R.I. Legislator Proposes Requiring Salary Info for Contracts with Disabilities Agencies

 

May 2, 2012; Source: GoLocalProv

In Rhode Island, State Rep. Patricia A. Serpa wants to pass a state law so that agencies serving people with developmental disabilities will be required to disclose all forms of compensation for top executives before contracts with the state are made. Around 40 agencies serving 3,600 people with $215 million in contracts would be affected. Sherpa says she is concerned about the clients and front line workers getting short-changed by outsized executive salaries.

Nonprofits serving developmentally disabled people have been under serious scrutiny in multiple states over the past year, with the focus being not only on executive salaries but also on alleged misuse of funds and the building up of what some see as excessive reserves.

Rhode Island recently cut the budget for agencies serving developmentally disabled people by $24 million and last Wednesday, hundreds rallied at the state house to demand a reversal of the cut. Serpa, who has acknowledged that the information is generally available on Guidestar, has at least implied that the two issues of pay and cuts are linked by saying, “It’s unlikely that we are going to be able to restore that $24 million in its entirety this year. But we’ve sacrificed so much in this grueling economy. I’m only asking that nonprofits and agencies take a second look at how they are allocating their resources.” –Ruth McCambridge

About

Ruth McCambridge

Ruth is Editor in Chief of the Nonprofit Quarterly. Her background includes forty-five years of experience in nonprofits, primarily in organizations that mix grassroots community work with policy change. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ruth spent a decade at the Boston Foundation, developing and implementing capacity building programs and advocating for grantmaking attention to constituent involvement.

  • Kay Thayer

    “Nonprofits serving developmentally disabled people have been under serious scrutiny in multiple states over the past year, with the focus being not only on executive salaries but also on alleged misuse of funds and the building up of what some see as excessive reserves.”

    So if building up reserves is considered excessive, how are Not-for-profits supposed to prepare for last minute budget cuts when state and federal budges are not being voted on at the last minute or worse, after the fiscal year has started? With the cuts that organizations are seeing, they need to be prepared for a doomsday scenario.