COVID-19 Prepare, Mitigate, Recover

 View Only

Weekend Coronavirus Legislative Recap & URGENT Advocacy Needed!

  • 1.  Weekend Coronavirus Legislative Recap & URGENT Advocacy Needed!

    Posted 03-23-2020 10:44



    This past weekend was a whirlwind of legislative advocacy and activity. TCG sent out an Action Alert on Friday afternoon that has, so far, generated over 2,200 messages to Capitol Hill. The Senate worked through the weekend to try and pass a large Stimulus Bill but failed to reach the number of necessary votes to succeed. Indeed, part of the problem was that 5 Republican U.S. Senators are suffering from or self-quarantining due to the Coronavirus. Meanwhile, Speaker Pelosi has promised a competing Bill from the House. 


    TCG has learned that the Senate Bill includes $100 million to be distributed by the NEA, expanded eligibility to independent contractors for SBA loans and loan forgiveness, charitable giving provisions have expanded temporarily in the form of a Universal Charitable Deduction capped at $300. Advocacy on ALL of these points continue as advocates try and increase amount and expand provisions further.


    Currently, our efforts need to be directed especially to Republicans in both Houses – here's our current target list:

    • Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
    • Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
    • Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
    • Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX)
    • Sen. Murkowski (R-AK)
    • Rep.  David Joyce (R-OH)

    And, these are the up-to-the-minute 'asks':


    • Ensure that forgivable SBA disaster relief loans are streamlined and support all arts and culture workers by: specifying that access to forgivable loans is available for self-employed workers, increasing the employer eligibility threshold by applying the 500 employee cap to fulltime employees, and eliminating the employer size cap for nonprofit organizations.


    • Support pandemic unemployment benefits for workers ineligible for state unemployment benefits, which will provide essential support for self-employed workers in the arts and culture sector.


    • Support significant COVID-19 relief funding to be administered by the NEA, NEH, and IMLS. Waive matching requirements for grantees for the remainder of FY20 grantmaking, as well as for COVID-19-specific grantmaking.


    • Encourage charitable giving by increasing the allowable amount of the proposed $300 above-the-line tax deduction, available to taxpayers that do not itemize their returns, and remove the AGI limits on incentives for charitable giving.


    • Ensure arts eligibility for additional forms of disaster relief that will support communities during the COVID-19 crisis, such as Community Development Block Grants, education and lifelong learning programs, and health and wellness initiatives.


    Please keep those messages coming to Capitol Hill today! Feel free to include these specific points above in your messages to your elected officials. This Action Alert campaign can be used and your message updated from here.


    With best wishes,




    Laurie Baskin

    Director of Research, Policy & Collective Action

    Theatre Communications Group
    520 Eighth Ave, 24th Floor

    NY, NY 10018

    T: 212 609 5900, ext.228

    F: 212 609 5901


    Theatre Connects, Inspires, Unites – Make a Gift Today!

    Become a TCG Member – Join Today!