County Countdown – Nov. 6, 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. New House Speaker

The clock is ticking towards the November 17 deadline to avoid a federal government shutdown, and newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson is pivotal to the negotiations.

  • The county perspective: NACo is advocating for continuity of federal funding to avert operational disruptions for counties.
  • What you need to know: Review key points for counties in the event of a federal government shutdown.

2. Veterans and Military Services

Counties reinforced our commitment to veterans through a dedicated advocacy fly-in, rallying for the passage of critical veteran support legislation.

  • CVSO Act: NACo's Veterans and Military Services Committee joined forces with the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers to champion the Commitment to Veteran Support and Outreach Act.
  • Why it matters: The act would unlock federal funding for County Veteran Service Officers, who in 29 states help veterans secure over $50B annually in VA benefits.
  • Operation Green Light: Show support for veterans and their families today to November 12 by participating in Operation Green Light for Veterans.

3. Bipartisan Mental Health Caucus

Amid rising concerns about mental health, the congressional Bipartisan Mental Health Caucus has emerged as a key group with direct implications for county-level services.

  • Policy commitments: The caucus champions mental health legislation, aiming to improve service access and dismantle stigmas.
  • Local solutions: NACo endorses policy initiatives that enhance counties' capacity to provide comprehensive mental health services.

4. BEAD Program Toolkit

NACo's new BEAD toolkit will guide counties through broadband funding and deployment strategies.

5. NACo Legislative Conference

The 2024 NACo Legislative Conference is February 10–13 in Washington, D.C.

  • Convening leaders: The conference draws nearly 2,000 county officials looking to advance our federal policy priorities.
  • Highlights: This year’s conference will include policy sessions, opportunities to engage with members of Congress, and robust interactions with federal agency representatives.
  • Register today to secure early bird rates and hotel availability.

Featured This Week

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What Counties Need to Know When a Government Shutdown Happens

Counties are calling on our federal partners to work in a bipartisan way to keep the federal government fully operational. As intergovernmental partners, any budget uncertainty at the federal level creates uncertainty at the local level as counties administer federal programs on the ground.

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Operation Green Light for Veterans

Once again this Veterans Day, NACo and the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers (NACVSO) invite the nation’s 3,069 counties, parishes, and boroughs to join Operation Green Light and show support for veterans by lighting our buildings green from November 6-12.


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NACo Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing

Launched in February 2023, the NACo Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing brings together county leaders from across the nation to take action to address the ever-growing mental health crisis from the county government perspective.


BEAD Program Toolkit for Counties

This toolkit is intended to guide counties on the key deadlines, pertinent resources, and other initiatives that are critical under the BEAD and DEA programs. 


2024 NACo Legislative Conference

Washington, D.C.

The NACo Legislative Conference brings together nearly 2,000 elected and appointed county officials to focus on federal policy issues that impact counties and our residents.

Related News


NACo commission on mental health sends letter to Congress

On November 13, members of NACo's Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Committees on Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The Commission called on Congress to support counties in delivering high-quality, assessible mental health services to address residents' comprehensive behavioral health needs in any mental health legislation package. 

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County Countdown – Nov. 20, 2023

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

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U.S. Congress passes second, "laddered" Continuing Resolution to avoid government shutdown

On November 14 the U.S. House voted 336-95 to pass a two-part, or “laddered,” Continuing Resolution to extend Fiscal Year 2023 spending and avoid a government shutdown.

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Bipartisan legislation introduced in House to increase transparency of mail-in ballots

Reps. Katie Porter, Nancy Mace, Kweisi Mfume, Byron Donalds, Gerry Connolly, Brian Fitzpatrick, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Juan Ciscomani re-introduced the bipartisan Vote by Mail Tracking Act to increase transparency of and confidence in mail-in ballots.

Menominee County, Wis. Veteran Service Officer Bruce Wilber (center and right) when he was honored as the Veteran Administration's Veteran of the Day in 2022.
County News

Wisconsin CVSO makes history as first Native American to lead association

Bruce Wilber's presidency of the County Veterans Service Officers Association of Wisconsin is significant for Native Americans, who have served in the military at higher rates than other ethnic groups since 9/11.

Upcoming Events


NACo Cyberattack Simulation: Employee Management

In response to the growing threat landscape and complexity of the interdependent and networked business of counties, NACo is partnering with the Professional Development Academy and their community of CISOs, CIOS, risk managers and cyber leaders to launch cyberattack simulation training.

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Counties Supporting Veterans: Operation Green Light and Beyond

Join this webinar to hear how county leaders advocated for veterans and learn how purchasing supplies from veteran-owned businesses can be part of your year-round smart buying strategy.

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Charting Your AI Growth: Practical Generative AI - Steps for Productivity Improvements

This is the third in NACo's TechKnow series on Charting Your AI Growth. County presenters will focus on steps that they have taken to improve productivity using artificial intelligence.

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ARPA and Beyond: County Perspectives on Using Federal Funds to Address Affordable Housing Challenges

This webinar will examine how two counties leverage their ARPA funds for housing. It will also explore approaches post-ARPA for accessing federal funds from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for housing.



Rural Prenatal-to-Three Peer Learning Network: Centering Family Voice in Local Policy

Join this virtual convening to learn more about how and why county governments can engage families in planning and implementation efforts.

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Care Coordination for Improved Population Behavioral Health

We invite you to join this presentation to discover proven solutions and compelling success metrics from other counties.