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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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Illinois Mandated Reporter Changes: Clergy, Child Care Workers, and Other Mandated Reporters

On January 1, 2020, significant changes to the Illinois mandated reporter law will take effect for addressing child abuse and neglect issues. These changes are particularly important for all persons who care for children, such as in houses of worship, schools, and social service organizations. New training requirements apply for all mandated reporters, with clarification that all child care workers qualify as “mandated reporters.” Clergy members’ reporting obligations are now expanded, but their privilege not to report remains under certain circumstances.

NONPROFIT LAW NEWSFEED

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Announces Proposed Rule Regarding Equal Treatment of Faith-Based Education Institutions, Provides Updated School Prayer Guidance

U.S. Department of Education  Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education is taking several concrete actions to protect religious liberty and ensure the Department is acting in accordance with the First Amendment. The Department announced a proposed rule ensuring the equal treatment and constitutional rights of religious organizations and faith-based institutions, as well as First Amendment freedoms owed to students on campus. As directed by Congress, the agency will also release updated guidance regarding constitutionally protected prayer in schools.

Expedited Parking Tax Refunds Requested From IRS

ECFA  In a letter dated January 8, 2020, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee leadership (Richard E. Neal, Ways and Means Committee Chairman and John Lewis Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight) have called on the IRS to establish an expedited process for tax-exempt organizations to obtain refunds of unrelated business income on parking and transportation benefits provided to their employees.

A woman sued a church for reporting her husband's sex abuse confession to the police

CNN  An Oregon woman whose husband is in prison for sexually abusing a child is suing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for reporting his confession to state authorities.

Virginia Supreme Court favors GMU Foundation in donor records suit

Fairfax County Times  As a privately held corporation, the George Mason University Foundation is not obligated to disclose records under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the Virginia Supreme Court determined on Dec. 12.

Baltimore’s Book Thing loses tax-exempt status, will temporarily shut down

The Baltimore Sun  The Book Thing of Baltimore lost its nonprofit status and will be temporarily shutting down after the new year, according to a statement posted to its website.

Mormon Church accused of stockpiling billions, avoiding taxes

CNN  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon Church, responded Tuesday to a recently filed whistleblower complaint that accuses the church of stockpiling $100 billion in accounts intended for charitable works, misleading members and avoiding taxes.

Lab makes millions on mouse sales so why is it tax-exempt?

The Ellsworth American  As the second phase of development of The Jackson Laboratory’s roughly $225-million mouse production facility on the former Lowe’s property gets underway, some residents have wondered how a nonprofit can run a commercial operation and retain its nonprofit status.

Christian groups divided on Fairness for All Act

Baptist Standard  A congressional proposal that seeks to balance religious freedom and equal protection for LGBT citizens has received a mixed reaction from Christian organizations.

Beach town threatened with lawsuit for banning nativity display from boardwalk

CP Politics  A nonprofit legal group is accusing a Delaware beach municipality of violating the First Amendment by banning a Catholic church’s nativity display from the bandstand circle at its town boardwalk.

Cybersecurity still a major issue for non-profits

The Daily Swig  Thousands of donors to a children’s charity were put at risk last month after the database storing their personal information was made publicly accessible and readily available to criminals online.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Announces Proposed Rule Regarding Equal Treatment of Faith-Based Education Institutions, Provides Updated School Prayer Guidance

U.S. Department of Education  Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education is taking several concrete actions to protect religious liberty and ensure the Department is acting in accordance with the First Amendment. The Department announced a proposed rule ensuring the equal treatment and constitutional rights of religious organizations and faith-based institutions, as well as First Amendment freedoms owed to students on campus. As directed by Congress, the agency will also release updated guidance regarding constitutionally protected prayer in schools.

Expedited Parking Tax Refunds Requested From IRS

ECFA  In a letter dated January 8, 2020, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee leadership (Richard E. Neal, Ways and Means Committee Chairman and John Lewis Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight) have called on the IRS to establish an expedited process for tax-exempt organizations to obtain refunds of unrelated business income on parking and transportation benefits provided to their employees.