“Dark Money” Legislation in Texas

Senate Bill 346 passes, vetoed by Governor Perry

Washington IRS controversies regarding Section 501(c)(4) nonprofits parallel attention to the SB 346 debates in the 2013 Texas Legislature

The dramatic and troubling revelations exposing misconduct by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in considering applicants for Section 501(c)(4) tax exemption warrant a closer look at SB 346, vetoed by the Governor amidst debate and criticism surrounding this issue. [Read more…]

2013 Texas Legislative Summary

83rd Texas Legislature, 2013 Regular Session As of 6-18-2013
SUMMARY OF ISSUES AFFECTING NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Final TANO Texas legislative report for 2013

The Texas Legislature ended its 83rd Regular Session on May 27, and numerous bills were presented as listed here that directly or indirectly affect the interests of nonprofit organizations. The following summary lists bills and issues that should be of concern to leaders in the nonprofit sector in Texas. Almost 6,000 bills were filed, 1,436 were passed and sent to the Governor, and the Governor vetoed 26. The state’s budget, education, infrastructure and growth challenges occupied most of the legislators’ attention during the 140-day Regular Session.

GO TO 2013 Texas Legislative Summary

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“Best Practices” strengthen nonprofits but they can bite!

Best practices” are models for conduct and management prevalent in a field that others look to in evaluating an organization’s status. These include internal policies, voluntarily-adopted standards, professional practice and ethical standards, conditions in funding grants (government and private), accounting standards, trade association standards, insurers’ and lenders’ underwriting standards, media perceptions of right and wrong, and other commonly-recognized guidelines.   Not always clear or binding, best practices when ignored can have the same negative impact on a nonprofit as a violation of law, negligent act, or other culpable conduct. [Read more…]

Tax exemptions for nonprofits

2013 Texas Legislature proposes annual review of exemption benefits

SB 140 represented a trend nationwide to initiate periodic top-to-bottom reviews of the tax structure of state government and, in particular, to question any tax credit, preference, incentive, exemption or other tax benefit conferred under state law. This approach not only impacts the state tax laws relating to private interests, industry and business groups, it also puts into question the tax exemptions traditionally enjoyed by nonprofit charitable organizations. [Read more…]

Mandatory community service to graduate —
A good idea?

Analysis of HB 22 – 2013 Texas Legislature

Should college students be required to fulfill 20 hours of “unpaid public service” as a prerequisite for graduation from a Texas higher education institution?

This question may soon be debated in the Texas Legislature thanks to House Bill 22 recently filed by Rep. Martinez Fischer. The bill establishes a new, unfunded Service to Texas Program at each Texas college, university, junior college and technical institute to oversee this proposed new undergraduate graduation requirement. Students seeking a non-degree certificate involving 60 hours of undergraduate study would also be included in the mandate.

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