County Countdown – May 7, 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.

FAA Reauthorization Bill

Congressional lawmakers have unveiled a bipartisan, five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill.

  • What’s included: The legislation seeks to enhance funding for airport improvement programs and streamline project delivery.
  • Counties matter: Counties support 34 percent of the nation's public airports and invest over $5 billion annually in air transportation.
  • Learn more: NACo examined Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments in county infrastructure.

2024 Farm Bill Proposals

The House and Senate Agriculture Committees released proposals for the 2024 Farm Bill, including important provisions for counties.

  • Key priorities for counties: The proposals include vital support for SNAP, rural development programs, public land management authorities, and investments in programs for new and beginning farmers and ranchers.
  • Next steps: NACo urges Congress to continue moving the Farm Bill swiftly through the legislative process. Check out NACo’s Farm Bill primer for more.
  • The current Farm Bill expires September 30.

Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced $1.2 billion for transportation safety planning and construction projects.

  • County eligibility: Counties are eligible to apply directly for funds, with an 80 percent federal cost share.
  • County impact: Given counties' oversight of 45 percent of roads and 38 percent of bridges in America, safety remains paramount.

Local Government Energy Program

The U.S. Department of Energy has allocated $18 million for the Local Government Energy Program.

  • Highlights for counties: The Local Government Energy Program supports renewable energy projects in disadvantaged communities and small- to medium-sized counties.
  • County eligibility: Eligible projects span building energy efficiency and clean transportation.
  • How to apply: Applications are open now through May 31. Learn more here.

EXPLORE Act and Natural Resources Legislation

The House passed the bipartisan EXPLORE Act, aiming to enrich outdoor recreation opportunities on public lands.

  • Bill impact: The bill supports gateway communities, modernizes technology, streamlines permitting, manages park overcrowding, enhances accessibility and promotes recreation for service members and veterans.
  • Also of note: The House also passed a series of key natural resource and public lands legislation, addressing a range of issues impacting public lands counties and residents.

Second Chance Reauthorization Act

The House introduced the Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2024 with bipartisan backing.

  • Extending funding: The legislation aims to extend funding for Second Chance Act programs over five years.
  • Supporting county priorities: These programs support counties by improving reentry services, reducing recidivism, and strengthening public safety.
  • Learn more: See NACo’s Second Chance Act advocacy.

Featured This Week

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Advocacy

House and Senate leaders release text of 2024 Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization compromise

House and Senate leaders release text of 2024 Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization compromise.

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Primer for Counties: 2024 Farm Bill Reauthorization

Administered by the USDA, the U.S. Farm Bill helps counties make critical investments in infrastructure, economic development, workforce training, nutrition and conservation within some of our nation’s most underserved communities.

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Advocacy

UPDATED: USDOT announces availability of $1.2 billion through Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program

On February 21, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the availability of $1.2 billion through the Safe Streets and Roads for All competitive grant program in Fiscal Year 2024 for transportation safety planning or construction projects.

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Advocacy

U.S. Department of Energy announces $18 million for Local Government Energy Program

U.S. Department of Energy announces $18 million for Local Government Energy Program

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Advocacy

House Passes Historic Outdoor Recreation Legislation

The U.S. House passed the bipartisan EXPLORE Act (H.R.6492) on April 9 to boost outdoor recreation opportunities on public lands and aid local economies

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Advocacy

Congress introduces Second Chance Act reauthorization

On April 16, the Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2024 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives with robust bipartisan support. NACo supports this legislation, which would reauthorize funding for Second Chance Act programs for five years. 

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Upcoming Events

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Beautifying Brownfields: An Unexpected Opportunity for Your Coal Community

Join the BRECC National Network this May and learn how key federal resources can support innovative brownfield redevelopment projects in energy communities.

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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.

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Building a Behavioral Health Continuum of Care: The Role of Rural Leaders and Behavioral Health Directors

This webinar is hosted by the National Association of Counties (NACo) in partnership with the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Development Disability Directors (NACBHDD).