As the Legislative Session Begins, We’re Keeping an Eye on the Bills

January 17, 2020

The 2020 Washington state legislative session has begun. We are watching for bills that affect nonprofits and will let you know what actions you can take. Here are a few issues that have already come to our attention.

State Level Advocacy

Nonprofit and Libraries Fundraiser Tax Exemption

House Bill 1808 or companion Senate Bill 6312 would make the tax exemption for nonprofit and library fundraisers permanent. If this doesn’t happen, a temporary tax exemption will expire this summer. That means auction bidders and raffle prize winners at fundraising events would owe tax on the items they win. SB6312 will receive a hearing on Tuesday, January 21 in the Senate Ways & Means Committee, and we will be there to testify.

Action Alert: If you have legislators who are on the House Rules Committee or the Senate Ways & Means Committee, please reach out and ask them to pass the relevant bill through their committee.

Clarification of Raffle Rules

HB 2281 and SB 6120 are agency request legislation to clarify and expand the types of nonprofits that can organize fundraising raffles. We are supporting this legislation.

Rulemaking at the Liquor & Cannabis Board

The LCB has proposed changes to the rules governing special occasion licenses, the type of liquor license that nonprofits use at many of their fundraising events. We testified at the LCB hearing on the rules on January 8, and we have requested a stakeholder meeting to explain the rules. If you have concerns or questions about the proposed changes, please let us know so we can represent your concerns or include you in the meeting.

Federal Issues

Washington Nonprofits defers to the National Council of Nonprofits for an analysis of federal issues, available here.

Check out In 2020, Expect Many Policy Actions Will Affect Nonprofits and Foundations. Here’s What to Watch for an analysis of upcoming policy issues and a framework for thinking about policy. This Chronicle of Philanthropy article is written by leaders at the National Council of Nonprofits, our umbrella organization in Washington, D.C.

PS. Members, please join us in Olympia for the 2020 Nonprofit Legislative Reception. This annual event increases the visibility of nonprofits and our work with elected officials and is a great chance to celebrate together.

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