NY AG's Initiatives to Strengthen and Revitalize New York Nonprofits

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On February 16, 2012, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched a comprehensive plan to reform and revitalize New York’s nonprofit sector, which, according to Schneiderman, has been saddled with too much red tape, convoluted statutory requirements, and fraud and abuse.  Attorney General Schneiderman described this initiative as the “most significant reform effort in decades,” which will include legislation to eliminate outdated and costly regulatory burdens on nonprofits; strengthen oversight and accountability; and grant the New York Attorney General’s office specific authority to challenge improper self-dealing at nonprofits.  In addition, Attorney General Schneiderman’s plan includes partnerships with business and academic communities to enhance nonprofit governance.

In launching this reform effort, Attorney General Schneiderman stated that “[f]or too long, New York’s regulatory framework has placed unnecessary burdens on nonprofits, which are simply untenable during these challenging financial times.  We can be tougher on policing fraud without imposing needless burdens and costs on this vital sector of New York’s economy.”

Attorney General Schneiderman’s plan to overhaul nonprofit laws stems from a recent report issued by the Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization.  In 2011, Schneiderman tasked the committee, consisting of key nonprofit leaders from across the state, to recommend proposals to reduce nonprofits’ regulatory burdens, while strengthening nonprofit governance and accountability.  The initiatives proposed by Attorney General Schneiderman are a direct result of the committee’s recommendations and are outlined below. 

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