As I’m certain you know, because I’ve seen most of you in in Leg. Hall, it’s been a busy period in Dover with February’s month-of-Joint-Finance-Committee (JFC) hearings. Kudos to all of you who gave testimony or made statements to the JFC. We’ve had the opportunity to meet with each of the committee members and they confirm that, even with the improved revenue forecasts compared to September’s, it’s still going to be a challenging year for all funding, including Grant-In-Aid. The takeaway here is to make sure you continue talking with the JFC members, your General Assembly members and the Controller General's staffer that’s reviewing your application. We’ll post these assignments as soon as they’re out, which is usually in late April.
Sheila and I have also been meeting with the General Assembly Leadership including Senate President Pro Tempore Blevins, House Speaker Schwartzkopf, and House Majority Leader Longhurst. We have appointments with remaining leaders and members throughout April and May. Our message: that nonprofits are important and key partners with government, which has been acknowledged and strongly affirmed.
We’re also gearing up for Nonprofit Day on May 18 at Legislative Hall in Dover so mark your calendars. This year we’ll have the formal presentations by the Governor and General Assembly Leadership, but we’re also working with our coalition partners, Ability Network of Delaware, United Way of Delaware, Delaware Community Foundation, Delaware Grantmakers Association, University of Delaware’s CCRS, and AFP-Brandywine Chapter, to have as many employees, clients, volunteers, and supporters come out for a Nonprofit Rally on Nonprofit Day. The rally will be on the steps of Legislative Hall and will include the presentation of a Joint Resolution of the General Assembly that recognizes the day as Delaware Nonprofit Day. It will be important to have as many of our supporters present for this portion of the programming so that our elected officials see the power of the nonprofit sector! Mark your calendars for May 18 from 11am to 11:30am for the Rally and 12-1 for the formal program with your Executive Directors and Board Chairs in the Senate Majority Meeting Room. Click the hyperlink above to register!
We were at the Monday, March 21 Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) meeting where we learned that the forecast for the “98% Appropriation Limit” decreased by $12.6 million from the December forecast, due to the recognition of the “Delaware Competes Act” and the decreased corporate and Personal Income Tax related to Dupont changes. The April and May DEFAC reports are expected to improve, given no additional losses of major employers.
Wednesday, March 23 was the hearing of Senate Bill 39 on proposed minimum wage increases, in the House Economic Development Committee. The bill did not make it out of committee. There was a great deal of support expressed for the working poor, but there was also strong concern expressed about the tenuous nature of our economic recovery and that now was not a time to make this change. There was discussion that the “Earned Income Tax Credits” may be a better way to address the challenges of the working poor in Delaware. DANA provided our statement: that we believe in addressing the challenges of the working poor, but given that our economic models are so dependent upon our partnership and contracts with government, the sector will first need to see increases in our contracts.
Remember that the Delaware Presidential Primary Election is on April 26, 2016. After the primaries, DANA will be surveying the candidates for state-wide public office about their support for the nonprofit sector. We’ll then get the results out to you in a Nonprofit Sector Voter’s Guide prior to the General Elections on November 8, 2016.
As always, please reach out to me with any questions or comments at: firstname.lastname@example.org