On Monday, the head of the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, James Sheehan, acknowledged in a speech to an association executives group that he knows many nonprofits will not be in compliance with the Nonprofit Revitalization Act for some time. In recognition of this, they are preparing guidebooks in the “coming weeks” designed to educate and assist nonprofits. He spoke of a “Glide Path” to compliance – slow and steady. He said this year will be about education, not enforcement.
He assured the group that nonprofits will only be asked two questions:
It’s good to hear the AG publicly state what they quietly were telling legislators all along, that they are not looking to enforce the law because they know there wasn’t enough time given for nonprofits to fully comply.
Frankly, to me, this position defies logic as to why a reasonable delay – as we proposed – was adamantly opposed by the AG’s office. Why fast track a law that you know – and state publicly, you are not going to enforce?
Regardless of what the AG does or does not do regarding enforcement, tens of thousands of nonprofits as of July 1st will be:
In our legislative battle for a reasonable extension we heard four primary reasons against it:
The point seems to have been missed that nonprofits are the consumers of this law. We are the ones that have to live with it, warts and all. And, we are the ones risking our fiduciary obligations.
The AG has blinders on if he thinks that giving a free temporary pass solves our compliance problem with the new law. Yes, it helps provides some reassurance to volunteer board members but does not justify the rush.
Isn't Revitalization grand?
Doug Sauer, CEO
New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.
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