice Davids
Kansas 4th: Congressman Ron Estes
Dear President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Leaders Schumer, McCarthy, and McConnell:
As the nation recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit sector will play a critical role in rebuilding the economy, restoring livelihoods, and strengthening communities. The undersigned charitable nonprofit organizations take this opportunity to identify the unique challenges charitable organizations continue to face and seek your support for urgently needed relief that will enable charitable organizations to contribute to our nation's relief, recovery, and rebuilding.
Charitable nonprofits have risen to the crises our nation is enduring. They have stretched beyond all reasonable measurers and continue to advance their missions despite unfathomable challenges. Most charitable organizations did not shut down or sit out the pandemic. During the height of the pandemic, demand for services sky-rocketed. Many nonprofits were innovative and shifted their service models to virtual platforms and partnered with others in their community to help meet basic needs. Most recently, nonprofits have stepped up to support vaccine distribution and awareness by setting up clinics, employee incentives, and community support like transportation and childcare while people get vaccinated.
Given our unique role of providing pandemic relief and economic recovery, we ask that Congress and the Administration enact a package of relief solutions tailored to the actual needs and realities of these organizations that, like you, are devoted to serving the public good. Specifically, we urge you to prioritize the following measures that will support nonprofit jobs and provide the resources needed for nonprofits to meet community recovery needs.
Prior to the pandemic, charitable nonprofits employed more than 12 million people, making them the third largest industry in the country- larger than the construction, financial services, and manufacturing industries. As of June 2021, nearly 700,000 nonprofit jobs have been lost due to the pandemic, creating undue challenges particularly for women and communities of color disproportionately pushed out of the workforce due to no fault of their own as a result of the pandemic. The sector needs a major infusion of resources to enable organizations to bring back staff and hire additional employees so they can deliver essential services for millions of residents.
We ask that Congress pass the "Work Opportunities and Resources to Keep Nonprofit Organizations Well Act" or WORK NOW Act (S. 740/H.R. 1987), which would infuse $50 billion into the nonprofit community across the country to get people back to work and make sure nonprofits are able to meet the needs of the populations they serve.
Further, the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) was extremely helpful, particularly to large nonprofits employing more than 500 employees as they were not initially eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program. We ask that Congress extend the ERTC beyond 2021 and modify nonprofit eligibility beyond the current "gross receipts" test to reflect the increased costs charitable organizations experienced as they struggled to maintain or expand services to meet local needs throughout the health and economic crisis.
It is also important to note that policymakers and nonprofit leaders have been forced to craft responses to this crisis without adequate information about the state of the nonprofit workforce. While industries like goat farming or limousine service have had access to official quarterly workforce data, the nonprofit sector is required to purchase this information or wait years for it. We urge you to direct the Bureau of Labor Statistics to provide quarterly data on nonprofit employment and wages. This data will guide more effective policy and enable improved decision making by nonprofits nationwide.
Nonprofit revenues are likely to decline sharply in 2021 as individuals are less able to make charitable donations. Without immediate relief from Congress and the Administration, charitable organizations will not have the capacity or resources to provide the breadth of services upon which communities rely.
The CARES Act established a limited, yet important above-the-line deduction that encourages all taxpayers to donate to the work of charitable organizations. In extending this provision as part of the year-end COVID relief law, Congress acknowledged that tax policy will continue to be an important incentive to help every American support pandemic relief and recovery. Greater incentives for charitable giving are needed as nonprofits respond to the health and economic crisis and will be critical in the future as nonprofits play an essential role in recovery efforts. Further, tax reforms must recognize that imposing new limits to existing giving incentives would have the unintended consequences of undermining the charitable sector upon which governments rely and would result in increased costs for governments if they had to replace nonprofit services. We urge Congress and the Administration to significantly increase the cap on the deduction, extend it at least through 2022, and preserve the itemized charitable contribution deduction, all to ensure that nonprofits can serve their communities.
Nonprofits have benefitted from both emergency relief grants and state/local funds. We call on Congress to appropriate funds for emergency grant programs that enable nonprofits to advance their missions of serving communities. We also stand with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, and National Association of Counties in adamantly opposing any proposal that would repurpose of ARPA's Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which were originally authorized for nonprofits among other entities, and which remain urgently needed.
As nonprofits struggled to switch their services to virtual platforms, the pandemic put a spotlight on the inadequate access to broadband and digital skills which made it difficult for them to reach everyone in their communities. Distance learning, telemedicine, and spiritual services requires accessible and reliable internet services. We support a $100 billion federal investment to guarantee all citizens access to affordable high-speed broadband. We also support the buildout of broadband infrastructure that prioritizes the "last mile" hardest-to-serve communities as well as funding for the Emergency Connectivity Fund, for closing the homework gap, and for enhancing digital literacy.
We appreciate the relief enacted in previous measures as many of the people and communities we serve would have suffered even more during the pandemic and economic crisis if you had not acted. In particular, we are grateful that Congress included charitable nonprofits in the Families First Act, the CARES Act, the year-end COVID relief law, and the American Rescue Plan. As we continue to partner with the government to help defeat the virus and accelerate economic growth, we urge you to consider specific, dedicated policy solutions that will enable nonprofits to help rebuild out communities.
The charitable nonprofit sector is the backbone of our communities. We continue to face unprecedented challenges as we assist you and the American people in providing pandemic relief and economic recovery. We ask you to come together in prioritizing the proposals identified here in legislation you enact this year. We stand ready to assist in advocated for additional relief and in building our country back together.
The Kansas Nonprofit Chamber
We trust you and your members will agree with the opening sentence from a new report on the American Rescue Plan funds made available to state, local, Tribal and territorial governments: "The COVID-19 pandemic resurfaced an undeniable truth; charitable nonprofits and governments are natural partners, serving the same constituents in the same communities." We write to share this vital resource from our colleagues at the National Council of Nonprofits because of its timeliness and to strengthen the partnership between our organizations. Read the report: "Strengthening State and Local Economies in Partnership with Nonprofits: Principles, Recommendations, and Models for Investing Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.
