October 2020 Public Policy Roundup

October 2020 Public Policy Roundup

Publication date: 
October, 2020

By Hillary Evans, vice president of professional learning & public policy, Philanthropy Southwest

COVID-19 Relief Legislation Halted
COVID relief legislation is not expected before the election, now only one week away. A final COVID-19 relief package is more likely to be released during the lame duck session before the end of the year. On October 21, Senate Democrats blocked a Republican-led $500 billion COVID-19 proposal. The GOP proposal provides $300 in weekly federal unemployment benefits through the end of December, $100 billion for reopening schools, as well as funds for testing and vaccines. Democrats continue to negotiate for more funds towards unemployment benefits, to cities and states and another round of individual stimulus funding among other provisions.  

Advocacy to Extend Census Deadline
Earlier this month, the Census Bureau announced that it would be ending the census count on October 15.  While this issue had made its way through the courts, the U.S. Supreme Court recently granted the Trump administration’s request to halt census counting before October 31.  Click here to view the Census Bureau’s statement. This shortened deadline comes even with evidence-based research from the American Statistical Association showing that rushing the count forces the enumerators to use proxy counts, reducing the overall accuracy of the count.  This latest development underscores the need for Congress to pass the 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act (S. 4571), a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Schatz (D-HI), Murkowski (R-AK), and Sullivan (R-AK). Philanthropy Southwest, by recommendation of its Public Policy Committee and supported by the PSW Board, joined hundreds of other nonprofits endorsing this legislation. This legislation is the last opportunity to ensure the Census Bureau receives the time it needs to complete an accurate Census.
Foundations on the Hill – Save the Date
United Philanthropy Forum will host its first-ever virtual Foundations on the Hill on March 16-18, 2021 and March 23-25, 2021. During this unique Foundations on the Hill, attendees will hear from Members of Congress, legislative staff, administration staff, and other inside the beltway speakers. As part of FOTH 2021, virtual sessions with dynamic presenters on key issues and strategies will also be offered throughout the schedule. Additionally, this virtual Foundations on the Hill will encompass many interactive advocacy activities and resources via social media and other digital platforms and tools.

Stay tuned for more information about this upcoming spring event and recruitment for the Philanthropy Southwest delegation.

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