County Countdown – March 19, 2024

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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.

1. Government Funding Success

Congress passed a fiscal year 2024 minibus appropriations package, including key county priorities.

  • PILT program funding: A victory for counties, ensuring $515 million for the PILT Program.
  • Mental health and broadband: Gains for mental health and rural broadband with provisions for IMD waiver expansion and the ReConnect Program.
  • Upcoming deadlines: The pressure is on with a March 22 deadline to finalize the rest of 2024's federal spending. 

2. FCC's Intergovernmental Advisory Update

FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel appoints county-recommended leaders to the Intergovernmental Advisory Committee.

  • New appointments: Four county leaders begin a two-year term advising on broadband services and deployment.
  • Get all of the details here.

3. BIL Funding Analysis for Counties

NACo recently released a new report examining the investments made at the county level from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as BIL.

  • Report findings: As of November 2023, more than $127 billion in transportation funding has been awarded, including $50 billion in discretionary awards; however, only a fraction of these funds are direct investments in counties.
  • Call for equity: A more equitable distribution of infrastructure funding, such as direct and flexible allocations to all counties, parishes and boroughs, is crucial for ensuring the continued performance of our national transportation network.

4. Child Care Funding Rule

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a final rule affecting the Child Care and Development Fund, raising concerns for county-run programs.

  • Funding implications: Counties managing CCDF in eight states could face funding challenges under the new rule.
  • Area of concern: NACo remains concerned that absent additional federal funding, implementation of the CCDF final rule will require difficult tradeoffs that could impact access to the program.

5. National County Government Month

April celebrates the essential services and achievements of county governments.

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Robert's Rules 101: Mastering the Basics

Robert’s Rules can help you run an efficient, effective meeting – who wouldn’t want that! This virtual workshop, a part of the County Leadership Curriculum, teaches the basics of Robert's Rules and how to apply them.