Reauthorization of the farm bill, relief from unfunded
mandates, and a renewed focus on rural healthcare and substance abuse are among
NACo's Rural Action Caucus (RAC) 2013 Legislative Priorities. RAC members
adopted the priorities during the group's annual meeting held November 8-10 in
St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.
The purpose of the annual meeting is for leaders in county,
parish, and borough government to discuss the needs and concerns of the rural
Americans they represent and decide how best to influence federal legislation,
regulations and funding affecting rural people, businesses and communities. This
year's meeting was led by RAC Chair Doris Karloff, supervisor chair, Saunders
County, NE and hosted by the Police Jury Association of Louisiana and the
Parishes of Evangeline, St. Landry, and Rapides.
NACo's 2013 Rural Action Caucus priorities include:
- Relief from unfunded mandates;
- Reauthorization of the farm bill with a focus on rural
- Renewed focus on improving rural healthcare and
substance abuse programs with a focus on rural veterans and youth;
- Implementation of the key rural provisions of the
Surface Transportation Law (MAP-21); and
- Securing funding for the Secure Rural Schools and Self
Determination Act and PILT.
Participants also provided input on NACo's strategic
planning process and discussed best practices, solutions and innovations that
can be replicated by other rural communities, such as "smart justice"
system reforms and food system improvements. Other issues discussed include the
potential effects of sequestration – looming automatic, across-the-board
federal spending reductions – and election results.
Erik Johnston ·