Our federal leaders are responsible for policies that can have profound impact on Texas nonprofits. Here are a few pieces of legislation currently being considered on the national stage and ways that you learn more and advocate for our sector.
The Nonprofit SEAT Act
Recently, Representatives Mace (R-SC) and McCollum (D-MN) introduced a bill, the “Nonprofit Stakeholders Engaging and Advancing Together (SEAT) Act of 2023,” in Congress. The Nonprofit SEAT Act would strengthen collaboration between federal officials and nonprofits to better serve the sector and our communities, especially during emergencies. The bill would also make it easier for nonprofits to raise money with less paperwork, pursue federal grants, and access the same economic data that corporations get for free. Learn more about the bill, and why the sector’s collective voice is key to ensuring all people thrive.
Independent Sector is asking you to to sign your organization onto a letter to be shared with Congress. You can also show your support by mobilizing your networks, posting on social media, and asking your elected representatives to support the bill. You can learn more about the bill on the Independent Sector resource page.
Human-services Emergency Logistics Program (HELP) Act Introduced & Actions you can take
On Thursday, May 18, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) along with Congressman Brian Higgins (D-NY-26) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1) introduced the bipartisan and bicameral “Human-services Emergency Logistics Program Act of 2023,”also known as the “HELP Act”. The HELP Act will facilitate increased nationwide accessibility and coordination of 211 services and 988 services in order to provide information and referrals throughout the United States for mental health emergencies, homelessness, and other human services needs. Here is a one page overview on the Human-services Emergency Logistics (HELP) Act from Senator Casey.
Charitable Act Introduced by a Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers in the House of Representatives
On Thursday, May 18, The Charitable Act was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives. The Charitable Act, sponsored by Reps. Blake Moore (R-UT), Danny Davis (D-IL), Michelle Steel (R-CA) and Chris Pappas (D-NH), would restore and expand the charitable deduction for non-itemizing taxpayers, also known as the universal charitable deduction, that expired at the end of 2021. The bill would increase the cap of the universal charitable deduction to one-third of the standard deduction, roughly $4,600 for individuals and $9,200 for joint filers. It would also make gifts to donor-advised funds eligible for the universal charitable deduction. The Senate companion of the Charitable Act (S. 566) was introduced in February by Sens. James Lankford (R-OK) and Chris Coons (D-DE) and currently has support from 14 of their Senate colleagues.
SNAP Re-authorization underway
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) is the nation’s largest anti-hunger program. The program provides timely, targeted, and temporary support to low-income households for the purchase of food. About two-thirds of SNAP participants are in families with children, and over one-third are in households with older adults or people with disabilities. SNAP funding is authorized through the Farm Bill, which is set to expire September 20, 2023. Congress has started the reauthorization process for the Farm Bill, at which time lawmakers can restructure SNAP program guidelines and administration.