Sponsorships from State Agencies at risk for Idaho nonprofits
Why this matters: Financial impact to Idaho Nonprofits
We have our first piece of legislation for this session that we are opposing: House Bill 12 (HB12).
The proposed legislation would prohibit state agencies from sponsoring non-governmental organizations (i.e., nonprofits) without permission from the governor and would add a misdemeanor charge of misusing public funds for those who don’t abide by the new criteria.
HB12 was introduced by Rep. Jason Monks, has been printed and referred to the State Affairs Committee, and has had a fair amount of media coverage.
According to the state’s website, Idaho has 180 state agencies that would be impacted by this legislation. Many of those agencies have a purpose that aligns with the goals of nonprofits throughout the state. We count on our state agency partners to expand our reach and amplify our missions. Adding extra layers of bureaucracy for state agencies to work with nonprofits would be detrimental to the work we do.
We need you to act.
Criminal Charges for CPS reports
Why this matters: Many nonprofits work with children and vulnerable populations
House Bill 20 (HB20) adds a misdemeanor criminal penalty for false reporting to Child Protective Services (CPS) that is done in bad faith or with malice.
In Idaho, everyone is a mandatory reporter, which means many of our nonprofits make CPS referrals for suspected abuse or neglect.
It is concerning to think that someone who is making a referral could face criminal charges for such a subjective standard. We are monitoring the bill for the time being and would encourage those of you who think the proposed legislation would impact your organization one way or another to reach out and let us know your concerns.
The proposed legislation has been printed and is being referred to Judiciary, Rules, and Administration for printing. HB20 was introduced last week by Senator Heather Scott.
Why this matters: 145,000 Idahoans have coverage through Medicaid and many nonprofits serve clients who may rely on Medicaid.
The Senate and House Health and Welfare Committees heard an update on Medicaid expansion and now must prepare a recommendation for the legislature about continuing to offer the expanded service.
According to the presentation, if Idaho chooses to pull back on its expansion, then the State could lose $78 million due to the loss of federal funding. Idaho voters approved Medicaid expansion in 2018 through a ballot initiative, and now the legislature has until January 31 to reconsider the expansion.
Proposed change to ballot initiatives
Why this matters: Nonprofits are allowed to take lobbying stances on initiatives and pieces of legislation. Ballot initiatives often involve issues that nonprofits are working publicly to address.
Last week Senator Doug Okuniewicz introduced a joint resolution that would ask the votes to amend the constitution concerning voter initiatives.
The resolution would increase the number of legislative districts needed to qualify an initiative, requiring signatures from 6% of registered voters in all 35 districts, rather than 18 districts as previously required. The resolution comes after the Idaho Supreme Court found a similar law unconstitutional in 2021.
The resolution has the potential of making voter initiatives very difficult to obtain. For a history of what ballot initiatives Idaho has had, read more here.
Federal News: Secure Act 2.0
Why this matters: Retirement benefits for nonprofits
The Secure Act 2.0, which passed at the end of 2022, includes several provisions which can help nonprofit organizations with retirement benefits. Here are a few ways you could see an impact.
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