th General Court
session has officially ended and your Alliance is happy to let you know that we have had a very successful two years!
In January the Fiscal Year 2017 budget process began with the filing of the Governor's budget. From January through July 31 the FY17 budget has gone through many different iterations.
The budget that was released from the legislative conference committee in June included $1.1 Million for the YMCA Youth-At-Risk line item, $12.5 Million in the Early Education Rate Reserve line item, $400,000 for the creation of the HomeWorks (an after school program for homeless youth), and $150,000 for the Governors Sexual Abuse Task Force.
Unfortunately due to shortage in tax collection in May and June the Governor cut the Youth-At-Risk funds to $800,000, cut the Early Education Rate Reserve to $5 Million, and vetoed the HomeWorks program funding entirely.
With tax revenues picking up a bit the legislature overrode the Governor's cuts and vetoes to the YMCA priorities.
We are pleased to let you know that the YMCAs will be receiving $1.1 Million in Youth-At-Risk funding, the highest amount we have ever received. Not only that but the legislature reinstated the $12.5 Million for Early Education Rate Reserve, the $400,000 for the HomeWorks program, and the $150,000 to the Governor's Sexual Abuse Task Force of which the Alliance is a member.
PROPERTY TAX CHALLENGE FOR NONPROFITS
There was a provision i
n the Economic Development Bill, filed and passed in the House that would have required any nonprofit to pay property taxes for four years on any land or building it purchased
that had been previously been private and taxed. If the law passed t
he nonprofit would have to pay 100% of the taxes the first year, 75% the second year, 50% the third year, and 25% the fourth year.
The Alliance worked with other large nonprofit membership organizations to defeat this provision. While the amendment did pass in the House of Representatives the Alliance and other nonprofits were able to defeat the amendment in the Senate and the final Economic Development Bill did not include the language.
The Alliance will continue to partner with other nonprofits to defeat this and other legislation like it in the future.
PROPERTY SALE RESTRICTION ON NONPROFITS
Similarly, the Alliance also worked to defeat a provision in the Municipal Government Reform Legislation. The provision required that a nonprofit selling any building or land would give the municipality the right of first refusal to purchase the property. The municipality would have 120 days to decide if it would purchase the property or not. This would have made the purchase and sale of property by Ys very difficult and costly. The Alliance worked with other nonprofit groups to help defeat this language in the legislation. It was removed in the final bill.
We do expect to see legislation similar to this in the next session, we will continue to monitor and work on this.
An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination was signed into law on July 8
th, 2016. What we want Ys to understand is that this bill establishes Transgender as a civil right. This is not an accommodation bill. This law goes into effect October 1, 2016.
The Alliance's Diversity and Inclusion Task Force with YUSA has put together tool kit to help guide our Ys through this important piece of civil rights legislation. The D&I task force will be rolling out training assistance for Ys, stay tuned for updates on this.
In the meantime AYP Chapter 4 will be featuring this as one their hot topics during their August 26
th networking event. The Alliance's Peter Doliber will be facilitating the conversation, click on the link in the article below to register.
It is an election year for State Representatives, State Senators, and Sheriffs. Please take the time to meet with the candidates running for election in your area.
As a reminder as a 501(c)3, candidates cannot campaign at your YMCA and a Y cannot endorse a candidate.
LOCAL ADVOCACY DAY
Finally, we have had some very successful local advocacy days held at YMCAs. The connection between the Ys and the elected officials has been amazing! (See more on this in the article below if you have not participated yet - there is still time!)