Ask Congress to Approve Historic Increase for OMS
Thanks to the continuing efforts of museum advocates across the country, the House of Representatives passed a proposed $14 million (35%) funding increase for the Office of Museum Services (OMS) programs at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) earlier this year and a Senate appropriations subcommittee more recently endorsed an identical increase in a draft bill. This would be an historic increase from the current $40.5 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 funding to $54.5 million for museum programs in FY 2022 if these numbers hold. The $14 million increase would be allotted as follows:
- $7 million increase to $33.9 million for Museums for America;
- $1 million increase to $3.3 million for Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services;
- $4 million for Museum Grants for American Latino History and Culture (new program); and
- $2 million increase to $5.2 million for Museum Grants for African American History and Culture.
In addition to those proposed increases, IMLS overall would get an extra $1 million for Research, Analysis, and Data Collection and an extra $1 million for Program Administration.
However, the appropriations process is stuck in slow-moving negotiations. Another temporary funding measure is expected beyond the current December 3 stop-gap, which is keeping the federal government running at last year's funding levels while Congress finalizes a spending package during the coming weeks. In the meantime, please contact your legislators using our template urging them to support this historic increase for OMS.
Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
Signed by President Biden on November 15, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is a new law that includes several provisions of importance to the charitable nonprofit sector, including museums, yet curtails essential relief enacted earlier this year. The Alliance signed onto a statement with other leading national nonprofit organizations that reads in part:
"The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes several priorities that will assist nonprofits and the communities they serve. We are glad to see the inclusion of a Nonprofit Energy Efficiency pilot program that awards $50 million in grants for charitable organizations to make upgrades to their facilities and $65 billion to support broadband access for all. We are disappointed however, that the bill eliminated the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) for the fourth quarter of this year."
Elimination of the ERTC for the fourth quarter of this year will hurt museums that were planning on this relief. The statement also calls for reinstatement plus expansion of the ERTC into 2022. For more information on the IIJA, here's a summary by Independent Sector of relevant nonprofit and civic infrastructure provisions.
What can I do?
- Take Action: Use this template letter from our recent Alliance Advocacy Alert to write your legislators.
- Reach Out: With the enactment of this $1.2 trillion legislation the majority of which will be implemented at the state and local level, we encourage museums to reach out to their state and local government transportation and infrastructure agencies for potential funding opportunities for their transportation and infrastructure needs.
OSHA ETS for Employers of 100 or More (Vaccination/Testing Requirements) Suspended
OSHA is suspending enforcement of the ETS after a federal appeals court upheld a stay on it last week pending litigation. On November 4th, the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. The ETS establishes binding requirements to protect employees of large employers (100 or more employees) from the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace. Here's an analysis from the nonprofit perspective of the new Emergency Temporary Standard, and more information here.
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