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Lopez, McKnight & Karabinchak Bill to Aid Non-Profits Unable to Deliver on State Contract Requirements Due to COVID-19 State of Emergency Clears Assembly

To give greater flexibility to non-profit organizations unable to fulfill the terms and conditions of their public contracts or agreements, the full Assembly passed legislation 80-0 Thursday. The measure would allow State agencies to provide waivers of contract penalties and to modify contract terms in the event a non-profit is unable to perform as a result of the public health and state of emergency declarations under Executive Order No. 103 of 2020.

Under the bill (A-3996), non-profit organizations would need to submit supporting documentation and would be awarded waivers as deemed feasible and appropriate. A non-profit would also be permitted to request modification of the terms and conditions of their public contract with a State agency. Provisions of the legislation would apply for failures occurring during the period of emergency and within the six months immediately following its end.

Sponsors of the bill Assembly Democrats Yvonne Lopez (D-Middlesex), Angela McKnight (D-Hudson) and Robert Karabinchak (D-Middlesex) issued the following joint statement:

“Our non-profits are no strangers to the difficulties the current state of emergency has presented. Together these organizations are reeling from the impact to their finances, fundraising events and ability to deliver programs. Despite challenges, they continue to stretch resources for the vulnerable populations they serve at a time when demand is rising significantly and need is more critical.

“Providing more flexibility under this legislation will give some much-needed breathing room, so that countless non-profits can get back to the work of helping others. It would ensure those able to safely serve their communities can continue to do so, and that strategies and servicing priorities can be adapted to meet the growing and evolving needs of our communities as they stand today.”

The bill would only apply to State-level agencies, its subdivisions and to any independent State-level authority, commission, or instrumentality. It would not apply to counties or municipalities.

It now goes to the Senate for further consideration.