With continued focus on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP):
- NCACC has created a webpage to house resources and other updates for counties on the Local Fiscal Recovery Funds and other ARP provisions. Visit HERE, which will continue to be updated as U.S. Treasury releases additional guidance.
- The National Association of Counties (NACo) hosts a COVID-19 Recovery Clearinghouse with many details on the landmark legislation.
Activity continued at a brisk pace in the General Assembly with dozens of committees meeting this week. Appropriation sub-committees continue to meet as a precursor to budget deliberations. NCACC expects the Governor to release his proposed 2021-2022 budget as early as next week. The Senate will take first draft of the budget in the General Assembly this year, followed by the House. As the bill filing deadlines for both the House and the Senate are on the horizon, the number of bills filed daily continues to increase and your county advocacy team continues to analyze and monitor legislation relevant to county interests. Highlights of bills impacting counties can be found below.
- Senate Bill 300: Criminal Justice Reform — filed in the Senate this week, the bill prohibits criminal enforcement of local ordinances (currently a class 3 misdemeanor) and changes violation of ordinances to an infraction punishable by no more than a $50 fine. NCACC asks that you contact your Senator(s) and ask that this section of the bill, Section 14, be removed or amended to be a study as recommended by the General Statutes Commission and filed last year in Senate Bill 855/House Bill 1226 Recodification of Criminal Laws.
- House Bill 220: Assuring Choice of Energy Source — prohibits local governments from adopting any ordinance that prohibits any energy service based on the type or source of energy to be delivered to the end-user of the energy service. The bill is part of a larger national movement to protect natural gas use as the preferred energy source. The bill passed the House Energy and Public Utilities Committee and now heads to the House Commerce Committee for further consideration. NCACC urges you to contact your House member(s) if you have concern with this limitation of local government authority and flexibility. More information, including a statement on this bill by NCACC, can be found in an article HERE.
- House Bill 32: Equity in Opportunity Act — authorizes counties to appropriate funds to provide up to $1,000 per year to students in the county who have received a scholarship grant from the state and are enrolled in a nonpublic school located within the county for the school year, as a supplement to the scholarship funds provided by the state.
This bill is scheduled to be heard next Tuesday in the House Education K-12 Committee. NCACC urges you to contact your House members or members of the House Education K-12 Committee if you have any concerns.
Bills of Note
Senate Bill 90: Social Services Reform/CWBTC Recommendations
— instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to develop policies and procedures related to the provision of foster care in the state. The legislation also appropriates nearly $1 million dollars to improve regional supervision and technical assistance to counties and requires the Department to coordinate with stakeholders, including NCACC, to create training sessions for new county boards of social services members.
Executive Orders and Other Actions
Certain members of Group 4 became eligible
to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in North Carolina this week as COVID-19 confirmed case numbers and hospitalizations declined. N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Cohen also noted that 16% of the state's adult population is fully vaccinated.
The NC DHHS announced
that statewide enrollment for Medicaid managed care opened this week. Most Medicaid beneficiaries will select one of five health plans by May 14, 2021; individuals who do not enroll by that date will be assigned to a plan. Click HERE
for more information.
As noted above, with continued focus on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), NCACC has created online resources
and will continue to update them as more guidance becomes available.
Sales Tax Distribution Estimates/COVID Revenue Updates (March 2021)
NC COVID-19 Student Response Corps returns for 2021
The NC COVID-19 Student Response Corps was launched in May 2020 by Lead for North Carolina/UNC School of Government and the NC Office of Strategic Partnerships, in collaboration with many partners, including the NCACC. Through the Response Corps, students had internships with local government and nonprofit organizations that needed support for COVID-19 response and other efforts.
- Click HERE for more information on this internship program.
- Click HERE to submit a request for an intern.
LGFCU Excellence in Innovation Awards Application Now Open
The 2021 Excellence in Innovation Awards program is now accepting applications. In addition to the ongoing work taking place across county disciplines, special consideration will be given this year to COVID-19 response efforts. Click HERE
for more information on the awards program.
Interested in Hosting a County Management Fellow?
The NCACC and International City-County Management Association (ICMA) are seeking to add host counties for the NCACC-ICMA County Management Fellowship Program, which places recent MPA (Master of Public Administration or Affairs) or MPP (Policy) graduates who are interested in a local government management career into one- to two-year fellowships designed to provide real project experience and fast career growth in a supportive environment. County managers interested in the program should contact Jason King at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit HERE
for more information.