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Legislative Round-Up | July 2021

Included in this Round-Up

  • Postal Policy: A Multi-Dimensional Challenge
  • Taking to the Hill to Expand the IRA Charitable Rollover
  • Good News on Tax Policy
  • Movement on IRA Charitable Rollover
  • From the States: California: 3rd Party Fundraising Solicitation Law
  • From the States: Consumer Data Protection and Privacy
  • From the States: More State Legislation

Postal Policy: A Multi-Dimensional Challenge

TNPA is working on several fronts to create, support, and fight for postal policies that will support the nonprofit sector.

In the Courts

We are supporting a lawsuit brought by the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers in the DC Federal Court of Appeals that challenges the new rate-making authority recently granted to the Postal Service by the Postal Regulatory Commission. TNPA is an “intervenor” in the case. The oral argument before the Court of Appeals will be September 13, with a decision expected later this year or early next year.

The suit contends that the Postal Regulatory Commission exceeded its authority under the Postal Reform Act of 2006, by granting the Postal Service authority to raise postal rates in excess of the rate of inflation (Consumer Price Index or CPI). As previously reported, on August 29 the Postal Service will be raising rates 6.5% to 8.5% (depending on the class of mail), an increase that far exceeds the CPI and is on top of the 1.5% CPI increase that went into effect in January of this year.

On Capitol Hill

TNPA continues to advocate for postal reform legislation as an important solution to the current postal challenges. On June 22, TNPA staff and members met with the offices of five Sentors, focusing exclusively on postal policy.

Each of the Senators met with is a co-sponsor of S. 1720, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2021. This legislation is identical in language to the companion House Postal Reform Bill H.R. 3076, which has been reported out of committee and is awaiting consideration on the House Floor.

Throughout our meetings, it became clear that while the House version of the legislation may not be amended, the Senate bill may be modified — and perhaps significantly altered. No date has been set by the Senate committee with postal jurisdiction, the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, for consideration of the legislation.

As currently written, there are several positive provisions in the legislation:

  • Moving the enormous postal retiree healthcare cost away from the USPS and onto Medicare, where most retiree healthcare cost reside.
  • Eliminating the unfair requirement that the Postal Service prefund its retiree healthcare benefits for 75 years into the future. No private company or federal agency is required to comply with such a burdensome and unfair prefunding requirement.

However, the legislation currently does NOT stop future postal rates from increasing faster than the rate of inflation or CPI.

Limiting future rate increases to the CPI is a top priority for protecting the nonprofit sector!

Where Do We Go From Here?

Clearly the outcome of the case before the Court of Appeals looms large. And were the Court of Appeals to accept our argument that the Postal Regulatory Commission exceeded its authority under the Postal Reform Act of 2006 by granting the Postal Service the ability to raise postage rates beyond the rate of inflation, we would be in a strong position going forward.  However, if the Court of Appeals were to rule against our position, we could face continued large rate increases in the coming years.

TNPA will be hoping for the best in terms of the court decision, while also planning for the worst.

TNPA will continue efforts on Capitol Hill to make clear to legislators that postal rates can not be allowed to rise faster than the rate of inflation. While our arguments before the Court of Appeals are strong, one never knows how a court will rule on a question such as this. Our message to legislators has been, and will continue to be, that we need new legislation to protect nonprofits and the social sector.


Taking to the Hill to Expand the IRA Charitable Rollover

TNPA CEO Shannon McCracken will be joining a group of C-Suite executives in late summer for a day of virtual meetings with members of Congress to work towards expanding the IRA Charitable Rollover.

In May, the House Ways & Means committee reported out for consideration on the House Floor H.R. 2954, the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021, which includes a provision which would expand the IRA Charitable Rollover, an important vehicle allowing donors to support charitable causes.

The provision in H.R. 2954 dealing with IRA Charitable Rollovers would raise the current annual cap on contributions to a charitable rollover from $100,000 per year by indexing the cap to the CPI, allowing the cap to rise with the rate of inflation. The legislation is expected to be taken up on the House Floor later this year.

Similar legislation is expected to be considered by the Senate later this year.

Many of the meetings will be with Senators as they prepare to review a similar package of retirement provisions.


Good News on Tax Policy

We were encouraged to see that President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget request (released May 28) did NOT include the 28% cap on itemized deductions he had been calling for during the campaign. This is good news for the nonprofit sector.

With the top tax bracket for individuals currently being 37%, capping deductions at 28% would have a chilling effect on charitable contributions.

The charitable deduction is different from other itemized deductions in that it encourages individuals to give away a portion of their income with no tangible benefit in return.


Movement on IRA Charitable Rollover

The Senate Finance Committee is close to finalizing its version of the Securing a Strong Retirement Act.

There has been a determined effort to increase the current cap of $100,000 on an annual contribution to an IRA Charitable Rollover by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and John Cornyn (R-TX).

As reported in last month’s Legislative Round-up, the House Ways & Means Committee included in its version of the Securing a Strong Retirement Act package an expansion of the IRA Charitable Rollover by indexing the current $100,000 annual cap to the rate of inflation (the Consumer Price Index – CPI), allowing the cap to increase each year as the CPI increases. This legislation reported out of the Ways & Means Committee is expected to be considered on the House Floor later this year.

More to follow on this, as TNPA continues to press Congress to expand the IRA Charitable Rollover.

To reach more about the IRA Charitable Rollover, see the information on TNPA’s website.


From the States

California: 3rd Party Fundraising Solicitation Law

California AB 488 was heard in the Senate on July 15 and then placed on the “suspense file” (a routine procedure by which the Committee considers the competing interests of those measures carrying relatively high price tags). TNPA has been involved in a multi-year multi-stakeholder process that resulted in many necessary changes to the original draft. TNPA was represented at the July hearing.

Read the background in the June Legislative Round-Up and the most up-to-date information on TNPA’s website.


Consumer Data Protection and Privacy

Colorado SB 190, The Colorado Privacy Act (CPA) was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis on July 7. Most provisions in the law take effect on July 1, 2023. Major provisions include:

  • Enable a consumer to opt-out of the processing of their personal information.
  • Confirm whether or not a controller is processing personal data concerning the consumer and to provide access to that information.
  • The right to correct inaccurate personal information.
  • The right to have personal information deleted.
  • Controllers would be required to provide a meaningful privacy notice to consumers detailing their various rights.
  • Does not contain a private right of action.

This makes Colorado the third US state (after California and Virginia), to pass signifcant data privacy legislation. While the provisions don’t go into effect until 2023, it may take that time to prepare to be in compliance.

New York SB 6701, known as the “New York Privacy Act” (Assembly companion A 680) is particularly worrisome as it is predicated on opt-in. It is currently being prepared for the Senate floor.


More State Legislation

We continue to follow state legislation related to consumer data as it has come back in full force this year after legislative efforts were derailed in 2020 by the pandemic. You can read about specific state bills on the TNPA website.

Mark Micali

Mark Micali is Vice President, Government Affairs for The Nonprofit Alliance and has spent his career on Capitol Hill.  You can reach him at mmicali@tnpa.org.

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