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ENEWS: Legislative updates— oversight overkill— your attention, please!

Date Published: 04/21/2022

Author: Erin Wilson

Legislative updates— oversight overkill— your attention, please! 

Two pieces of proposed legislation currently moving through the state legislature in the Senate’s State Government and Senate’s Jobs bills would drastically increase government oversight of Minnesota nonprofits. This post from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits explains the various ramifications for nonprofits throughout the state should the legislation be passed. The first of the two bills would, among several other provisions, require a nonprofit to be at least two years old before becoming eligible to receive any state money and would restrict elected officials and state employees from serving on nonprofit boards. While harmful to all nonprofits, these requirements would be especially harmful to nonprofits in rural areas & small towns where resources are thin and multiple leadership demands are higher on individual community members than in metro areas (because there are simply fewer people to help keep towns and organizations operating). The second proposed bill would essentially duplicate the amount of paperwork nonprofits must fill out and submit to the state in order to receive state funds. Read the MCN article linked above for comprehensive information about the two proposed bills and let your legislator know your opinion.

The Minnesota Budget Project also has multiple additional resources related to legislative spending, like this action alert advocating for investment in Minnesotans and this sign-on letter from TakeAction encouraging state leaders to use ARPA funds for equitable investments. 

Timeline on our website 

If you haven’t already, check out the new page on our website, Two Decades of G&J, to see a timeline tracking some of the standout publications, events, and moments in our organization’s history. It spans all the way from 2002, when Joel Kramer founded Growth & Justice as a research & advocacy nonprofit, to now, when we celebrate 20 years of work and the retirement of current G&J President Jane Leonard. 

Minnesota Equity Map Spotlight 

This week’s spotlight is on the Southwest Initiative Foundation. Read the full story on the Equity Map and follow our social media for more story summaries! Please add more stories by filling out this form if you or your organization/initiative would like to be featured on the map! 

The Southwest Initiative Foundation serves 18 Minnesota counties and two Native nations. They organize community leaders, support and uplift local businesses, and promote grants through investment in the region's community. SWIF also specializes in childcare and utilizes a “Grow Our Own” approach, which recognizes how socioeconomic status, community wealth, familial situations, race, ethnicity, English proficiency and several other factors can impact childhood growth. You can learn more about SWIF by reading their story on the map and checking out their website at https://swifoundation.org/. 

Quote:

“Both of these bills have been heard in all the necessary committees and are ready to be discussed and voted on on the Senate floor. Once they pass the Senate floor, a conference committee will be named, for each of the omnibus bills, with both Senate and House members on the conference committee. That conference committee will create one bill (a “conference report”) that will then need to be passed by both bodies again. Legislators have until May 23, 2022 to pass bills.” — Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, “Duplicative and unnecessary government oversight of nonprofits: two legislative proposals.”


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