Responding to More than 1,000 Nonprofits, State Lawmakers Look to Include the Sector in COVID-19 Relief Efforts

From CalNonprofits

Last week more than 1,000 nonprofits signed on to a letter to state lawmakers request emergency funding, continued payment on government contracts, specific inclusion in the COVID-19 relief measures in the state budget, and more. More information about specific recommendations can be found below.

At the end of last week, twenty-eight California Assemblymembers signed onto a letter initiated by Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-Arleta) and sent to Governor Newsom, Senate President Pro Tem Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Rendon asking that the recommendations in the CalNonprofits sign-on letter be addressed. CalNonprofits is encouraging nonprofit leaders to reach out to state legislators in their districts to thank them for signing on if they did, and if not, to have them urge the Governor, President Pro Tem, and Speaker to address our recommendations.

The letter, addressed to CA Governor Newsom, Senate President Pro Tem Atkins, Assembly Speaker Rendon, Senate Budget Committee Chair Mitchell, and Assembly Budget Committee Chair Ting. Both letters remind lawmakers that nonprofits are stepping up without hesitation to serve their communities during this crisis, and provide specific, high-impact, immediate policies for implementation:

•    New and immediate emergency funds should be available to nonprofits to address increased costs associated with providing uninterrupted delivery of essential services.
•    Programs aimed at assisting employers/employees, tenants/mortgagees, and utility ratepayers should be equally available and beneficial to nonprofit and for-profit entities.
•    Government agencies should continue to make payments on existing contracts to nonprofit organizations whose operations have been affected by COVID-19 and who, despite good faith efforts, are unable to meet pre-existing contract deliverables.
•    On existing contracts, government agencies should allow for budget modifications that do not increase the contract total, so nonprofits can move budget-line items to respond flexibly to COVID-19.
•    State agencies should be allowed to waive certain certification procedures to let nonprofits have the staffing flexibility to provide emergency and essential services.

You can find more information about our recommendations, each of the letters, and resources for nonprofits on our website: www.calnonprofits.org.

California SB 89: We are grateful that nonprofits are specifically called out in California SB 89, enacted on March 17, which authorizes up to $1B in state emergency funds for COVID-19. The bill states that assistance strategies to be included in the Budget Act of 2020 should assist nonprofit organizations (as well as individuals and small businesses) experiencing economic hardships due to COVIC-19. CalNonprofits is working with lawmakers to ensure that the needs of nonprofits are addressed through the 2020 state budget process.

We are also working with contacts in the Governor’s Office and the Office of Emergency Services to immediately address the recommendations in our letter.

Finally, we are encouraging nonprofit leaders statewide to advocate at county and city levels for flexible contracts with nonprofits so that nonprofits continue to get paid on the contracts despite necessary changes to programs and services, and we are communicating with philanthropic leaders regarding the needs of the nonprofit sector during this crisis.

CalNonprofits is a statewide policy alliance for more than 10,000 organizations and the voice for California’s nonprofit community. Through our advocacy work, we protect and enhance the ability of California’s nonprofits to serve our state, the nation, and the world.  www.calnonprofits.org 

For additional information about our state advocacy efforts, please contact CalNonprofits’ Policy Director Lucy Salcido Carter at lucyc@calnonprofits.org or 213-500-2274.

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