Tax Reform Update

As Congress heads towards the end of President Trump’s first year in office, the House begins acting on the promised tax reform legislation. The House push to adopt tax reform legislation will continue for the next several weeks with committee hearings, debate, and ultimately a vote. Supporters of the legislation who claimed that it would simplify…

Flood Insurance Agreement Compromise

On Friday, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) announced they have negotiated an agreement for a long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, “being from Louisiana and Texas, we are all-too familiar with the devastating effects of floods and the havoc they wreak on communities.…

CHIP Extended Five Years

On Friday, the House passed a bill to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years, which ran out of funding at the end of September and forced some states to cut benefits for low-income children that did not qualify for Medicaid coverage. Most Democrats voted against the bill because of the way…

Today is National Weatherization Day!

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is celebrating National Weatherization Day by highlighting their Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). For 40 years, WAP has been helping low-income households, seniors, and those with disabilities save on energy costs. For those that need weatherization assistance, the office highlighted three easy steps: 1)…

Trump Declares Opioid Epidemic a National Public Emergency

Last Thursday, the administration officially declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. Trump directed Health and Human Services Acting Secretary Eric Hargan to declare the emergency under the Public Health Services Act. This action will make federal agencies provide more funding from their current budgets. This declaration does not allow the federal government…

Mapping the Hard-to-Count Populations in the 2020 Census

The mapping team at the Center for Urban Research of the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center has developed an interactive map of hard-to-count districts for the 2020 Census. Search by congressional district or state legislative district to display hard-to-count neighborhoods and other details. Here are some of their suggestions for using the…

Help Save the Transit Benefit

Last week, the White House and House and Senate Republican leadership unveiled a tax reform framework. As a part of tax reform, Congress is considering eliminating the transportation fringe benefit. This benefit provides commuters with tax-free employer provided parking and transit. Eliminating this benefit would impact almost all commuting Americans. Additionally, eliminating this benefit would…

Senate AV START Act

The Senate autonomous vehicles bill was approved by voice vote out of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee yesterday. An amendment to include vehicles heavier than 10,000 pounds was withdrawn, but Chairman John Thune (R-SD) has indicated this could still be added later by the full Senate. The National League of Cities, National Association of…

Cutting the Red Tape; USDOT Federal Register Notice

On Monday, NARC attended an event with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to discuss regulatory reform and a federal register notice for comments on existing rules and other agency actions that are good candidates for repeal, replacement, suspension, or modification. The presentation included information on USDOT’s vision and background motivation for regulatory reform, and a question…

Video: Dennis Smith on the History of MAG and Its Founder

Jack Debolske, the former head of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns and the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), passed away this month. Behind the scenes, Debolske helped shape the development of the Phoenix area, probably more than any other single figure. Listen to MAG Executive Director Dennis Smith tell us more about the…

FEMA Resources for Hurricane Recovery Efforts

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have been at the forefront of our thoughts for a couple of weeks now. We admire all the hard work our members and partners are doing to respond and recover from the recent aftermath of these catastrophic events. As many agencies, organizations, and individuals continue to provide preparedness and relief efforts…

LOT Coalition Letter Re: Woodall #28

Earlier today, NARC and other local government organizations sent a letter to the House opposing the proposed amendment (Woodall #28) to the Transportation – Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill, Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act of 2018 (H.R. 3354). The amendment would: Eliminate the exemption for STBGP and safety programs, making them subject to…

Maine Using Creative Workforce Programs to Improve State Economy

The Maine unemployment rate hit a 40-year low of three percent this spring. While some were quick to applaud political actions, others were more convinced the success had to do with workforce programs. The state has grown concerned about its shrinking population and deep skills gap, so new workforce programs are underway to connect understaffed…

Attorney General Rescinds DACA Program

In a press conference earlier today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As of today, no new applications will be processed, and renewals under this program won’t be available six months from now (to give Congress time to act). Implemented in 2012, the program allowed people who came…

2020 Census to Determine $6 Trillion in Funding Over Next 10 Years

A new report has been released by George Washington University to better understand the financial impacts of the 2020 Census for states and local areas. In fiscal year 2015 alone, the report shared that 50 states and D.C. received almost $600 billion from 16 large Census-guided programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, and Highway Planning and…

EPA to Host 10 Hearings on WOTUS Rewrite

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally proposed back in July to repeal the “waters of the United States (WOTUS)” rule under the Clean Water Act, which the agency called too vague and far-reaching. EPA is hosting a series of 10 teleconference meetings this fall to discuss how they should rewrite the rule. Nine of the…

Tax Reform Pushed to December

The deadline for tax reform legislation has been pushed yet again to a later date. Roll Call reported that Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) of the Senate Finance Committee expects to pass tax reform around Christmas Eve. In an interview with Financial Times, White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn also predicts tax reform will be…

Opportunity for Cities to Issue First Public Environmental Impact Bonds

Interested in Environmental Impact Bonds (EIB)? Quantified Ventures and Neighborly are looking for Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for two cities to be the first to issue publicly marketed EIBs this fall. Supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, Neighborly and Quantified Ventures will offer their services pro bono to help the selected cities structure, market, and underwrite…

California and San Francisco Sue DOJ Over Sanctuary Cities

The State of California and the City of San Francisco have filed separate lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over the Trump administration’s plans to withhold federal public safety grant funding from cities and counties that do not comply with new sanctuary city policies. They join the City of Chicago, who filed a…

Budget and Appropriations Call Resources

In response to budget and appropriations requests for information, NARC hosted a conference call last week. Both the National Association of Counties (NACo) and National League of Cities (NLC) provided important county and city perspectives during the call. Here are some resources from the call: Call Summary Fast Facts – House Appropriations Fast Facts –…

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