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Cabinet secretaries, federal agency expo to headline 2023 NACo Legislative Conference

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Key Takeaways

NACo’s Legislative Conference has always served as a meeting place for county and federal officials, but 2023’s edition, set for Feb. 10-14, will widen the scope of that interaction for 2,000 local elected leaders. 

A federal agency expo at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. Feb. 13 will bring over 100 federal officials representing 50 offices from 28 agencies in one place, ready to engage with conference attendees. That includes the Treasury Department, the Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency and more.

General Sessions will offer a variety of perspectives from leaders in the executive branch. 

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Jack Markell, U.S. ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, will address the Feb. 13 General Session. Buttigieg is a former mayor of South Bend, Ind., where he served from 2012-2020. 

That session will also include a panel discussion among Presidential Senior Advisors Gene Sperling and Mitch Landrieu and White House Deputy Chief of Staff John Podesta, moderated by Susan Rice, director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will address county officials at the Feb. 14 General Session. 

Yellen served as chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014-2018. She served for three years of the Clinton administration as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and as the chair of Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1997-1999. 

The conference opens Friday, Feb. 10 with the all-day CIO Forum, with sessions touching on cybersecurity, infrastructure, data-sharing and digital equity. 

Members of NACo’s 10 policy steering committees will meet Saturday, Feb. 11 to receive federal updates on their issue areas and pass interim policy resolutions guiding NACo’s advocacy efforts. A first-time attendees breakfast will help new conference-goers get a handle on the various offerings and opportunities. 

On  Feb. 12, members of NACo’s Rural Action Caucus (RAC), Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) and Western Interstate Region will discuss matters that transcend steering committees. Educational workshops will offer best practices for implementing the American Rescue Plan Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, using harm reduction strategies in substance abuse and more. Attendees are invited to a conference-wide Super Bowl LVII event. 

Feb. 13 will also feature summits addressing broadband, solutions for the country’s mental health crisis and wildfire resiliency and public lands management. Health and Human Services Secretary  Xavier Becerra will address the mental health summit. He previously represented part of Los Angeles as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Following the Tuesday, Feb. 14 General Session, members will head to Capitol Hill for a group picture and  meetings with their federal representatives. Others can attend the RAC Day of Action at NACo’s office located at 660 N. Capitol Street NW, focusing on the 2023 farm bill. 

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