On June 10-12, NACo’s Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) traveled from
counties across the nation for the 2014 LUCC Fly-In held in Washington D.C. The
three-day event brought together leaders from America’s urban counties to
discuss pressing legislative and policy priorities before federal policymakers
including surface transportation reauthorization, protecting tax exempt
municipal bonds and the Marketplace Fairness Act.
On June 11, LUCC Chair, Commissioner Roy Brooks, Tarrant
County, Texas, moderated a transportation briefing
at the National Press Club. The briefing called on Congress to pass a long-term
surface transportation reauthorization bill and address the solvency of the
Highway Trust Fund which is expected to dry up later this year. At 45
percent, counties own and maintain the greatest share of the nation’s road
miles and counties also own more than 39 percent of our nation’s bridges and
are stewards to more than a third of the nation’s transit systems and airports.
Unless congress acts, counties could lose billions of dollars in federal
From Illinois, DuPage
County Board Member – and Chair of NACo’s Transportation Steering Committee
– Jim Healy discussed the major role that DuPage County’s road system plays in
moving goods both regionally and throughout the global market. Commissioner
Peter McLaughlin of Hennepin County, Minn. also addressed the group and
reiterated the need for a long-term transportation bill, “A patch isn’t going to do it. We need to have a
solid six-year plan.”
LUCC members also met with U.S. Department of Treasury’s
Adam B. Chepenik, Deputy Director, Office of State and Local Finance and Gary
Grippo, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Government Financial Policy to discuss
the new “Office of State and Local Finance.” The new office within the Treasury
Department will oversee a number of issues related to state and local
government fiscal conditions. The introductory meeting between LUCC members and
Treasury officials served as a starting point for a long-term relationship
between agency representatives and local officials.
Chair of the Congressional Urban Caucus, Rep. Chaka Fattah
(D-Pa.), met with LUCC membership at the U.S. Capitol to discuss issues facing
our nation’s large urban counties, including transportation and infrastructure
funding and financing, protecting tax-exempt municipal bonds and passing the
Marketplace Fairness Act. LUCC members also met with top legislative
staff for Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) to discuss the Marketplace Fairness Act.
Rep. Chaffetz is taking the lead on this piece of legislation in the House,
which has been the most progress on this legislation in over a decade.
On June 12, LUCC members
met with several key administration officials at the White House to discuss
several issues important to metropolitan communities. LUCC members were
joined by Dan Katz, Counselor to the Secretary at U.S. Department of
Transportation; David Agnew, Director of the White House Office of
Intergovernmental Affairs; and Rohan Patel, Special Assistant to the President,
Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.
Over the course of the fly-in, LUCC members delivered the
message that all levels of government must work together to find innovative
ways to meet the needs of our communities and jump-start our local
economies. Furthermore, LUCC members urged Congress and the Administration to include county
officials in any and all legislative and regulatory discussions that impact
counties and highlighted a number of pioneering programs in their communities.
Contact: Landis Rush at email@example.com or 202.942.4236