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Wagenmaker & Oberly provides legal counsel to NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS across the nation with offices in Chicago and Charleston.

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School Prayer and Other Religious Expression: Important 2020 Updates

​To what extent is public school prayer and other religious expression legally protected?  This may seem like an academic question, since children are now largely limited to remote learning. As teachers, parents, and children look ahead to resuming in-person school activities, the U.S. Department of Education’s updated “Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer and Religious Expression in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools” provides helpful clarification about applicable religious freedom protections. Such guidance may be particularly important for those who have found comfort and hope through their faith, while living through the COVID-19 pandemic.

NONPROFIT LAW NEWSFEED

Nonprofit Officials Spent $400,000 in Welfare Dollars to Lobby State Government and Received Public Education Funding

Mississippi Today Prominent special education figure spent hundreds of thousands of welfare dollars that her nonprofit had received from the state to cull favor and lobby state government for the private school's interests, according to interviews and documents.

In Federal Lawsuit, Two Minnesota Churches Ask Judge to Fully Reopen Places of Worship

StarTribune Two churches suing Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz over his stay-at-home order asked a judge on Monday to fully reopen places of worship, alleging the relaxed restrictions starting this week continue to violate their First Amendment rights.

Rumford Free Catholic Library Sues Town and Officials Over Taxes, Defamation

Sun Journal A nonprofit group is suing the town of Rumford and others in federal court, stemming from a failed effort in seeking a rebate on its property tax bill in that town, claiming it was a religious charity.

DOJ Announces First Charges of Alleged COVID-19 Stimulus Relief Fraud

ABC News The Justice Department announced its first series of charges targeting fraud in the COVID-19 stimulus relief package for small businesses on Tuesday after two Rhode Island men allegedly filed for more than half a million dollars in loans to help pay employees that the government says do not exist.

Evangelical Church in California Sues Gov. Newsom over Coronavirus Restrictions

Los Angeles Times A small San Joaquin County evangelical church that was forced to stop meeting for Sunday services because of coronavirus restrictions is suing Gov. Gavin Newsom, arguing the state’s public gathering ban violates First Amendment rights to religious freedom.

Tax in the Time of Corona: Deductibility of Donations

PhilStar Global The announcement of the extension of the quarantine coincided with the issuance of the DOF and BIR of Revenue Regulations No. 9-2020 (RR 9-2020) on the deductibility of donations to purposely address the fight against COVID-19.

Loss Carrybacks Can Help Nonprofits but IRS Direction Is Limited

Bloomberg Tax While recent IRS guidance provides nonprofits much-needed direction on using losses to lower taxable income from previous years, the agency will need to do more to help the entities take full advantage of the benefit.

Religious Freedom Attorneys Pick Their Battles Amid Pandemic

Star Tribune As states grapple with when and how to reopen establishments amid the pandemic, religious freedom remains a legal flashpoint – particularly for the conservative nonprofits that have taken a leading role in representing churches which have challenged stay-home orders.

Ohio AG's Lawsuit Alleges Abuse of Charitable Funds at Worthington Nonprofit

ABC 6 Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against a Worthington charity and its founder for alleged misuse of charitable funds.

Nonprofit Internet Archive Defends Massive Online 'Emergency Library'

Bloomberg Law The Internet Archive, a nonprofit, digital library that offers free checkouts, is defending the expansion of access to its 1.4 million-book collection, claiming fair use while public libraries are paralyzed by the coronavirus shutdown.

Nonprofit Officials Spent $400,000 in Welfare Dollars to Lobby State Government and Received Public Education Funding

Mississippi Today Prominent special education figure spent hundreds of thousands of welfare dollars that her nonprofit had received from the state to cull favor and lobby state government for the private school's interests, according to interviews and documents.

In Federal Lawsuit, Two Minnesota Churches Ask Judge to Fully Reopen Places of Worship

StarTribune Two churches suing Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz over his stay-at-home order asked a judge on Monday to fully reopen places of worship, alleging the relaxed restrictions starting this week continue to violate their First Amendment rights.