NAO Public Policy Agenda - 2020
Using our Public Policy Principles and Inquiry Framework, NAO promotes an accountable, ethical and equitable nonprofit sector. NAO enhances the ability of Oregon’s nonprofits to serve their missions, the people of Oregon, and our communities. We support the ability of nonprofits to engage in advocacy and lobbying to the fullest extent allowed by law.
NAO is prioritizing the following state and federal legislative and policy issues for 2020:
- Promote Civic Engagement: NAO believes that every individual and community counts. All people have the potential to be agents of renewal and innovation in their own lives, families, and community. We agree with the findings and suggested next steps presented in the Our Next Twenty report and believe the only way to solve this fiscal crisis is through civic engagement. We recognize that nonprofits must be at the table, together with governments and business, to find and support solutions that will create lasting sustainability for our communities. We also believe that all people living in Oregon must be counted in the 2020 Census. NAO will educate nonprofits regarding these topics and assist nonprofits in engaging in these initiatives across the state.
- Mitigating the Impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017: NAO will educate nonprofits regarding changes in federal and state tax policy related to TCJA. NAO will partner with regional and national colleagues to improve regulations impacting 501c3s (i.e.: expanding to a universal charitable deduction) and educate policy makers on these changes.
- State Property Tax Exemptions: NAO will continue to track and engage in discussions and legislation related to expanding reporting or changes to property exemption statutes, so that laws are not created that disadvantages or overly burden charitable nonprofits. NAO will coordinate and build coalitions to educate policymakers on the impacts of such legislation. The NAO supports the clarification of statute for accurate property exemption determinations.
- Nonprofit Independence: We believe in the power of the nonprofit sector, led by community, in service of public benefit missions. We will protect the independence of the charitable nonprofit sector from government policies and regulations that aim to subjugate nonprofits to government and would damage the public’s trust in 501(c)(3) nonprofits. We will protect against regulations like the repeal of the Johnson Amendment or expansion of state requirements for public records and meetings laws.
- Disaster Preparedness: Nonprofits serve as critical civic infrastructure in times of emergency and disasters, but receive far less attention and funding in planning for disaster and continuity of operations. Nonprofits are already embedded in our communities and can mobilize thousands of volunteers quickly for response and recovery. NAO will support efforts, engagement and investment by government for nonprofit organizations in disaster preparedness and post-disaster resources.
- Common Sense Statute: NAO will support the “clean-up” of existing statute and regulations where rules or laws that have been passed have created unintended and inadvertent conflicts in the statute causing two laws to contradict each other. Any statute clarification that NAO engages on would be limited to laws that govern, benefit or hurt the charitable nonprofit sector.
Other Matters as Needed: The NAO Public Policy Committee and staff will use the NAO Public Policy Priorities as a guideline to identify any urgent priorities that need to be addressed throughout the year.
Approved by the Board of Directors, March 27, 2020