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Legislative Sessions Are in Full Swing. Is Your Lobbying Legal?

Posted Jan 25, 2022 12:55 PM
The move to virtual hearings and meetings with legislators in most states has allowed many more nonprofits to be actively engaging in proposing changes to the law and funding to benefit the community.

If your organization is advocating that a legislator pass or change a law or make an allocation of public funds, you are engaging in lobbying and need to closely follow federal and state laws with respects to lobbying.

You will find resources and links to organizations like Bolder Advocacy and Independent Sector in Advocacy and Community Engagement. Be sure you stay aware of the laws, reporting requirements, and expenditure limitations. If your organization has not filed a 501(h) election, you should consider whether this option is right for you after calculating your advocacy expenditures.

Among the issues we are following in the 2022 Washington State legislative session is the Washington Cares Fund, which established our nation's first long-term care insurance benefit for all eligible workers. All Washington employers, including nonprofits, were scheduled to begin collecting premiums from employees in January.

WA's governor has directed Employment Security not to collect the premiums until April 2022 because the legislature is considering some changes to eligibility and opt-out provisions. However, since he cannot repeal a law passed by the legislature, technically the requirement to collect premiums is still on the books.

You can sign up for the WA Cares Fund mailing list or the ESD’s employer newsletter to get information as it becomes available.