County Countdown – Dec. 5, 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.

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

1. Federal Budget

Recent congressional action has led to a short-term government funding solution, including specific implications for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Farm Bill reauthorization.

  • Continuing resolution: The House and Senate passed a law funding the federal government through early 2024, ensuring continuity for several federal programs.
  • County specifics: The agreement includes extending funding for the NFIP through February 2, 2024, and pushing the Farm Bill reauthorization deadline to September 30, 2024.
  • NACo advocacy: We are actively promoting county priorities in these extensions and in broader 2024 appropriations.

2. Federal Forests

Fremont County, Colo. Commissioner Dwayne McFall testified before the House Committee on Natural Resources, emphasizing the need for healthy federal forests.

  • Local leadership: The testimony highlighted public lands challenges and supported the Locally Led Restoration Act, H.R. 4717.
  • Policy impact: This act would foster resilient federal forests, aligning with county interests in public land management.

3. Mental Health

As the year-end approaches, NACo continues our mental health advocacy efforts in Congress.

  • Legislative focus: Continued support for the bipartisan Due Process Continuity of Care Act to maintain Medicaid benefits for pre-trial detainees.
  • Workforce investment: Advocating for increased funding for programs that recruit and retain behavioral health workers.
  • Commission's role: NACo's Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing is urging policymakers to consider inclusive mental health policies.

4. Housing Affordability Initiatives

NACo's Housing Affordability Task Force engaged with White House and federal housing officials and private sector leaders, focusing on the task force’s policy recommendations and innovative solutions like commercial to residential conversions.

  • Strategic roundtable: Discussing diverse strategies to address housing affordability challenges.
  • Congressional briefing: Task force leaders educated lawmakers on county roles in housing and advocated for NACo’s federal housing policy priorities.

5. 2024 NACo Legislative Conference

Don't miss the chance to shape federal policy at NACo’s 2024 Legislative Conference – registration is now open!

  • Collaborate and influence: Engage with congressional members and federal agencies to advance county priorities. This year’s conference will feature informative sessions, policy summits and a federal agency expo.
  • Secure your spotRegister today to secure the best registration rates and hotel availability.

Related News

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County Countdown – Feb. 20, 2024

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

President Joe Biden addresses the General Session audience at the NACo Legislative Conference Feb. 12. Photo by Denny Henry
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President stresses partnership with counties

President Biden detailed how the legislation he has championed has relied on counties to make the most of it.


President addresses county officials

President Joe Biden addresses county leaders at the 2024 NACo Legislative Conference.