County Countdown – Dec. 18, 2023

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Every other week, NACo’s County Countdown reviews top federal policy advocacy items with an eye towards counties and the intergovernmental partnership. In this week’s edition – our last County Countdown of the year – we are looking ahead to 2024, and some of the top policy issues for counties.

Watch the video above and explore NACo resources below.

1. Government Funding

While federal funding is secured for the first few weeks of 2024, NACo is focused on emphasizing the importance of long-term federal funding, which ensures stable local government activities and effective intergovernmental collaboration.

2. Farm Bill Reauthorization

The extension of the Farm Bill reauthorization to September 2024 provides NACo an opportunity to advocate for local funding in rural development and other county-centric federal programs.

  • Continued priorities: County priorities for the Farm Bill reauthorization include local funding for rural development projects, Good Neighbor Authority and funding for county-administered federal programs.
  • Dive deeper: Explore our Farm Bill primer for county leaders.

3. Mental Health

In the year ahead, NACo will continue to back critical mental health initiatives, focusing on policy changes that will have a significant impact at the county level and where we expect discussion in 2024.

  • Legislative goals: Support for the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy reform will be at the top of our list, among other policy priorities.
  • Get involved: NACo’s Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing continues to advocate for our policy priorities, and will consolidate its final recommendations in summer 2024. Follow those efforts here, and access our MIEP advocacy toolkit here.

4. PILT and Secure Rural Schools

Advocating for full funding of the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and Secure Rural Schools programs remains a key priority for rural and public lands counties, and in the year ahead we’ll also continue to support permanent funding to support those counties.

5. Telling the Story of County Investments

Next year, we will continue highlighting the successes and ongoing importance of direct county funding through legislation like the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

  • Share your story: Share how you are investing these critical resources by applying for a 2024 NACo Achievement Award. All year long, we will source stories and potential congressional testimony from this program to support our advocacy efforts.
  • Tools you can use

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