***UPDATED MARCH 25***
Thank you to all of you who have contacted us ready to advocate on behalf of your mission and the nonprofit sector. We know you’re keenly interested, as we are, in the implications for nonprofits on COVID-19 public policy.
We hope you will find the summary below helpful. The public policy landscape is changing quickly, and we will do all we can to be sure we are providing up-to-date information. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with specific questions or join us on our Advocating for COVID-19 Relief webinar to get the latest update.
Here is our current focus on behalf of Alaska nonprofits and your employees.
We are focused on ensuring nonprofits are considered in all economic policy and recovery decisions
Anchorage Economic Resiliency Task Force: Foraker President/CEO Laurie Wolf was appointed earlier this week to Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s “Economic Resiliency Task Force” where she will able to provide an essential nonprofit perspective to the municipality’s response and recovery.
Local Recovery Efforts: We have asked the Alaska Municipal League to encourage that other local governments considering COVID-19 recovery commissions or task forces include local nonprofit leaders. We anticipate that local governments will start conversations on recovery in the coming days. Please let us know if this is happening in your community – it is important for us to track those efforts to ensure that a strong nonprofit voice is included in decisions.
Letter to Governor: Foraker submitted a letter to Governor Dunleavy this week calling on his administration to include Alaska nonprofits in any policy and economic recovery decisions. Additionally, we requested that all state agencies be flexible with nonprofits on reporting and deliverables on their grants and that the state’s unemployment insurance program be equipped to withstand the significant loss of jobs, furloughs, and reductions in hours Alaskans are experiencing.
Alaska Economic Stabilization Taskforce: Governor Dunleavy established an “Alaska Economic Stabilization Taskforce,” co-chaired by former U.S. Senator Mark Begich and former Governor Sean Parnell. We believe that having a solid nonprofit voice on that panel will be critical for Alaska’s economic recovery.
Connecting with all legislators: We reached out to all Alaska legislators to share the letter we submitted to Governor Dunleavy. We also called for including the nonprofit perspective in any economic recovery legislation.
House Bill 308: The Legislature passed a bill expanding unemployment benefits for Alaskans impacted by COVID-19. The final version of HB 308 now heads to the governor’s desk for final approval. The bill:
Governor’s Economic Stabilization Plan: The proposal covers a range of action to combat the impact of COVID-19. You can find more information in the original press release from Governor Dunleavy and see the six main components of plan.
Connecting with the Commissioner of Revenue: We reached out to Commissioner Mahoney to request the following from the State:
SBA Loans: The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it will make disaster loans for businesses and nonprofits impacted directly by COVID-19. The good news is that there is a lower interest rate for nonprofits receiving loans. Go to the SBA’s webpage to begin the loan process.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed into law: On March 18, 2020, the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, (FFCRA) into law. The act requires certain employers to provide employees with paid family and medical leave or paid sick leave for specified reasons in response to COVID-19.
To help Alaska nonprofits better understand the provisions of the act, Manley & Brautigam P.C. in Anchorage prepared this material for us. The act takes effect on April 2, 2020. Any activities an organization needs to take to comply with the law should be completed by midnight on April 1, 2020. You can also find helpful information in this posting from the National Council of Nonprofits.
If you have further questions, please contact Foraker’s Director of Human Resources Rebecca Savidis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act): The Senate and House hope to pass the $2 trillion legislation in the coming days. Below are key nonprofit sector-wide issues on which advocates have been most active – you can find details on each of these points here. (Thanks to the National Council of Nonprofits for their analysis):
Other significant provisions include:
Federal grants flexibility: The Office of Management and Budget has posted instructions allowing federal agencies to issue exceptions to the grants rules in the OMB Uniform Guidance to remove administrative impediments on services necessary to carry out the emergency response related to COVID-19. Those include:
We will continue to update developments as they occur. And we will hold frequent COVID-19 policy updates. Again, if you have questions, call us.