April 27, 2015

Policies and Laws

Engaging in an Unlikely Manner: Artists as Environmental Stewards

LA River An arts collective is helping to foster a sense of public ownership around the long-neglected Los Angeles River. Other rivers and broader environmental concerns also benefit from artist-activists.

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Debates Diverge over Public, Private & Charter Schools in the Carolinas

NewsIn North Carolina, a legislative committee rejects funding for charter capital expenditures, while in South Carolina, the state attorney general says local school districts must treat private and charter schools the same as public ones.

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Religious Freedom as a Legal Defense for Feeding People in Texas

Feeding homelessJoan Cheever was ticketed by police in San Antonio, Texas, for feeding the homeless. Cheever is indignant and tough, and this will not be your typical food fight.

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Questions about AIPAC Support and Congressional Efforts to Increase Israel Military Aid

IsraelThe powerful lobbying group AIPAC paid for some overseas trips Rep. Derek Kilmer and his staff took. Now, Kilmer is spearheading new military aid for Israel.

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Alabama’s Justice Moore Wins MLK-Themed Award for Work against Gay Marriage

MooreIt’s troubling to find a group of African-American pastors giving Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore an award for his strident opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court’s approval of same-sex marriage.

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State Audits on the Way for University Foundations in North Dakota

 

UniversityThe state legislature in North Dakota has redefined the scope of the state auditor to include the ability to audit not only state universities, but also the private foundations that are affiliated with them.

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Disability Protesters Arrested at White House to Mark 25 Years of the ADA

 

White House Disability RightsDirect action this week at the White House has made a point with the executive branch and the public that persons with disabilities have civil rights to be protected and advanced—particularly in light of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Penalty Phase of Tsarnaev Trial Highlights Survivors’ and Public’s Views on Death Penalty

MarathonMany arguments have been used by nonprofits and NGOs in fighting the death penalty, but these survivor statements raise another painful concern.

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Breach of Contract is Basis of New Legal Action against Sweet Briar College

Save Sweet BriarThe many objectors to the closing of Sweet Briar College are generating a number of legal approaches to blocking that closure.

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Are the Changes to Michigan’s Nonprofit Governance Rules Improvements?

NewsNPQ has found the legal wake-up calls issued to nonprofit boards that fall asleep at the wheel a welcome indicator of a healthier regulatory environment, but some see it differently.

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Nonprofit Urges School District to Adopt Racial Bullying Policies

Bullying at schoolsFollowing a parent’s complaint that the school district was not responding to allegations of racial bullying toward her children, a coalition is asking for better policies.

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Court of Appeals to Directors of Nonprofits: “Nonprofit” Does Not Mean “No Risk for You”

Risk

 

The business judgment rule offers directors some protection, but it is not an all-purpose shield against claims based on dereliction of duty, let alone disloyalty or self-dealing.

 

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An Unusual Employee Onboarding Requirement—Or Is It?

Holocaust MuseumNonprofits might want to think about this values-laden example of an employee onboarding process and consider what they themselves can do.

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House and Senate Conferring to Come Up with One Really Problematic Federal Budget

Federal budgetBob Greenstein from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has produced a brief but pointed review of what’s wrong with the House and Senate budgets that conferees are now discussing on Capitol Hill.

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A Suicide, Federal Tax Policy, and Wealth Inequality

NewsA man commits suicide while holding a “tax the rich” sign. The House chooses to do the exact opposite, letting the nation’s top 0.2% out of estate tax liabilities.

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A Nonprofit Controversy in San Diego Illustrates a Larger “Sleight of Hand” Trend

San Diego nonprofitsIs the new trend to create nonprofit organizations with little oversight to do the business of governmental units?

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How the UK’s Political Parties Line Up on Nonprofit Policies

NewsIn the UK, the political parties issue “manifestos” about where they stand on the issues, including specific attention to policies affecting nonprofits and charities. We’d love to see the Democrats and Republicans do the same.

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Will New York’s “No Catcall Zones” Put a Dent in Street Harassment?

CatcallingDoes our society take street harassment seriously?

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The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Unprecedented Opportunities for Philanthropists

Rights for people with disabilitiesThere is not a single country on earth where people with disabilities don’t face stigmas, challenges, and massive gaps in workforce participation. If you want your philanthropy to help those who are marginalized, isolated, and face discrimination, this is the place to be.

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A Letter to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about His Talk to Russian NGOs

SergeyVladimir Putin’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, meets regularly, it appears, with some Russian NGOs to offer his perspectives on their role in Russian and global civil society. He provoked a public response from us here at NPQ

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Grassroots Campaign Saves MO Library Funding

LibraryIn the face of statewide revenue shortfalls, library advocates in Missouri led a successful grassroots campaign, which now needs to be extended.

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Does Cooper Union Crackdown Herald a New Era of Nonprofit Enforcement?

Cooper UnionThe New York Times weighs in on the importance of government oversight of nonprofits to protect clients, communities, donors and the institutions themselves.

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Demands Emerge Broadly for Reporting on Dark Money in 2016 Elections

News40Pressure for disclosure of the big money donors behind “dark money” political campaign organizations is increasing across the nation—and more and more frequently, it gets bipartisan support and even sponsorship from Democrats and Republicans.

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Oz Charity Regulator Saved from Bonfire for Now

FireAustralian nonprofits welcome the reprieve granted the charity regulator.

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Proposed Changes to “No Child Left Behind” Draw Bipartisan Senate Support

NewsThe Every Child Achieves Act seeks to set a new direction and resolve a growing debate.

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As FEGS Tries to Transfer Programs, Staff Resign and Costs Mount

NewsPerhaps unsurprisingly, the FEGS bankruptcy appears to be messy and costly despite attempts to control it.

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For Discussion: Ukrainian Pianist Dropped from Toronto Symphony for “Offensive” Tweets

Toronto Symphony memberIs asking a prominent figure in a public-facing institution to restrain her political tweets legitimate, or a violation of her free speech rights?

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Timing Could Be Deciding Factor in Sweet Briar Case: Will Court Act Quickly to Prevent Damage?

 

TimeIf the court doesn’t take action on Sweet Briar soon, the whole process may become moot as students and teachers prepare to flee.

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Tax Proposals for Exempt Organizations to Watch in 2015

Watch outWe are only through the first quarter, and 2015 has already seen a slew of legislative proposals that could impact exempt organizations considerably. Nonprofits should be monitoring several major pieces of legislation in the months ahead.

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States Chart Varying Approaches to Obamacare Implementation

NewsAs with many dimensions of government policy, the primary battles are being fought at the state level, like these dynamics around the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

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