Legislation & Current Issues

State Legislation & Issues

Proposed Changes to Michigan's Sexual Assault Laws and Potential Impact to Your Organization 

3 May 18 Michigan Nonprofit Association wants to make you aware of proposed legislation that will change Michigan’s sexual assault laws. The bills aim to change the laws following the Larry Nassar scandal and include a number of important provisions that will protect victims and prevent future sexual misconduct, including mandatory reporting of abuse allegations and stronger criminal penalties. One bill in the package, SB 872, would retroactively extend the statute of limitations for civil cases to 30 years or until a victim who was a minor turns 48 and cover nonprofits, units of government and businesses with a focus on those serving youth. A fiscal analysis of the bill package is available here.

These bills are currently being considered by the State House of Representatives and have already passed the Senate.  There may be unanticipated consequences if this legislation becomes law.
Questions to consider as you think about how this change in legislation may affect your work, now and in the future: 

* What is the current state law on statute of limitations?

* Recognizing that my organization may not have employment records going back 30 years, what type of employment records should I re-create and maintain for the future?

* Recognizing that my organization may serve hundreds of youth in a year, what records should I maintain on the names of youth served?

* My organization has had insurance, but if this proposed legislation becomes law, what type of insurance do we need to have to cover abuse cases that may be raised retroactively and going forward?

* Related to insurance, the Board members of my organization have asked about coverage for them both as individuals and as a collective group. What type of insurance should we maintain to cover the Board?

* Volunteers play an instrumental role in our organization’s ability to serve youth. What are the best practices in both recruiting, and maintaining volunteers? And how should we insure volunteers as well?

* Even if there is never a case of sexual conduct offense proposed, how is this legislation going to impact the ongoing cost of providing the needed services our clients, families and communities expect us to provide?

If you are concerned about these questions and the potential impact of the proposed legislation on your nonprofit and the services you provide, we encourage you to contact your House of Representatives member using this link http://www.house.mi.gov/mhrpublic/frmFindARep.aspx

Bills we are tracking

Weekly update prepared by Dykema.  

Federal Legislation & Issues

Letter to IRS from MNA President & CEO Donna Murray-Brown

24 April 2018

Re:   Request to Delay Implementation of the New UBIT Provisions in Public Law No. 115-97

Dear Secretary Mnuchin and Commissioner Kautter:

Michigan Nonprofit Association is a statewide membership organization serving more than 47,000 nonprofits through advocacy, training, technology, and civic participation.

Since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act late last year, we have fielded many questions from nonprofits that do not understand their compliance obligations under the new law. Therefore, we have the following requests:

  1. For legal and policy reasons, and consistent with established precedent, Treasury and the IRS should immediately delay implementing the two new UBIT subsections until one year after Final Rules are promulgated, to provide both the necessary official guidance for compliance and a reasonable transition period for nonprofits to develop the necessary record-keeping systems.
  1. The delay should be made retroactive to January 1, 2018.
  1. Treasury and the IRS should engage the regulated community in identifying not only how the wording of the new provisions are causing confusion and operational compliance challenges among nonprofits and their professional tax advisors, but also possible solutions.

Thank you for your consideration. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Donna Murray-Brown
President & CEO

Work Requirements Executive Order

18 April 2018
President Trump signed an Executive Order last week directing federal agencies to enforce or add work requirements for public assistance programs such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. Agencies must submit recommendations within 90 days. Ten states have or are seeking approval for work requirements under Medicaid waivers.

Supreme Court Loosens Interpretation of FLSA Overtime Rules 

18 April 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion earlier this month holding that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exemptions from overtime would no longer be "narrowly construed" against employers seeking to classify employees as exempt from overtime. The FLSA requires most employers to pay workers one-and-a-half times their usual rate of pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week unless they are "exempt" from the overtime requirement. The FLSA exempts employees who are paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week ($23,660 per year), and meet the duties test as an executive, administrative, or professional employee. Early analysis of the Supreme Court case suggests that nonprofit employers may have more flexibility in classifying workers as exempt, but should confer with professional advisors.

Michigan Nonprofit Association Opposes Efforts to Politicize Charitable Nonprofits and Foundations

21 March 2017
Michigan Nonprofit Association joins with other leaders of our charitable nonprofit sector in opposing efforts through legislation or Executive Order to eliminate or weaken the Johnson Amendment that prohibits 501(c)(3) charitable organizations from endorsing, opposing or contributing to political candidates and engaging in partisan campaign activities. 501(c)(3) organizations should remain above the political fray, advocating and informing but not engaging in political activity.

MNA's full position statement is available here.

Click here to sign on to the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship from the National Council of Nonprofits.


Nonprofit Advocacy Matters

The National Council of Nonprofits provides MNA's members access to public policy, training, and education resources at the national level. Nonprofit Advocacy Matters is a bi-weekly newsletter on policy issues affecting the nonprofit sector. Click here to access the most recent issue of Nonprofit Advocacy Matters.