CalNonprofits Articles

Governor Brown has wrapped up this year’s 30-day marathon signing and vetoing season, taking action on more than 800 bills sent to his desk by the legislature. While our Legislation Tracker is always up to date with the latest status, we thought you’d appreciate a short narrative round up of the year.

Governor Brown signed Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s bill aimed at significantly improving voter access and turnout. AB 1461, backed also by Secretary of State Alex Padilla, creates the “California New Motor Voter Program” which will cause new drivers or identification card holders to be automatically registered to vote. This exciting development is completely aligned with CalNonprofits’ Vote with Your Mission initiative. No excuses, people – your next visit to the DMV = your commitment to exercising your right to vote!

CalNonprofits backed three important bills aimed at reducing income equality through a variety of mechanisms ranging from Assemblymember Mark Stone’s effort to create a meaningful earned income tax credit (AB 43) to Senator Mark Leno’s high-profile legislation to increase the minimum wage statewide (SB 3) and Senator Loni Hancock’s constitutional measure aimed at reforming Prop 13’s least fair provisions (SCA 5). CalNonprofits –joined by large coalitions including labor unions, local governments, anti-poverty advocacy organizations and others – submitted written support letters and appeared in policy committee hearings for each of these important bills, but we regret that all three will be efforts that stretch into 2016. We are pleased that the adopted budget took up the EITC idea, green-lighting $380 million in benefits to 2 million low-income Californians. These bills were among the heaviest lifts at the state legislature this year and will require as much engagement in the coming year. While the legislature is recessed, CalNonprofits will continue to advocate on behalf of the nonprofit community in local minimum wage efforts, like those currently underway in Sacramento.

As described in an earlier E-Alert, CalNonprofits put up a valiant effort to fight for fairness for all nonprofits with our opposition to Senator Isadore Hall’s legislation granting professional sports teams in California special rules to conduct raffles which we argued run the risk of altering the balance between giving and gambling. More than a hundred CalNonprofits members joined us in opposition to this carve-out and we garnered some significant media attention as part of our campaign against the bill, including a national AP wire story. Stay tuned for more on our planned effort to convene stakeholders to discuss possible interests in changing charitable raffle rules for the rest of us.

Every year there are a handful of bills that emerge seemingly from the ether that seek to tinker – sometimes in significant ways – with the way nonprofits conduct business. This year was no different and CalNonprofits was involved in the processes which led to new laws affecting volunteers, commercial fundraisers, and dissolution. Assemblyman Rich Gordon championed AB 327 which extends for another seven years an exemption to state prevailing wage rules for work performed by volunteers. Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin carried two nonprofit-related bills that were recently signed by Governor Brown. AB 556 alters the definition and disclosure of commercial fundraisers in an effort to improve transparency for interested donors. And AB 557 is aimed at streamlining the process of dissolving an inactive or defunct non-profit organization.

What’s next? You are our eyes and ears as we head into 2016. If you become aware of legislative proposals that could affect the nonprofit community or be a candidate for CalNonprofits’ engagement, please let our Sacramento advocate Jennifer Fearing know.

Stay tuned! We'll continue to work hard to protect and advance the interest we share in supporting California nonprofits and the communities we serve.

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