The US Senate and House may complete negotiations this week, or early next week, on a COVID-related relief measure, likely the last one this year. Nonprofit advocates are asking the community to act immediately to request support for issues important to our sector.

Background:

HEALS Act: Health, Economics Assistance, liability protection, schools

On July 27, Senate Republicans introduced a package of proposals dubbed the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability, and Schools Act (HEALS Act), which differs markedly from the House legislation, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act), which passed the House on May 15. Neither bill is expected to be enacted in its original form. The major cost difference, $1 trillion in HEALS and $3 trillion in HEROES, has been widely reported. But there are many other differences that are important. The National Council of Nonprofits has a comparison of the bills.

Issues:

ADA Compliance logo

One important concern to the disability community involves liability protections in the Senate legislation. According to one advocacy alert, “it specifically shields employers and people who own, lease, or operate public accommodations from violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.” The liability language in Section 181 of the SAFE TO WORK Act, S. 4317 would eliminate critical protections established in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This language must be eliminated

More info is at https://advocacymonitor.com/

Please urge your members of Congress to ensure that people with disabilities do not lose civil rights in the final legislation.

The National Council of Nonprofits has circulated a revised letter with detailed recommendations to include in the final legislation. These include specific relief measures such as expanding and extending the Paycheck Protection Program, Increasing the federal unemployment insurance reimbursement for self-insured (reimbursing) nonprofits, and increasing charitable tax deductions.

The letter and recommendations is available at: https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/sites/default/files/documents/nonprofit-community-letter-7-13-2020.pdf. The letter has useful language to include in your advocacy messages to Congress.

Specific Senate Action:

If you have operations in one of the states represented by any of the thirty bipartisan Senators that signed a letter circulated by Senators Lankford and King please urge them immediately to support that request to Senate leaders. The letter calls upon Congress to include nonprofit provisions in the COVID relief bill to “ensure that charitable nonprofits are fully supported in their service on the front lines of responding to the COVID-19 crisis.”

ACTION ITEM:

Reach out to these Senators and urge them to stress to their leaders – McConnell and Schumer – that the nonprofit priorities must be included in the final bill.

States/Senators:

AK – Sullivan; AZ – McSally & Sinema; AR – Boozman; CA – Harris; CT – Blumenthal; CO – Gardner; DE – Coons; GA – Loeffler; HI – Schatz; KS – Moran; ME – King; MI – Peters; MN – Klobuchar & Smith; MS – Hyde-Smith; MT – Daines & Tester; NJ – Booker; NM – Heinrich & Udall; NC – Burr & Tillis; ND – Hoeven & Cramer; OK – Lankford; OR – Merkley; SC – Scott; SD – Rounds; and VA – Kaine.

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