Press release on UPMIFA in NY

rom: Keith Powers <keith@jonathanbing.com>
Date: Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 3:05 PM
Subject: Governor Signs Legislation to Assist Universities, Cultural Institutions, and Not-for-Profit Organizations
To: Keith User <keith@jonathanbing.com>

For Immediate Release

September 20, 2010

Contact:

Keith Powers (212) 605-0937

Katie Kincaid (212) 490-9535

Governor Signs UPMIFA Legislation to Assist Universities, Cultural Institutions, and Not-for-Profit Organizations

(New York, NY) – Assemblymember Jonathan Bing (D-Manhattan) and State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) today announced that the Governor has signed legislation (A. 7907-D/S. 7448-C) that will improve the ability of universities and cultural institutions to spend their endowments in a prudent manner to preserve programs and staff during economic crises.  The legislation is commonly referred to as Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds (UPMIFA).

The UPMIFA legislation updates a 32-year old law to provide better financial flexibility to institutions amidst an economic downturn.  The new law comes during a time when most investments, including endowments, have lost significant amounts of money and cultural and educational institutions are in danger of major financial hardship. UPMIFA allows for the use of endowments to help fund programs, scholarships, or programs that otherwise could have been lost.

“New York State has taken an important step towards protecting our world class universities and cultural institutions,” Assemblymember Bing said.  “I am proud to author legislation which will allow these institutions to remain solvent during the economic downturn.”

“I applaud Governor Paterson for signing the UPMIFA legislation into law and making meaningful reforms to allow New York State’s museums, universities, and non-profits to continue to thrive,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “Now, these organizations will no longer be forced to operate as if tough times never fall upon us.”

In 1978, New York State adopted the Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act (UMIFA) as a way to regulate charitable donations given to cultural institutions. UMIFA provided that only earnings from such donations could be used by the institution and that if the endowment fell below its “historic dollar value” or the original value, profits from the remaining money could not be used.  The new UPMIFA law updates UMIFA to allow for better flexibility in how to spend the endowments.

New York State is the 47th State (wrong – it is the 48th) to enact the UPMIFA reforms.  The bill was supported by over 60 institutions in New York including New York University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Yeshiva University.

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