ABOUT MANS&C

The Massachusetts Association of Nonprofit Schools and Colleges

The Massachusetts Association of Nonprofit Schools and Colleges (MANS&C) is an organization made up of private, independent schools, colleges and universities in Massachusetts.Our purpose is to monitor and respond to legislative and regulatory activity by the Commonwealth that has a direct impact on the welfare of our membership.

By combining our collective interests and sharing information, we increase our ability to be informed and active in this vital area of mutual concern. Through our legal counsel and collaborative efforts with other organizations that share this mission, we insure that our interests are appropriately articulated and persuasively presented to legislative and regulatory bodies.

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Senator Outlines Sexual Violence Bill at MANS&C Annual Meeting

The sponsor of a bill aimed at preventing sexual violence on college campuses shared his insights recently with guests at the Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Association of Nonprofit Schools and Colleges.

Senate Bill 706 codifies and compliments federal requirements, and establishes new state-level policies for all higher education institutions in the commonwealth. It also includes provisions to change the culture of silence and fear that surrounds sexual violence, according to State Sen. Michael O. Moore.

"It is essential that students know what their options are and get the services they need," Moore, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, told the MANS&C audience.

The measure requires colleges and universities to have a confidential resource advisor who could inform students about their rights and options. It also includes a wide range of requirements on campus safety and security policies, as well as information and training that must be provided to students and staff regarding sexual violence.

The bill received a favorable report from the Higher Education Committee, was redrafted as Senate Bill 2081 and is now with the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

MANS&C Opposes Bills to Tax Nonprofits

MANS&C Legislative Counsel has spoken out against two bills that would allow communities to impose Payments in Lieu of Taxes on nonprofit schools, colleges and universities. In testimony presented at a recent public hearing of the Revenue Committee, Spillane maintained that nonprofits have a constitutional right to tax-exemption on property used for educational purposes.

If the total for its five highest-compensated individuals is more than $2.5 million, House Bill 3526 would require an institution that acquires formerly taxable property to apply for a real estate tax exemption on it or enter into a PILOT agreement with its local community.

Spillane said the bill fails to recognize that when it comes to compensation packages, nonprofits generally cannot compete with the private sector.

"The only way that educational institutions can continue to attract talented employees is to offer strong salaries," he testified. "In Massachusetts, we want our institutions to continue to be the best in the world. We should not penalize them for wanting to attract the best employees in the world in order to stay competitive on the world stage."

Spillane also opposed House Bill 1565, which would require nonprofit schools, colleges and universities to pay local communities 25 percent of what they would pay in property taxes if they were not tax-exempt.

The required payments would drain vital operational funds that are needed to continue to provide educational resources in pursuit of educational excellence, he told the committee.

Most independent educational institutions do not have unlimited resources, Spillane pointed out. In many cases they have been able to grow and thrive because of their real estate tax-exempt status.

"Payments forced under this bill may offer an immediate cash benefit to communities, but the vision here is myopic because such a mandate will assuredly stifle the overall substantive contributions that educational institutions make to their communities," he said.