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Arkansas enacts nonprofit donor disclosure bill



ARKANSAS – On April 30, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed SB535 into law. The bill bars state agencies and officials from implementing disclosure requirements on nonprofits that are “more stringent, restrictive, or expansive” than those already in force. It also prohibits state and local public agencies from requiring, requesting, or disclosing information about a nonprofit’s donors.

What the bill does

SB535 bars state agencies and officials from imposing annual filing or reporting requirements on nonprofits that are “more stringent, restrictive, or expansive than the requirements authorized by state statute,” except as required or authorized by federal law. This provision does not apply to:

  • State grants and contracts.
  • Fraud investigations.
  • “Regulation or licensing of entities by the Department of Human Services.”
  • “Regulation or licensing by the Department of Labor and Licensing.”

The bill also prohibits public agencies (defined as state and local government entities) from:

  • Requiring a person to provide a public agency with personal information (defined as a “list, record, register, registry, roll, roster, or other compilation of data that identifies a person as a member, supporter, volunteer of, or donor of financial or nonfinancial support to” a tax-exempt nonprofit).
  • Requiring a nonprofit to provide a public agency with personal information.
  • Releasing, publishing, or otherwise disclosing any personal information a public agency already has.
  • Requesting or requiring a current or prospective contractor to provide a public agency with information about the contractor’s financial or nonfinancial support of a nonprofit.

These provisions do not apply to the disclosure of personal information:

  • “Required under a specific requirement relating to reporting campaign contributions, campaign expenditures, lobbying disclosures, or lobbying expenditures.”
  • As part of a public comment in a public meeting or “in another manner that is publicly accessible.”
  • In accordance with a warrant or court order.
  • Used in a legal proceeding.
  • Used by the Department of Finance and Administration for the “administration of tax or motor vehicle laws.”
  • Used by any public agency “with oversight function over a government program for the purpose of an audit specific to the grant program,” provided that the “information accessed is limited to information related to the public agency grant program or grant program funds.”
  • Used by the State Securities Department for administration of the Arkansas Securities Act.