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 4-11.


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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.

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Upcoming Events

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Implementing County Web Accessibility Standards: Overview and Strategy Session

Join NACo as we hear from the DOJ for an overview of the new DOJ guidance, ask questions, and engage in a panel to discuss implementation strategies, challenges, and opportunities for counties. 


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).


Prevention to Treatment: Substance Use Disorder Solution Strategies

Our discussion will cover what's available, what's currently working, differences in approach, and potential strategies for various populations including the underserved population.

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Transforming Justice Through Collaboration

Join NACo to discuss how to leverage cross-system partnerships to address root causes leading to justice involvement.

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NACo Cyberattack Simulation: Financial Access

Financial transaction systems are prime targets for cyber threats due to the value and sensitivity of the data. This cyber simulation assesses risks and fortifies safeguards within financial access systems.

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NACo Cyberattack Simulation: Cloud Security

Cloud computing has become integral to modern business and government operations, offering scalability, flexibility, and efficiency.