The County Countdown – August 29, 2023

County Countdown

Key Takeaways

Every other week, NACo’s County Countdown reviews top federal policy advocacy items with an eye towards counties and the intergovernmental partnership.

Watch the video and explore NACo resources below on some of the top issues we are covering this week.

AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA)

The U.S. Treasury Department has released a rule detailing how counties can utilize $65.1 billion in ARPA resources for transportation, infrastructure, disaster relief and community development.

  • New Opportunities: This flexibility offers expanded options for counties.
  • Action Plan: Counties are encouraged to strategize about how to align resources with local needs.

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA)

Congress is working on the reauthorization of the FAA.

  • Significance: Counties manage a third of all public airports and invest over $5 billion per year in air transport.
  • Call to Congress: NACo is underscoring the necessity for a lasting FAA reauthorization, emphasizing both airport safety and operational efficiency.

NATIONAL POLL WORKER RECRUITMENT DAY

National Poll Worker Recruitment Day, held August 23, highlighted the essential role of poll workers and the importance of election security.

WEB ACCESSIBILITY

The U.S. Department of Justice has proposed a rule aiming to enhance web accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

  • Timeline: Larger counties (population >50,000) have two years to comply, while smaller counties are granted three years.
  • Next Steps: Counties should assess web platforms and kickstart any necessary enhancements.

HEAVY TRUCKS

NACo and our partners penned a letter to Congress addressing the potential repercussions of altering heavy truck dimensions.

  • Unfunded Mandate: The absence of corresponding funding places unwarranted strains on counties.
  • Advocacy: Counties are advised to voice concerns and explore avenues for possible funding to counterbalance infrastructure ramifications.

FEDERAL LAND OWNERSHIP

Mariposa County, Calif. Supervisor Miles Menetrey provided insights on behalf of NACo on wildfire management during a field hearing conducted by the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee.

  • Challenges: Central to the discourse were the obstacles arising from federal land ownership, which necessitate collaborative interventions.
  • Collaboration: Wildfire management and the safety of our communities depends on collaborative discussions and unified efforts among the levels of government.

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