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ICYMI - Advocacy Recap with Committee Chair Paige Stephenson

Posted By Paige Stephenson, Thursday, June 28, 2018

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Dear Allies,

Together SC takes its advocacy responsibilities seriously. You look to us to keep watch and speak up, while always keeping you informed. Today’s letter aims to do just that.

The General Assembly ended its 2-year session in May but will soon return to finalize the budget and to consider unresolved energy bills. Here are a few important updates.

RAFFLE LEGISLATION AMENDED
Thanks to Senator Greg Hembree (Horry/R) who responded to concerns from several nonprofits, the Raffle Act that Together SC helped pass in 2013, was amended to ease restrictions on nonprofit raffles. 

ACTION REQUESTED: As the Raffle Act must be reauthorized before July 2020, we need to hear from you! Share your experiences and other changes needed.

FOIA CASE DECIDED BY SC SUPREME COURT
Another issue at the State House concerned the vulnerability of nonprofits to FOIA requests. Although H.3931 stalled in the House, the SC Supreme Court thoughtfully ruled on May 23 that nonprofits receiving public funds are not automatically subject to the state's Freedom of Information Act. The case arose from a 2013 suit against the Hilton Head-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit organization. The opinion concluded that "while the Chamber technically expends public funds, we are firmly persuaded that the General Assembly did not intend the Chamber to be considered a public body for FOIA purposes based upon its receipt and expenditure of accommodation tax funds.”

Next year’s plan of work for your advocacy committee includes efforts to ensure fair reporting procedures and consistent standards to hold nonprofits accountable to public entities that grant or contract with nonprofit organizations.

WORKING IN COLLABORATION ON FEDERAL ISSUES
It takes a team to make legislative change happen. Today’s featured photo (above) was taken at a recent meeting with Senator Scott regarding the idea of Universal Charitable Deduction. We thank Clay Grayson for joining Madeleine in presenting our ideas and concerns.

We consider the United Way Association of SC one of our biggest allies and have looked to Naomi Lett as our expert on the opportunities for specific communities provided by Senator Scott’s Opportunity Zone legislation.

We are also proud to work with the National Council of Nonprofits. Last week’s Lobby Day in D.C. focused on five critical federal issues to be addressed, including renewed threats to repeal the Johnson Amendment, that protects nonprofits from partisan politics.

AMPLIFYING YOUR THANKS & SHARING YOUR GREAT WORK
The end of the legislative session is a good time to thank those leaders who worked on your behalf. Keep us in the loop, so we can amplify your praise with an additional “shout out” from Together SC.

We love sharing the great advocacy work you're doing. Today’s 'Collective Voice' section offers some great examples. Thanks to all for sharing.

As always, we look forward to working with you as we advocate together for good.

Your Ally for Good,
Paige Stephenson
Chair, Together SC Public Policy Committee
President and CEO
United Way of the Piedmont

Tags:  Advocacy  Collective Voice  Raffle Act 

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