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Assemblywoman Luz Rivas Unveils the California Nonprofit Equity Initiative

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D – San Fernando Valley) unveiled the California Nonprofit Equity Initiative alongside her Legislative colleagues and nonprofit advocates. This legislative package stems from last year’s Joint Select Committee Informational Hearing on the Nonprofit Sector, which brought to light the innumerous challenges nonprofits face while providing essential services to California’s most vulnerable populations.

“Nonprofits are the backbone of our communities. During the pandemic, nonprofits were confronted with staff shortages when critical services were desperately needed for Californians who were evicted, unemployed, sick, or needed assistance. While staff were working tirelessly to provide resources and assistance to their communities, they themselves were not given a lifeline to survive,” stated Assemblywoman Luz Rivas. “Rigid state contracts have left nonprofits empty-handed in regards to paying their staff and the cost of operations. In the thick of the pandemic, I rallied my colleagues to ensure nonprofits were given their fair share of financial assistance to survive, but our nonprofits still need our unwavering support. As Chair of the Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector, I am proud of the legislative package my colleagues and I developed to ensure nonprofit organizations and their staff members are supported while providing struggling communities with the services they need.”

“As Chair of the Senate Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector and part of the California Nonprofit Equity Initiative, I’m proud to present legislation that will increase equity for nonprofits. Nonprofits were on the front lines of the pandemic, providing critical resources to our communities in need,” said Senator Limón (D Santa Barbara). “SB 557 will strengthen the essential partnership between the State and nonprofits and our mutual efforts to deliver vital services to the residents of California.”

“When people talk about taking on homelessness, mental health, wildland preservation, animal welfare, childcare, and much more, they’re talking about government partnering with nonprofits to get work done,” said Jan Masaoka, Chief Executive Officer of the California Association of Nonprofits, the organizing force that led to the development of this bill package. “A crucial component of this relationship is reasonable contracting practices that support equity for nonprofits and the communities they serve. More than 500 nonprofits recently signed a letter supporting the principles that led to these seven bills, and we deeply appreciate the leadership of Assembly Member Luz Rivas in bringing these bill authors together – it’s a strong message about the importance of strong nonprofits in our communities.”

“Nonprofit organizations are the backbones of California. They assist their communities by providing services and support that improve the quality of life for all Californians, while also serving as crucial partners to the state in achieving its goals and objectives. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was largely non-profit organizations that used state and federal funding to operate testing centers and provide vaccine clinics. While we conducted the 2020 Census, community groups across California provided the staff and volunteers to knock on doors and make phone calls. During our wildfire season and our recent bout of winter storms, nonprofit groups have jumped in to help clear debris, feed and shelter those who were evacuated, and assist our first responders. It’s only fair that we do everything we can to ensure that they are fairly reimbursed for their costs and treated as equal partners in California. I’m proud to author SB 336 to make sure that happens, and I’m honored to be a part of this broader coalition of impressive legislators and stakeholders,” stated Senator Thomas J. Umberg, (DSanta Ana).

“AB 590 will ensure all nonprofits serving our communities have fair and equitable access to advanced payments for state grants and contracts. Without access to advance payments, many nonprofits are unable to compete for state funding, while others are forced to pursue loans to cover costs. This legislation will remove a key funding barrier to bolster the nonprofit sector and outcomes for communities,” said Assemblymember Gregg Hart (DSanta Barbara).

“I am honored to be part of the coalition of members determined to modernize the way the state interacts with our nonprofit partners. Nonprofits deliver crucial services to our constituents and we must do everything in our power to facilitate access to funding and grant dollars awarded to nonprofits by the state. AB 696 is a key component in the effort to modernize contracting, and will require the state to provide for and accept electronic signatures, electronic transmission of documents, and electronic funds transfers. These technologies are widely available and it’s time to utilize them at the state level in order to streamline contracting and grant administration with nonprofits. I look forward to working with my colleagues, nonprofit stakeholders, and the Administration on this package of legislation,” stated Assemblymember Josh Lowenthal (D Long Beach).

“I am proud to author AB 860, which streamlines small grants to nonprofits and prevents interruptions in service delivery. It is a privilege to be part of this impressive nonprofit bill package, amongst many of my colleagues and with the support of nonprofit leaders from across the state. These past 3 years have been difficult for everyone. In our calls for need; however, nonprofits stepped up and delivered to our communities without hesitation and with generosity. This bill package will provide the nonprofit sector with much needed support, as they continue to serve our communities during these unprecedented times,” said Assemblymember Avelino Valencia (D Anaheim).

“California nonprofits are the driving force behind the delivery of local services and community assistance. Greater contract flexibility will allow these nonprofits to successfully implement and engage our communities during crisis responses,” stated Assemblymember Vince Fong (R – Central Valley).

"The State of California is a vital partner in delivering services to our most vulnerable communities, but there are many administrative barriers when it comes to grant payments and funding that make achieving our shared goals more challenging. When it comes to serving our unhoused communities across the state, we must ensure that organizations like PATH have the resources and financial stability that are necessary to deliver comprehensive social services. This package of bills will help us provide more equitable pay to our dedicated teams, have greater assurance for financial planning, and ultimately, deliver more programs that end homelessness,” stated Jennifer HarkDietz, Chief Executive Office of PATH.

“Nonprofits provide important services to Californians every day in ways that are innovative and fill important gaps left by traditional government services. It makes sense to ensure that contracting procedures don’t disincentivize collaboration between the state of California and the nonprofit community,” said Beth Hassett, Chief Executive Office of WEAVE. “The California Nonprofit Equity Initiative will strengthen the relationship between nonprofits and the State and ensure all Californians are provided with the resources they need.”

The California Nonprofit Equity Initiative includes 7 pieces of legislation that seek to protect staff and nonprofits, while also modernizing their process:

  • Senate Bill 336 (Umberg) Nonprofit Reimbursement
  • Senate Bill 557 (Limón) California Prompt Payment Act
  • Assembly Bill 590 (Hart) Nonprofit Equitable Access to Grants and Contracts
  • Assembly Bill 619 (Fong) Nonprofit Flexibility
  • Assembly Bill 696 (Lowenthal) The California State Nonprofit Grants and Contracts Modernization Act
  • Assembly Bill 860 (Valencia) Streamlining Small Grants to Nonprofits
  • Assembly Bill 885 (L. Rivas) The California Nonprofit Fairness and Equity Act


Assemblywoman Luz Rivas proudly represents the 43rd Assembly District, which includes the City of Los Angeles communities of Arleta, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sun Valley, Sylmar, North Hollywood, Valley Glen and the City of San Fernando.