Board Training Bill goes to Interim Study

Last week the House Executive Departments and Administration Committee recommended that the controversial "board training" bill be referred to interim study. Comments during the Executive Session acknowledged that the proposal was overly broad in its targeting of the nonprofit sector and overly narrow in its potential effectiveness.

Senate Bill 186 would impose mandatory board training for all nonprofits with budgets over $250,000 that receive federal, state and/or municipal funding. The NH Center for Nonprofits and many of its members opposed the bill, noting that this would move the state into a deeper and inappropriate policing role of the nonprofit sector and that it had numerous unintended and costly consequences.

The NH Center for Nonprofits was active in leading opposition to the bill on the basis that this legislation perpetuates an inaccurate assumption that the nonprofits that contract with the state are in need of the government’s managerial oversight.  When in fact, the leadership teams of these nonprofits skillfully handle highly complex funding streams and their boards are made up of highly skilled CPA’s, attorneys and other business professionals who are well versed in governance.

“This legislation distracts us from the real problem. For decades nonprofit leaders have provided more and more services for less and less funding. This is unsustainable.” stated Mary Ellen Jackson, executive director of the Center. “The real question before us is how are we, as a state, going to respond to the escalating needs of our growing population of families living in or at the edges of poverty and trying to sustain on part-time minimum wage jobs if we keep cutting resources for the nonprofits that assist these families in getting ahead? The answer doesn’t lie in mandatory four-hour board training.”

The bill now goes to the full House with the recommendation of referral for interim study. Authors of the bill pledge to keep this in motion for the next legislative session. The Center will continue to work with partners to oppose.

Post date: April 21, 2014
Topics: NH Legislative Updates

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