New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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Citizens United Decided: An upheaval of Campaign Finance Law

The long awaited decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission was issued today. With a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court overturned a 20-year ruling that corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for their own campaign advertisements. Justices also struck down parts of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act that prohibited unions and corporations from running issue ads before primary and general elections.

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A Song about Nonprofit Speech Rights in 2009

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Speech Rights are the thought of the day
Oh what fun it is to work
When nonprofits have a say, hey!

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FEC Proposes Rules to Comply With EMILY’s List Decision

On Dec. 17, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) proposed rules that would limit donations to some nonprofit groups that engage in campaign activity after the Justice Department announced that it would not appeal the EMILY’s List decision.

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House Passes Bill to Improve

The House has passed its version of S. 303, the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 2009. The bill requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to standardize the federal grant application process and reauthorizes, an online resource to apply for federal awards. The measure would increase federal grant transparency.

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Funding for Social Innovation Fund

The appropriations omnibus bill includes an increased budget for national service programs and provides 50 million for the new Social Innovation Fund. This is significant considering the House had earlier voted to spend only 35 million on the program.

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Supreme Court Delays Decision in Citizens United Until 2010

The Supreme Court has put off until next year a ruling in the Citizens United case, leaving many anxious about the impending decision. The case challenges limits on corporate and union spending on elections and could significantly alter future campaign seasons. The case was re-argued in a special session on Sept. 9, and three months later there is still no decision.

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Groups Use Citizens United as the Vehicle to Pass Public Financing

Many fear that if the Supreme Court decides in the Citizens United case to overturn limitations on corporate expenditures in political campaigns, it will transform elections with a deluge of corporate and union money. In preparation, groups are using this prospect as a way to advocate for election reform legislation, specifically public financing in House and Senate races.

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Appropriations for LSC Complete, Keeping in Place Advocacy Restrictions

Conferees completed their work on the FY2010 Commerce-Justice-Science ("CJS") appropriations bill. It will be included in an omnibus spending measure, along with the rest of the unfinished appropriations bills except Defense. The CJS measure appropriates funds for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC).

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CRS Report on Lobbying Rules

Last week, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report asserting that the Obama administration's rules covering federally registered lobbyists have "already changed the relationship between lobbyists and covered executive branch officials." The report titled, "Lobbying and the Executive Branch: Current Practices and Options for Change," did not explain how those relationships have changed.

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How Will Proposed Anti-Prostitution Rules Impact Nonprofits?

On Nov. 23, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rulemaking to revise its implementation of an anti-prostitution policy requirement for organizations that receive HIV/AIDS funding from the agency. The requirement currently compels speech by government grantees.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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