As you know, Congress allocated $2.6 billion in COVID relief funds for governments in Kansas for use in providing "assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or to aid impacted industries." The federal government showed tremendous trust that governments closest to the people and their problems are best positioned to decide the best ways to spend their allocated resources to meet local needs.
We believe nonprofits and governments are natural partners, serving the same constituents in the same communities. Partnership between our sectors allow for leveraging of resources, relationships, and strengths to serve those communities even better. The new report, Strengthening State and Local Economies with Nonprofits, shares the perspective the nonprofits have close relationships and high levels of trust with those we both serve. We are perfectly positioned to maximize public benefits flowing from the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds due to our deep knowledge of community needs, reach, and existing relationships, particularly in low-income and underserved or hard to reach populations. We are stronger when we invest together.
Three components of the report that were drafted to assist you and other government officials understand an operationalize the opportunities afforded by these ARPA funds:
Authorized Recipients and Uses of ARPA Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds- Addressing questions about whether and how governments can invest ARPA funds through charitable nonprofits.
Guiding Principles for Identifying High-Impact Programs to Fund- overarching principles to help prioritize funding decisions.
Recommendations for Designing and Managing Programs with Impact- eight recommendations, based on experience and lessons learned from successful as well as underperforming programs created and funded under the 2020 CARES Act, offered to assist in designing and managing relief and grant programs.
The report also provides nearly four dozen examples of successful partnerships using COVID-related funds and extensive resources to further analysis.
We encourage you to share Strengthening State and Local Economies in Partnership with Nonprofits with your members.
The Kansas Nonprofit Chamber
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McCarthy, and Leader McConnell:
As you negotiate legislation to rebuild our nation's infrastructure and the economy as a whole, we ask that you continue to keep in mind the wellbeing of our residents, our communities, and all of us taking action to promote full recovery from the pandemic. Specifically, we ask that you do no harm to existing programs and expectations as you advance new spending and taxing priorities. Most notably, we share the concerns expressed in a recent letter to you from national associations representing local governments strongly opposing any proposal to claw back or repurpose funds allocated to governments from the American Rescue Plan Act. The recovery is not assured; many people, communities, and the organizations that support them continue to suffer from the pandemic's aftermath. The State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds must be used for their intended purpose of securing a full and complete recovery.
Charitable nonprofits have been at the forefront of providing both relief and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. While other organizations shut down and waited out the virus, charitable nonprofits stepped forward in this time to great need to provide essential services to tens of millions more people than usual. Nonprofits struggled to meet those historically high needs, and they strained to carry the burdens of unexpected expenses. Nonprofits answered the call when American needed them, but they also suffered immense losses doing so.
The full and rapid restoration of the charitable sector should be of great concern to all policymakers. Prior to the pandemic, charitable organizations employed more than 12.5 million people, making nonprofits the third largest industry in the country, employing more people than the construction, finance, and manufacturing industries. The pandemic has eliminated 733,00 nonprofit jobs and full recovery is not likely until the fall of 2022, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Further complicating the recovery of frontline nonprofits, charitable giving to smaller organizations has not kept up, declining 7% last year.
The State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds are unique in the federal response to the COVID crisis because they empower state and local decisionmakers to partner with nonprofits and businesses to target and solve specific challenges in communities. The same cannot be said for many of the other relief programs enacted in 2020 and so far this year. While supportive in many ways, federal relief for charitable organizations often has been less robust than for other segments of the economy. This has occurred in part because those running federal programs often lack basic knowledge about charitable operations. Too often, this unfamiliarity has resulted in eligibility terms, interpretations, and application forms that, having been designed for for-profit businesses, discriminate against charitable nonprofits. In short, there have been well-documented shortcomings in the COVID relief response as applied to charitable nonprofits.
The express declaration in ARPA 9901 that state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments may use their State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to provide "assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or to aid impacted industries" was a welcome acknowledgment of the challenges that nonprofits and others continue to face. Clawing back those funds would deny nonprofits their best and likely last chance to achieve any degree of parity and fairness.
It has been written before that charitable nonprofits are, and will continue to be, the foundation of every community in America, ministering to the spiritual and cultural wellbeing of our residents, improving their mental and physical health, upholding community values, and strengthening local economies in partnership with governments and businesses. That is why elected officials from all political perspectives turn to charitable organizations in their communities to deliver essential, cost-effective results.
None of the "hard" infrastructure proposals currently under discussion address the unmet needs of charitable nonprofits and the people they serve; only the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide the potential for that relief. Therefore, it is imperative that you reject any attempt to claw back or reclaim ARPA funds at the devastating expense of charitable nonprofits serving your constituents and all Americans, every day.
The Kansas Nonprofit Chamber
Prohibits any contributing employer, rated governmental employer, or reimbursing employer account from being charged for any benefits paid from 3/15/2021 through 12/31/2021; holds harmless and reimburses all employers for any fraudulent claims or benefits paid; refunds reimbursing employers immediately and without request or hearing for all request or hearing for all reimbursements made for any claims or benefits made after 3/15/2021 that were reported as fraudulent.
Status: Hearing scheduled for Thursday February 4, 2021 9:00 AM
Creates an itemized deduction for charitable contributions in 2021.
Status: Referred to Committee on Assessment and Taxation
Transfers registration, oversight of nonprofit organizations from the Secretary of State to the Attorney General; imposes a $25 registration or renewal fee for solicitations; similar to H.B.2079
Status: Hearing scheduled for Monday, January 25, 2021, 3:30pm