Letters to the editor

Items to help nonprofits should be in stimulus legislation

Include the following in the COVID-19 economic stimulus bill:

• Expressly provide charitable nonprofits with $60 billion in any emergency funding. The charitable sector needs an immediate infusion of $60 billion and a mechanism must be constructed for a rapid infusion of cash to those organizations serving immediate needs in communities facing lost and declining revenue due to the pandemic.

• Create a robust universal charitable deduction and allow post-March 1, 2020, donations to be claimed on 2019 and future tax returns. Improve the proposed above-the-line charitable deduction by raising the cap and allowing all taxpayers to immediately claim the deduction on their 2019 taxes and beyond.

• Ensure all nonprofits qualify for new small business loans and remove the Medicaid exclusion and 500-employee caps. Clarify that charitable nonprofits of all sizes are able to participate in the emergency Small Business Loan program by using the tax-law definition of charitable organizations (Sec. 501©(3) public charities). Remove the cap on the number of employees and the language excluding nonprofits from receiving Medicaid reimbursements.

• Increase funding for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program from the existing FY 2020 $125 million to $250 million to help people experiencing dire poverty to obtain rental and utility assistance and food aid.

• Temporarily increase the maximum SNAP benefit by 15% to respond to increased demand for food assistance.

• Increase funding to prevent further homelessness. Provide an additional $15 billion for McKinney-Vento Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) and $5 billion for short-term rental assistance, like the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP).

Miki Strabley, South Bend

Editorial cartoon was in ‘poor taste’

The inflammatory “comic” on the opinion page for Wednesday, March 25, I found to be in poor taste. The “special interests” are really the welfare of the common people and future generations. Big business is looking at only what is good in the short term. There are many people on the lower end of the income scale that are experiencing difficult times and yet nobody questions the bloated budget of the military, only the $600 for low paid employees. Yet the POTUS doesn’t even want to involve the military in this pandemic.

James Norton, Goshen

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