Looking for Superbowl Options During the Conference?

The Ritz will have the game showing in all the bar and lounge areas with no cover charge. If you prefer to make a reservation for a group, click HERE to see more formal group options at the Ritz. Below are some spots in the immediate neighborhood of the Ritz: Stoney’s on L  http://www.stoneysonl.com/ Café…

Collaboration: A Key to Building Stronger Regions

By Valarie J. McCall, Chair, American Public Transportation Association, and Secretary, Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency Congratulations! Input from NARC and its members has helped shape a new federal transportation bill – the first long-term, fully funded surface transportation bill Congress has enacted in ten years. We now transition from prolonged efforts seeking enactment of…

Want to Influence National Energy Policy?

Building energy codes are an effective tool that regions and local governments can use to reduce energy consumption, electricity bills, and carbon emissions. These codes set the minimum energy efficiency requirements for building construction and renovation. Building energy codes improve efficiency by creating construction guidelines and selecting building components, including wall and ceiling insulation, window…

Omnibus Spending Package Details

Congress passed the 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill to keep the government open through the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2016. The legislation includes funding for virtually the entire federal government, totaling approximately $1.15 trillion. The bill avoided the automatic spending cuts set back in 2013 (known as sequestration) in addition to some last…

Omnibus Spending Package Transportation Update

This week, Congress released a $57.6 billion spending package for Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) programs for fiscal year 2016 as part of the larger Omnibus funding package. The THUD bill adopts the policies and funding levels from the newly-passed FAST Act. The plan also reversed cuts from the TIGER grant program to maintain the…

NARC Statement on the FAST Act

“The conference agreement on the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST) is, at long last, a long-term, well-funded transportation reauthorization that contains important provisions for metropolitan and rural planning organizations and their local elected officials,” said Leslie Wollack, Executive Director of the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC). “We applaud Congress for recognizing the vital role…

NUCFAC Releases Ten-Year Urban Forestry Action Plan

After receiving input from nearly 1,000 urban forestry leaders and stakeholders from around the country, the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC) released their Ten-Year Urban Forestry Action Plan: 2016 – 2026 during the Arbor Day Foundation’s Partners in Community Forestry Conference in Denver, Colorado. The plan expands awareness of the benefits that…

NARC Announces Leslie Wollack as Executive Director

Washington, DC (November 19, 2015) – The National Association of Regional Councils’ (NARC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce Leslie Wollack as Executive Director, effective today.  She will succeed Joanna Liberman Turner, who accepted the position of Director of Government Relations for The Hershey Company. Ms. Wollack served as the Deputy Executive Director at…

Surface Transportation Bill Conference Committee Holds First Meeting

Yesterday, the first formal meeting of the Transportation Reauthorization Conference Committee was held. The committee is tasked with resolving policy differences between the House STRR Act and the Senate DRIVE Act to create a final legislative package. Their first order of business was to name Representative Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chairman of the House Transportation and…

Before Today’s Markup… Support Increased Local STP Funding

NARC Members: Today at 10:00 AM ET, the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a committee markup of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (STRR; H.R. 3763). The bill contains a step forward on suballocation of STP, increasing the percentage of the program for local priorities to 55% over the life of the bill.…

House Transportation Bill Released; Markup Scheduled for Thursday

On Friday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee released its proposal to reauthorize the nation’s surface transportation program, in advance of a scheduled committee markup on Thursday, October 22. The Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (STRR) is a three-year bill with an additional three years possible if certain congressional requirements for funding are met.…

NTIA Releases Broadband Funding Guide

The National Telecommunications Information Agency (NTIA) released the Broadband Funding Guide  with information on available federal funding for broadband planning, public access, digital literacy, adoption, and deployment.  While the broadband grant programs funded under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have ended, funding is available through other federal program.  A companion guide, NTIA’s Introduction…

NARC, USCM, NACO and NLC Send CSO Letter to Appropriators

This morning, NARC, along with its partners, sent a letter to House and Senate Appropriations leadership expressing concern over provisions in the Senate’s proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill that, if enacted, would have costly consequences for communities and water utility ratepayers throughout the Great Lakes region.  The organizations…

Contact Congress: Coalition Letter Outlines Local Issues with DRIVE Act

On August 25, the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) and other members of the Local Officials for Transportation (LOT) Coalition (National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, Association of MPOs, and National Association of Development Organizations) sent a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leadership last week outlining…

NARC’s New Regional Solar Deployment Tools

As demand for solar energy continues to grow, many local governments look for strategies to spur solar deployment in their communities. Regional planning organizations are in a prime position to provide tools, guidance, and technical assistance to their member governments to help them increase local solar adoption. The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), as…

Last Chance to Help Increase Local Control of Transportation Funding

Urge Your Senators to Co-Sponsor and Support the Wicker-Booker Amendment #2289 The U.S. Senate will complete work on a multi-year transportation reauthorization bill, the DRIVE Act, by Thursday. An important amendment by Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) would dramatically increase the amount of surface transportation program (STP) funding directed to local governments.…

HUD Announces Affirmatively Further Fair Housing Final Rule

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today released the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Final Rule. This rule aims to equip local communities, States, and Insular Areas with clearer guidelines, new tools, and data to meet fair housing obligations established in law. HUD plans to collaborate with communities to provide tools and technical…

Key Provision of Fair Housing Act Upheld by Supreme Court

Key Provision of Fair Housing Act Upheld by Supreme Court By NARC Intern: Nico Stauffer-Mason On June 25, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision regarding housing discrimination and the administration of affordable housing programs. In Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, the Court affirmed that the Fair Housing…

Senate EPW DRIVE Act Analysis

The Senate EPW DRIVE Act: Lots to Like, But Improvements Needed This week, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee passed out of committee – in a 20-0 vote – a transportation authorization proposal called the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act (S. 1647). The DRIVE Act is a…

The Senate EPW DRIVE Act: Lots to Like, But Improvements Needed

This week, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee passed out of committee – on a 20-0 vote – a transportation authorization proposal called the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act (S. 1647). The DRIVE Act is a six-year bill with $278 billion in contract authority for fiscal years…

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