May 7, 2012; Source: Democrat and Chronicle (Vote Up! Blog)

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has recently been discussing his plan, most recently in Tarrytown, to lift some of the weight of regulatory compliance load off of the shoulders of Empire State nonprofits. The centerpiece of Schneiderman’s plan is the Nonprofit Revitalization Act. Among other things, the bill would make it easier for nonprofits to engage in small-scale real estate transactions and would remove the requirement for private foundations to publish their annual fiscal reports in newspapers. Schneiderman’s plan also calls for the creation of “Directors U,” a training program for those involved in nonprofit governance that will be coordinated by several colleges in the state, and another program that aims to help nonprofits, “New York On Board.”

“The process for forming a nonprofit should be clear, simple and inexpensive,” Schneiderman said. “We are a long way from this goal under New York’s current laws,” which the AG said he wanted to “improve and modernize.”

The deregulatory push from Schneiderman may be something of an olive branch to nonprofit leaders, some of whom are not thrilled about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to cap nonprofit executive compensation, which the NPQ Newswire noted here. Is Schneiderman’s plan to ease what he calls “onerous requirements” just what New York nonprofits need? Might it come with the unintended consequence of landing some organizations in hot water, as we have often seen happen in other sectors of the economy that have embraced deregulation? –Mike Keefe-Feldman