2014 LUCC Legislative Priorities
Protect county revenue and investment strategies
LUCC members urge federal policy makers to respect and protect local decision-making authority at the county level. Further, we urge Congress to support the preservation of the federal deductibility of local property and income taxes and the tax exempt status of municipal bonds that provide critical funding for public facilities, infrastructure and development. Furthermore, we support legislative initiatives that permit the collection of existing sales and use taxes from remote sellers. Counties continue to be concerned about efforts at the federal level that would provide preferential treatment to any industry seeking to create its own special immunity from state and local taxation.
Protect the federal-state-local partnership for health
LUCC members support maintaining the federal-state-local partnership structure for financing and delivering Medicaid services. We continue to be concerned about measures that would further shift federal and state health care costs to counties including cuts, caps or block grants. We also support efforts to promote public health and disease prevention and support efforts to extend federal health insurance coverage to all county jail inmates in custody pending disposition of charges.
Support key federal investments in programs that promote local job creation and economic growth
LUCC members support fully funding key federal programs and investments that support the nation’s future economic growth and improved local conditions, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and HOME Program, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and investments in local workforce development programs. We also support county transportation priorities in the reauthorization of the surface transportation bill (MAP-21). Key priorities include continuing dedicated funding for off-system bridges and policies that expedite project delivery. The nation’s counties play a critical role in transportation and infrastructure, owning and maintaining 44 percent of America’s roadways, 45 percent of the nation’s bridges, and own or sit on governing authorities that operate over one-third of the nation’s transit systems. Therefore, we also support counties having an enhanced and defined voice in national, statewide and regional transportation planning.
Invest in evidence-based practices and initiatives to enhance local justice and public safety systems and improve accountability
LUCC members endorse strategies to improve public safety and reduce recidivism, enhance technical assistance and training, and invest in personnel and equipment by providing sustained funding for U.S. Department of Justice programs that support counties. These programs include the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act/Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act and the Second Chance Act. We also support prevention, intervention, detention and diversion programs in the juvenile justice system. Urban counties call on Congress to strengthen the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s preparedness, prevention, response and recovery programs, including the State Homeland Security Grant Program, Urban Area Security Initiative and Emergency Management Preparedness Grant Program.
Promote county priorities within immigration reform
LUCC members urge policymakers to consider the financial impact of immigration on county governments. Counties are required by law to provide health, public safety and education services for these populations. We support comprehensive immigration reform that includes a modernized legal immigration system, establishes a temporary worker program, provides an earned path to citizenship and enhances border security.