Policy Update: The Debt Limit, State of the States, and Opening Legislative Sessions
Nonprofit Connect works to keep Members updated on policy changes that affect nonprofits through Policy Updates. These messages provide brief information on what is going on in federal government and policy that may be of interest to the nonprofit community.
The Debt Limit
The United States hit its statutory borrowing limit two weeks ago, and no solution has been reached yet. The federal government is pursuing measures to postpone default while The President and Congressional Republicans negotiate a solution; House Republicans want to see spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit. Speaker McCarthy and President Biden met earlier this week and, while they claim it was a productive conversation, no actions have been clearly identified or pursued. This debate and potential government shutdown may impact nonprofits: payments on federal contracts or grants may be delayed, contracts or grants may be abruptly cancelled, and demand for nonprofit activities may increase if government is unable to fund its typical services.
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National Public Health Emergency Will End May 11; States can Disenroll From Medicaid
President Biden gave notice for the ending of the COVID-19 national and public health emergencies. Once the emergency declaration ends, people may need to start paying for things like COVID treatments, vaccines, and tests. Impacts will be seen in employer-sponsored health insurance, COBRA, and flexible spending accounts.
One of the original 2020 COVID-19 relief packages forbid states from removing people from Medicaid during the public health emergency, but the spending bill passed in December eliminated that protection. States can begin reevaluating Medicaid participants and disenrolling residents who no longer qualify on April 1. Millions of people across the country may lose their health coverage.
State of the States in Missouri and Kansas
In Missouri, Governor Parson touted progress on agricultural tax credits, income tax cuts, and workforce development. His priorities for this session include infrastructure (including widening I-70 from Kansas City to Odessa), creating several tax credits related to child care services (Child Care contribution tax credit, Employer-Provided Child Care Assistance Tax Credit, and Child Care Provider tax credit), and investing in health and mental health care.
Watch the State of the State
In Kansas, Governor Kelly called for Republicans and Democrats to work together. She advocated for her “axe the taxes” plan, which would eliminate food sales tax and eliminate the income tax cliff on social security benefits; reiterated her support for expanding Medicaid; and expressed her desire to expand mental health access. Some of her focus areas will include early childhood education, broadband access across the state, and more housing options.
Watch the State of the State
Legislative Sessions Begin in Missouri and Kansas
Both states have kicked off their legislative sessions this January. Kansas has already started discussing “school choice” and abortion, as well as initiatives to change taxation. Missouri is moving at a fast pace, considering issues such as transgender discrimination, tax exemption for child care facilities, and removing the salary cap on Kansas City police officers.
Follow the Kansas Legislature
Follow the Missouri General Assembly
Stay tuned for more updates as the spring progresses.
This post was written by Kristen Wood, Nonprofit Connect's Advocacy Contributor.
Kristen is an avid participant in Kansas City’s nonprofit community and a self-proclaimed ‘lifetime learner’. In addition to working for Goodwill of Western Missouri & Eastern Kansas, she enjoys following nonprofit policy issues.
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