The NACo Board of Directors adopted 11 legislative priorities for 2022 at its fall meeting last week in DeKalb County, Ga. The year’s legislative priorities reflect NACo’s long-term mission. The priorities are:
- Restore the balance of federalism and optimize intergovernmental partnership.
- Pass legislation to provide additional flexibility for American Rescue Plan Act’s fiscal recovery funds to ensure our nation’s preparedness and responsivity continues.
- Successful implementation and execution of the bipartisan infrastructure investments and jobs act for county governments.
- Promote mental health and substance use treatment and address essential criminal justice reforms.
- Secure the inclusion of county priorities in farm bill reauthorization legislation.
- Boost advanced broadband deployment and accessibility while preserving local decision making
- Support full funding for Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program.
- Promote county priorities and local decision-making in future of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal rulemaking.
- Maintain election integrity and strengthen election safety.
- Enhance community resilience through regional and local disaster preparedness.
- Promote workforce opportunities and supportive services for county residents to support economic recovery.
Members also heard from Julie Chavez Rodriguez, director of the White House’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, who was introduced by NACo President Larry Johnson.
“Collaboration is our currency,” Rodriguez said. “Especially as we look at the historic and once-in-a-generation investments that are coming to our counties and our communities.”
NACo Executive Director Matt Chase briefed members on the association’s business, including record NACo membership, which now stands at 2,546 members.
Also part of the meeting: The presentation of the Roy C. Brooks Leadership Award, named for former NACo president Roy Charles Brooks of Tarrant County, Texas, in recognition of his leadership and commitment to addressing multi-generational poverty and helping those in underserved communities. The one-time NACo scholarship is partially subsidized by Con-Real LP, through a contribution to the NACo Research Foundation, to help cover the cost of the NACo High Performance Leadership Academy program. The award was presented to Carrissa Jones, supervisor of the DeKalb County Board of Health’s Mothers Offering Resources and Education initiative.
Four NACo members are running for the NACo second vice president position, which will be decided by members at the Annual Conference in July. They are Sonoma County, Calif. Supervisor James Gore; Mercer County, W.Va. Commissioner Greg Puckett; Loudoun County, Va. Supervisor Phyllis Randall and Beaver County, Utah Commissioner Mark Whitney.
Grant Veeder, a NACo Board member who serves as recorder of Black Hawk County, Iowa, delivered his limerick to commemorate the meeting:
Of all groups that come to Decatur
The locals can see NACo’s greater.
That’s nothing new, though
Wherever we go
They find it out sooner or later.