October 1, 2021
In this issue...
Congress approves continuing resolution to avert federal government shutdown
Legislators negotiating with Governor Cooper on state budget 
U.S. House delays vote on infrastructure bill
Nonprofits send input to OSHA on COVID-19 vaccination requirement regulations 
New law allows employers to offer exclusive provider benefit plans
Third quarter lobbying reports due October 21
Nonprofits can help maximize participation in 2021 municipal elections
Congress Approves Continuing Resolution to Avert Federal Government Shutdown
Yesterday, both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives approved a continuing budget resolution that will fund the federal government through December 3. President Biden signed the continuing resolution into law yesterday evening. Without the passage of this continuing resolution, parts of the federal government would have shut down today, potentially causing delays in nonprofits’ payments from federal agencies and creating disruption in the delivery of federal benefits. The continuing resolution does not extend the national debt limit, so Congress will need to take additional action by October 18 to suspend or raise the debt limit to prevent the United States from defaulting on its debts, which would create significant harm to the economy.
Legislators Negotiating with Governor Cooper on State Budget
The NC Senate and NC House of Representatives have come to an agreement on the legislature’s recommendation for the state budget for FY2021-23 (S.105). Legislative leaders have now begun negotiating with Governor Cooper on final spending and provisions before voting on it in the coming weeks. Details of the final legislative budget are not yet available, but the Center has prepared a chart comparing various appropriations and provisions affecting nonprofits in the House-approved budget and the Senate-approved version. The Center continues to advocate with legislators and the Governor’s Office to include favorable nonprofit provisions as they negotiate a final version of the budget that could be passed later this month.
U.S. House Delays Vote on Infrastructure Bill
Twice this week, the U.S. House of Representatives has delayed a vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a $1 trillion bipartisan bill that the U.S. Senate approved in August. The infrastructure bill would provide significant funding for North Carolina, including about $8.7 billion of the infrastructure investment in the bill, including $7.2 billion for highway projects, $457 million for bridge repairs, $911 million for public transit, $109 million for electric vehicle charging, and $100 million for broadband access. It also would end the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) today, three months earlier than the scheduled expiration date under the American Rescue Plan Act. The early expiration of this refundable payroll tax credit could mean less financial relief for some nonprofits.

The House could vote on the infrastructure bill as soon as today. Congressional Democrats are delaying the vote until they reach a deal on a larger “human infrastructure” bill that would provide significant investments in anti-poverty programs, clean energy, expanded health coverage, and affordable housing, among other things. Because the “human infrastructure” bill does not have bipartisan support, its passage requires the support of all 50 U.S. Senate Democrats.
Nonprofits Send Input to OSHA on COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Regulations
Last month, President Biden directed the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an emergency rule requiring employers with more than 100 employees – including many large nonprofits – to: (a) require their employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or to be tested at least once a week; and (b) provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated or recover from vaccinations. On Wednesday, the National Council of Nonprofits sent a letter to OSHA asking some common nonprofit questions about the forthcoming vaccination requirement rule, such as how employees will be counted, whether the rule will apply to employees working offsite, and whether volunteers will be covered by the rule. For more on vaccination requirements, check out the Center’s analysis of vaccination considerations for nonprofits.
New Law Allows Employers to Offer Exclusive Provider Benefit Plans
A new law that takes effect today allows North Carolina nonprofits and small businesses to offer exclusive provider benefit (EPO benefit) plans for their employees. EPO benefit plans are typically about 10%-15% less expensive than other health insurance plans and allow participants to use a limited network of local health care providers while paying the full cost for any out-of-network health services other than emergency care. Potentially, this legislation could provide a meaningful and affordable health coverage option for some small and mid-sized nonprofits, particularly for organizations that have not been able to afford health insurance for their employees in the past.
Third Quarter Lobbying Reports Due October 21
Third quarter lobbying expense reports are due to the NC Secretary of State by Thursday, October 21. Nonprofits that are registered as lobbyist principals and nonprofit staff and contractors registered as lobbyists must submit their expense reports each quarter. For more information on lobbying registration and reporting requirements, check out the Center's newly-updated summary of NC lobbying laws for nonprofits.
Nonprofits Can Help Maximize Participation in 2021 Municipal Elections
With dozens of cities and towns around North Carolina holding municipal elections this fall, now is a great time for nonprofits to help ensure their staff, volunteers, and the people they serve are registered to vote and show up during Early Voting or on Election Day. Voter turnout is typically much lower in years when there are no national or statewide races on the ballot, so it is particularly important for nonprofits to promote the 2021 election (if there is one in the municipality where you provide services). Here are two easy (and nonpartisan) steps your nonprofit can take today:
  1. Check on what municipal elections are coming up in October or November in the regions you serve by searching the NC State Board of Elections 2021 Municipal Voter Tool
  2. Check out the local elections resources from You Can Vote to learn more about what’s on your ballot, messaging for nonpartisan voter engagement, and ways you can get involved.
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Nonprofit Policy Update is a weekly newsletter for current members of the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits. We track state and federal policy issues that affect all 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Learn about the Center's public policy priorities. For more information, contact David Heinen, Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy.