AB 580, which would significantly increase funding to the California Arts Council for arts-related grantmaking to nonprofits, has passed its first policy committee and is now in Assembly Appropriations. CalNonprofits has signed on as co-sponsors of AB 580, along with Californians for the Arts, Latino Arts Network and California LGBT Arts Alliance. We’re working now to make sure the bill has its best chance to pass from Appropriations and get a full vote on the Assembly Floor. Like most bills with a price tag, there will be negotiation needed to get out of Appropriations. We’ll keep you posted!
SB 323, which would revoke the state tax exemption of youth organizations found to discriminate on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation and other factors, has passed from the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance and is off to Senate Appropriations. The Governance and Finance hearing featured spirited debate and long lines of individuals and organizations voicing support and opposition. CalNonprofits is not taking a position on the bill, but we are in communication with lead organizations supporting and opposing the bill. We welcome input from California’s nonprofit community on this issue, so feel free to email our policy director, Kris Lev-Twombly.
AB 149, which would require county jails, parole offices and probation offices to provide voter eligibility and voter registration information to inmates and supervisees, just sailed out of Assembly Public Safety committee with a 5-2 vote. CalNonprofits strongly supports this bill because it promotes voter accessibility and addresses the confusion people face about their voting rights when going through the criminal justice system. Restoring voting rights is an important part of getting back on track and contributing to society. CalNonprofits voiced our support in the hearing, and we encourage you to sign on in support of this bill. Find tools for contacting your legislators here.
Assembly Member Norma Torres has introduced AB 491, which would authorize California corporations-- including nonprofit organizations-- to adopt emergency bylaws and emergency powers so they may continue to operate and govern themselves during catastrophes and emergencies. CalNonprofits supports this bill. Because nonprofit corporations may play crucial roles in emergency response, both immediately and over time, following a catastrophic event, it is of particular importance for nonprofits to have the authority to adopt emergency bylaws and take specific action during an emergency to ensure the ability to operate effectively and also remain in compliance with state laws while continuing to operate. We encourage you to sign on in support of AB 491. The bill will be heard in the Assembly Judiciary committee on May 7.
CalNonprofits is supporting three bills, AB 511, AB 754 and SB 571, that create contribution check off boxes on state tax returns for arts, costal conservation and emergency service programs served by California nonprofits. We have some concerns about tax returns become more of a venue for charitable giving, and about how some nonprofits are better positioned than others to benefit from this form of giving. But we do see these bills as good opportunities to increase funding for state programs that are already served primarily by nonprofit organizations. We will keep you informed as these bills continue their way through the Legislature.
Do you have something to say about any of these bills or CalNonprofit's positions? Let us know! You can comment below or send an email to our Policy Director Kris Lev-Twombly.