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January 2020: SCG Public Policy Roundup

Monday, January 27, 2020



Happy New Year! With the spirit of new beginnings in mind, SCG is introducing a refreshed format for our monthly Public Policy Roundup! The new layout prioritizes major public policy or legislative items members should keep an eye on, followed by upcoming events, and a list of resources related to our top issue areas.

This month, our feature is a policy forecast on the trends most likely to impact philanthropy in 2020. In addition, we're honing in on homelessness through an analysis of the Governor’s 2020-2021 budget proposal to address housing and homelessness in California and a recap of our "Right to Housing Webinar." Lastly, we'd like to invite you to join our nonpartisan Candidate’s Forum for the Second District of the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors and our annual Foundations on the Hill gathering in Washington D.C. As always, we welcome any feedback on this newsletter. 


Increased Regulations, Greater Community Needs, and Ballot Box Politics 

This year, SCG is committed to tracking the policy trends most likely to impact our members' grantmaking strategies and their ability to fulfill their missions.

As we start 2020, we have identified three trends likely to impact the philanthropic sector: more proposed state regulations on philanthropy, increasing pressures on vulnerable communities, and a focus on housing policy at the ballot box. Read our full trends analysis below, and keep an eye out for our continued coverage of these issues in 2020. 

  • Philanthropy Under Scrutiny: The continued growth of donor-advised funds (DAFs) has drawn and will continue to draw scrutiny, particularly from state legislators. Assembly Bill 1712, authored by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks and primarily supported by CalNonprofits, will impose significant burdens on community foundations and reveal donor identity of DAF accounts – including the trustees of many SCG members who use DAFs as a form of their philanthropy. AB 1712 (Wicks) is opposed by Philanthropy California – the alliance of Southern California Grantmakers, San Diego Grantmakers, and Northern California Grantmakers – as well as the League of California Community Foundations. Our advocacy successfully stopped this harmful bill to charitable giving last week. However, Assemblywoman Wicks has promised to bring this back in the next couple weeks in a new bill. SCG will continue to work to bring more voices to the table to share our concerns with public policy that discourages support of nonprofit partners.
  • Greater Demands as Needs Rise: Federal action on the social safety net will place more pressure on nonprofits that provide direct services to communities. For example, the Federal government took aim at the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) three times last year, restricting eligibility requirements and making it more difficult to apply for basic food benefits. According to the California Budget and Policy Center, four million Californians each month receive SNAP — also known as CalFresh. Four out of 5 of CalFresh recipients are children and their parents, seniors, and people with disabilities. Add the layer of “public charge” rules that penalize otherwise eligible immigrant families from receiving basic food needs, funders will likely observe increase pressures on regional food banks. 
  • Housing at the Ballot Box: Expect plenty of statewide ballot measures to come before voters this year in what will likely be high turnout primary and general elections. Unsurprisingly, housing will continue to be a focus for policymakers – both activists and lawmakers alike. Grassroots organizations may return to the ballot box to try to put in place a statewide rent control measure that failed in 2018 (Proposition 10). Meanwhile, a statewide taskforce has recommended that the Legislature place a “right to housing” in the state constitution. Finally, state legislators may also place a constitutional amendment that eliminates Article 34 from the state constitution. Article 34 currently requires local governments to seek voter approval for the construction of public housing. Voters in 1950 adopted Article 34 in a bid to perpetuate segregationist housing policies.



SCG Analysis: Homelessness in the State Budget

On January 10, Governor Newsom released his proposed 2020-21 budget, which allocates more than $1 billion to address homelessness in California. The proposed budget focuses on addressing “street-based homelessness,” access to behavioral health, and other services.



Members Take Action: Housing & Homelessness

In December, nearly 60 funders across the state came together to discuss today's challenges around housing and homelessness and to share philanthropic opportunities to protect those most vulnerable to and those already experiencing homelessness.



Pretrial Risk Assessment in California

This report presents an overview of pretrial risk assessment in California and offers considerations for improving the effectiveness of local pretrial risk assessment systems.

Californian’s and the Housing Crisis

This interactive tool shows how housing costs and availability affects Californians. 

Specialized Case Management for Young Adults in Extended Federal Foster Care

This policy brief examines specialized case management models for youth in extended foster care and includes specialized approaches used by Illinois, Indiana, and Oregon.

New Los Angeles County Homelessness & Housing Map

This interactive GIS map makes it possible to geographically view the interim and supportive housing that currently exists and is being developed in LA County. 

Housing Insecurity among College Students

This is the first of a series of spotlight briefs released by the California Aid Commission regarding the obstacles students face in affording higher education.

Grant for Nonprofits Working in Prevention, Youth Development, and Racial Justice

The Center at Sierra Health Foundation, through The California Department of Health Care Services, will provide $20 million in funding and technical assistance for organizations developing or increasing community substance use disorder prevention, outreach, and education focused on youth.


JAN 31: Creating a Bold Vision for Los Angeles County

Join us for a nonpartisan candidate forum for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors – Second District where candidates will share their vision for affordable housing, homelessness, child welfare, and juvenile justice.



MAR 09-11: Foundations on the Hill 2020

Foundations on the Hill (FOTH), is a two-day event that brings together hundreds of foundation leaders from across the country to meet with members of Congress to discuss issues of critical importance to philanthropy and the communities we serve.




JANUARY PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE SCG's monthly newsletter from Chris Essel, our President and CEO. 

2019 END-OF-YEAR MESSAGE Last year, the SCG network embarked on a series of new initiatives and innovative ideas to evolve alongside our changing philanthropic sector.


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