Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Legislative News and Action Updates

Governor Cuomo's 2015 Opportunity Agenda 
Governor Cuomo recently announced his
2015 Opportunity Agenda, which establishes a 10 point plan to combat poverty and fight inequality in New York State. One point in particular which will benefit nonprofits statewide is a $50 million dollar Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Investment Program.

This initiative was made possible through a recent campaign supported by NYCON and Council Services Plus, and led by the Human Services Council, which called for a portion of the $5 Billion state surplus to be made towards a nonprofit infrastructure fund. 
The funds will invest specifically in capital projects that improve nonprofit human services organizations that serve New Yorkers. Grants will be awarded through a competitive process, with priority given to smaller nonprofits already with State contracts who provide direct services in high-need communities and lack access to other capital funding opportunities. See the full video press conference here. 

Executive Budget Released
Last week, Governor Cuomo presented hisExecutive Budget to the legislature. NYCON appreciated the Governor's recognition that the Nonprofit sector is an "untapped resource" that should be utilized to solve the overarching social issues facing the state. Here are a few of the new opportunities members can start to learn more about in the State's Executive budget:  
  • $50 million dollar Nonprofit Infrastructure Fund 
  • Proposal #54: Launch the New York Youth Mentoring Commission: Mrs. Cuomo will work with both private sector and nonprofit partners to identify a cadre of mentors to work with foster children, children in high-need communities and other children in need. 
  • Proposal #26: Create the Rochester Anti-Poverty Task Force
  • Proposal #44: Implement the Massachusetts Model in New York to transform failing schools: When a school fails for three years, another school district or nonprofit will have the opportunity to take over the school, and create a plan to overhaul and improve the school.
Full video of the State of Address and overview of the Executive Budget is available here.  As of right now, no across the board cuts have been done, however resistance on certain topic areas from the divided Legislature is expected in the coming months.  

New Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services
Exciting news as Cuomo's 2015 Agenda includes creation of an Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services.The purpose of the Office will be to assist community and faith-based organizations to deliver social services to the most needy areas. The Office will, among other things:  
  • Work with the state's Nonprofit Coordinating Unit to help faith-based community organizations with grant opportunities as well as provide assistance in completing grant applications;
  • Help faith-based community organizations work with the Department of State and other government agencies in order to maximize resources and opportunities to provide services in their community, including federal Community Service Block Grant funds;
  • Help build the capacity of faith-based organizations to provide community services;
  • Organize local meetings for networking and other opportunities; and
  • Work with Empire State Development to help and encourage development of businesses.
Karim Camara, currently a member of the State Assembly,has been appointed to serve as Executive Director of the Office. Mr. Camara is an ordained minister,. and was the founding and Senior Pastor of Abundant Life Church in Brooklyn.  

This email was sent to amarietta@nycon.org by avanderwarker@nycon.org  

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