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Changes in Eligibility of Charities as of February 2020

State Employee Charitable Campaign Charity Designations

The Attorney General for the State of Texas (AG) recently issued an opinion that impacts the State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC). Texas Attorney General Opinion KP-0282 PDF discusses a new law, Senate Bill 22 PDF, 86th Legislature, Regular Session, that prohibits certain transactions with abortion providers and their affiliates, and finds that the law applies to the SECC. Any participating charities that are abortion providers or affiliates of abortion providers as described in the opinion are now ineligible charities, and any payroll deductions currently in effect to these entities must be cancelled.

The Comptroller’s office has instructed the state campaign manager, United Ways of Texas, to coordinate with the local campaign managers and statewide federations and provide a listing of affected employees to state agency payroll offices no later than Feb. 19. As in all matters related to payroll information, employee data should be treated confidentially.

Upon receipt of the list, each state agency must perform payroll maintenance to remove the now ineligible charity payroll deductions before the February payroll, paid March 2, 2020, is processed. The payroll maintenance must be completed no later than Feb. 25 in order to submit a final payroll for processing. To ensure the affected payroll deductions are promptly cancelled, CAPPS Central and CAPPS Hub agencies are required to perform the payroll maintenance centrally instead of delegating the responsibility to the employee via Employee Self Service.

If an employee has other charity deductions, the agency is to reduce the charitable deduction affiliated with the ineligible charity while leaving the remaining deductions intact. This may mean decreasing the deduction amount within the same local campaign or statewide federation by the amount of the ineligible charity.

Because the 2019 SECC Campaign is now closed, employees may not re-designate the cancelled payroll deduction to a new eligible charity. However, an employee may choose to increase the amount authorized to another existing charity designation, if applicable. A state employee may authorize a change only by submitting a written authorization or electronic deduction authorization change to the employee’s employer.

Institutions of higher education and community and junior colleges process payrolls independently of the Comptroller’s statewide payroll systems; therefore, each entity must determine the appropriate method to implement the AG opinion. Employees of institutions and community and junior colleges might be impacted because local campaign managers and statewide federations have been instructed to change the distribution percentage to the ineligible charities to zero and recalculate the percentages for the remaining eligible charities.

State agencies, institutions, community and junior colleges should notify their affected employees of this matter. A sample communication to your affected employees is provided.

For more information:

  • USPS agencies may call the USPS help desk at (512) 463-4008 or contact their Comptroller representative.
  • CAPPS agencies may call (512) 463-2277 or enter a service ticket into the application service provider (ASP) Solution Center.
  • Institutions of higher education may call the HRIS help desk at (512) 463-4008 or contact their Comptroller representative.