Weekly Advocacy Alert, July 8

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Weekly Advocacy Alert, July 8



  1. CONTACT your member of Congress/ Senate on legislation coming up:
    1. (S. 4032) Universal Giving Pandemic Response: With bipartisan support the bill would expand the current above-the-line deduction for charitable giving made available by the CARES Act in March. The provision would lift the current $300-per-tax-filing cap and make available, for tax years 2019 and 2020, an above-the-line deduction for charitable giving on federal income taxes valued at up to one-third of the standard deduction (around $4,000 for an individual filer and $8,000 for married joint filers). This giving incentive could spark new and increased donations from taxpayers who no longer itemize their tax returns. Contact your Senators.
    2. (S. 4001) Catastrophic Cash Flow Strain Act was introduced on June 18, 2020 to help relieve burdens on dance organizations and other nonprofits that self-insure for unemployment benefits. The Senate passed the Protecting Nonprofits from Catastrophic Cash Flow Strain Act by unanimous consent. Because of a procedural issue the Senate had to reintroduce under a different number S.4209. Read more and take action here.
    3. H.R. 40: Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act was introduced to the House in January 2019 and needs to be considered by committee before it can be sent on to the House or Senate as a whole. Write Or Call Congress.
    4. The PPP Coalition is an ad hoc grassroots coalition of local, regional, and national entities from the "last-to-reopen" sectors of the American economy. They seek to improve PPP through a few key changes to the program that will benefit all borrowers, small businesses and nonprofits, regardless of their industry. Sign onto their letter.
  2. Updates on bills and executive actions passed:
    1. S.4116, on July 4, 2020, a bill to extend the PPP program through August 8th was signed by the president to keep the program open to those who have not yet received a PPP loan. 

    2. (H.R. 7120) George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 was passed by the House of Representatives on June 25, 2020.

    3. Following the Administration extension and expansion of certain immigration restrictions through December 31, 2020. Please visit the online resource Artists from Abroad, which contains a variety of updates relating to guest artist visas as well as technical assistance on the visa and withholding process.

    4. Fraudulent Facemask Flyers: The Department of Justice issued an alert warning that postings or flyers on the internet regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) circulating online are falsely claiming its holder is lawfully exempt from wearing a mask under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Do not rely on information included on these postings. The CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask in public.

    5. The IRS has provided updated FAQs on the Employee Retention Tax Credit under the CARES Act for nonprofits. The IRS provides guidance for tax-exempt employers on how to calculate “gross receipts” under the credit. See FAQ #46.



  1. Updates on legislation and reopening:
    1. The Governor signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act (S.8192B/A.10290B), which prevents evictions of people who have suffered financial hardship due to COVID-19.
    2. NYS released Phase 4 - Arts and Culture Guidelines:

      1. Indoor low-risk cultural activity

      2. Outdoor low-risk cultural activity

      3. Media Production (Applicable for dance on film)

    3. New York State employees who voluntarily travel to high-risk states will be ineligible for COVID-19 paid sick leave. Governor Cuomo signed a new executive order that makes New York employees who voluntarily travel to specified states after June 25 ineligible for this benefit.

    4. Along with the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut, Governor Cuomo announced a travel advisory for all individuals traveling to NY from states with significant community spread. Individuals traveling to NY must quarantine for a 14-day period upon arrival. The travel advisory currently applies to travelers from: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. (The list of states will be updated online as the data changes.)

    5. Governor Cuomo Announces Lowest COVID-19 Deaths and Hospitalizations in New York Since the Pandemic Began

      1. The total number of COVID hospitalizations continues to remain low. Total hospitalizations are at 836 as of July 6, 2020.

    6. The Shared Work Program is designed to help employers manage business cycles and seasonal adjustments while helping to spare their workers the hardships of full unemployment. Nonprofit employees can visit the How to File a Claim page to learn about the types of benefits they may be eligible to receive while on a shared work plan. 



  1. CONTACT your City Council members to advocate for arts education:

    1. Call City Council: #ArtsAreEssential - Although the city budget has "passed" as mentioned in several places, budget modifications are happening and will continue to happen. It is important to continue to reach out to city officials.

  2. Updates on the budget and opportunities:

    1. New York City Council Passed the 2021 Budget. The $88.19 billion budget saw a 15% decrease in discretionary funding, 11% reduction to the Department of Cultural Affairs, and a 70% cut for public-school arts education.

      1. The City Council released Schedule C.

    2. New York City entered Phase 3 of reopening on Monday, July 6, but due to concerns about the risk of spreading the virus, indoor dining in NYC is postponed indefinitely.

    3. Test & Trace Funding Opportunity: The City currently seeks Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), including Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs), to promote Test & Trace. This initiative will focus on ensuring that communities have direct access to COVID-19-related information and services that are accessible, culturally and linguistically responsive, and trauma- and resilience-informed. *Request for Proposals due July 13th at 12pm*



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