Washington Snapshot

Washington Snapshot: Central Valley Community Foundation Wins Department of Commerce Challenge

Friday, September 30, 2022 - 4:38 pm
Council Connection: Updates for Council Members

Public policy news and updates for the philanthropic sector

Happening at the Council

2022 Public Policy Summit: Council Members Register for Free!

Join us for our annual Public Policy Summit on November 15-16—just one week after the midterm elections. We will come together as a virtual community to explore philanthropy’s role as a bridge-builder. Gain an insider’s view of how the midterm elections reshape the political landscape for philanthropy and learn how foundations can build common ground to advance the greater good, together. Registration is free for Council members and costs $229 for nonmembers before October 31. 

Leading Locally 2023: The Power of Place-Based and Community Philanthropy

Save the date for Leading Locally 2023. Held June 13-14 in Denver, CO, this conference will bring together community foundations and place-based funders to explore how focusing on place can address complex issues and drive equitable outcomes. Registration opens in mid-November. Have an idea for a session? Submit a proposal by October 17.

Happening on the Hill

Congress Passes Continuing Resolution

On Thursday afternoon, the Senate passed a continuing resolution that funds the government at current levels through December 16. It also provides additional assistance to Ukraine, among other provisions. On Friday, the House took up the bill, sending it to President Biden’s desk for signature. When Congress returns to Washington after the midterm elections, they will need to either negotiate a full government spending package or pass another short-term stopgap measure.

Bipartisan Legislation on Name, Image, and Likeness Tax Write-Offs in College Sports Introduced

This week, Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced the Athlete Opportunity and Taxpayer Integrity Act (S.4969). This legislation would place limits on individuals and organizations receiving a charitable deduction for certain contributions that compensate college athletes for the use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). The bill would apply to individuals, organizations, and NIL collectives, but exempt educational institutions.

Think Tank Transparency Act Introduced in House and Senate

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) introduced the Think Tank Transparency Act (S.4987/H.R.8996) to mandate transparency from 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations receiving donations from foreign principals. The legislation would require think tanks and other nonprofits engaged in public policy to disclose to the public all funds provided by foreign principals. It would also create enforcement mechanisms: out-of-compliance entities would face a penalty of at least $1,000 per day and risk civil action.

Happening in the Executive Branch

White House Releases First American Pandemic Preparedness Plan Annual Report

On September 3, 2021, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Security Council released the “American Pandemic Preparedness Plan: Transforming Our Capabilities” outlining the transformational capabilities needed to directly address future threats. Since this release, the US government has worked diligently to advance progress toward implementing a number of the transformational capabilities outlined in the plan. On September 1 of this year, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released the first Annual Report on Progress Towards Implementation of the American Pandemic Preparedness Plan. The report details crucial advancements towards pandemic preparedness, including providing priority areas for investment and additional efforts needed in the years ahead. Read the White House Fact Sheet.

Department of Commerce's Build Back Better Regional Challenge Grant Award Includes Central Valley Community Foundation

Earlier in September, the Economic Development Administration announced its 21 winners for the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC). With a focus on equity and building resiliency, the BBBRC is accelerating regional economic development by enabling regions to achieve decades of investment in just five years, setting them up to thrive in a global economy. Funded through the American Rescue Plan, the selected regional coalitions will each receive between $25 and $65 million to implement multiple projects that uniquely address their region’s economic challenges and leverage their assets. Congratulations to the Central Valley Community Foundation in Fresno, CA for its leadership of The Fresno-Merced Future of Food Innovation (F3) Coalition which received $65.1 million for its proposal to accelerate the integration of technology and skills in the region’s agriculture industry—improving productivity and job quality for existing farm workers while driving a more resilient and sustainable food system. Find out about all 21 coalition winners on the Back Better Regional Challenge website.

Department of the Treasury Announces Emergency Capital Investment Program

On September 26, Treasury announced that 162 community financial institutions across the country received over $8.28 billion through the Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP). These funds will support the efforts of community financial institutions to provide loans, grants, and other assistance to small and minority-owned businesses and consumers, especially in low-income and financially underserved communities that struggled during the COVID-19 crisis. The communities served by these ECIP investments are geographically diverse and many share a common characteristic of having suffered from a lack of investment as opportunity has been disproportionately concentrated in certain neighborhoods and areas of the country. Find the list of recipients in the Treasury press release.

Departments of Interior and Commerce Partner on New Climate Website

On September 8, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of the Interior jointly launched a new website to help communities across the nation understand the real-time climate-related hazards in their area, analyze projected long-term exposure to those hazards, and identify federal funds to support climate resilience projects for their communities. The Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation portal, an easily accessible and interactive geospatial website, will help federal, state, local, and tribal governments, as well as non-profit organizations, learn about climate hazards impacting their communities.

Happening in the States

Updates to State Election Laws

Voters before and on Election Day (November 8) may discover important changes in registration and voting requirements. By mid-summer, Voting Rights Lab found that 15 states had enacted laws that mostly expanded voting access while five states restricted voting rights; voting law changes in four states will have a mixed impact on voter access. On October 1, Virginia’s Election Day registration law goes into effect, allowing voters to register and vote on the same day. In total, 23 states and Washington, DC have implemented same-day voter registration. Earlier this year, Montana policymakers enacted a law repealing the state’s Election Day registration law and moving the deadline to the day before Election Day, but the state Supreme Court has blocked its implementation. Thirty-five states allow voters to vote using an absentee/mail ballot without offering an excuse, and in the remaining states, a justification is required. Among the “no-excuse” states, eight automatically mail a ballot to every eligible voter (no request or application is necessary), according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Those states conducting elections entirely by mail are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont (general elections only), and Washington.

Upcoming Events

Keep in Touch!

Please feel free to reach out to any of us on the Government Relations Team with comments or concerns, or to share an issue, article, event, or op-ed you would like to see covered in a future Washington Snapshot.

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