New Office of Recovery Programs
To consolidate and lead efforts on allocating assistance from the American Rescue Plan, the US Department of the Treasury established this week
a new Office of Recovery Programs.
Ways to Expedite Allocation Payments
The US Department of the Treasury also released pre-award requirements
for counties and other State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund recipients to expedite direct payments when the allocations begin.
Returning from a legislative "spring break," the General Assembly held many committee meetings while House members continued to file legislation ahead of next month's bill filing deadline. Committee work of note to counties includes school calendar flexibility and development of regulation reform.
House Bill 401/Senate Bill 349
: Increase Housing Opportunities — preempts local government zoning authority, primarily around "middle housing" (duplexes, townhomes, etc.), "accessory dwelling units," and downzoning. It also makes other development permitting changes. NCACC urges you to share this legislation with your planning departments for review and share your concerns with your House
member(s) and NCACC
Bills of Note
- House Bill 376: School Calendar Flexibility — approved in the House this week, allows school districts to set an opening date for school no earlier than the Monday closest to August 19 (currently, no earlier than the Monday closet to August 26). The House also approved 16 different local bills granting various local school calendar flexibility impacting dozens of school districts and counties.
- House Bill 425: Development Regulation/Multijurisdiction — modifies land-use regulatory laws to allow a landowner with property in multiple jurisdictions to designate which jurisdiction applies in the absence of a mutual agreement between the local governments, and allows the landowner to enter into agreements with one or more local governments for development purposes.
- House Bill 489: 2021 Building Code and Dev. Reg. Reform — makes changes to the general contractor licensing process and laws pertaining to local governments' ability to regulate erosion. The version passed by the Local Government—Land Use, Planning and Development committee addressed some changes recommended by NCACC based on input from counties. Please share additional concerns with NCACC or your legislators.
- House Bill 527: Recommit Scrap Tire Disposal Funds — amends current law to require 20% of the net proceeds from the scrap tire disposal tax to the state’s General Fund and to distribute the remaining 80% among the counties on a per capita basis (was 30% credited to the General Fund and 70% distributed to the counties). Appropriates $420,000 to the NC Department of Environmental Quality for the Scrap Tire Disposal Account and to be used by the Department to clean up scrap tire collection sites that the Department has determined are a nuisance.
- House Bill 533: County Waste Management Assistance — restores the Scrap Tire Disposal Program within the NC Department of Environmental Quality. The program was eliminated in 2013 and provided grants to counties for recycling of scrap tires. Mirrors the same language as filed in Senate Bill 529 last week.
- House Bill 583: Give LGERS Retirees 2% Bonus — provides a one-time 2% cost-of-living supplement to LGERS beneficiaries living as of September 1, 2021, and for those retiring on or before that date.
- House Bill 592: Remove Restriction on Public School Cap. Fund — eliminates the 5-year forfeiture of allocations from the Public School Capital Fund if a county elects to receive a grant from the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund.
- Senate Bill 717: Taxpayer Bill of Rights — bars counties from imposing new taxes or enacting a tax increase unless voted favorably by the majority of qualified voters in the county. Enacts other spending restraints on the state.
The NC Department of Health and Human Services shared the Joint CDC and FDA statement
on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week.
New Office of Recovery Programs
Visit updated sections of the US Treasury website to learn more about the new Office of Recovery Programs
, which will oversee and coordinate multiple funding programs in the American Rescue Plan, including Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Counties will also want to review the pre-award requirements
, which are similar to steps NC PRO required for CRF disbursement, to prepare for receipt of the Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. The Department notes that program guidance will be released in the coming weeks.
NC Fact Sheet on American Jobs Plan
Monday, the White House released state-by-state fact sheets on the American Jobs Plan. Click HERE
to access the fact sheet for North Carolina.
NCACC Held Webinar This Week on ARP
On April 13, NCACC held an informational webinar for county commissioners and staff on the American Rescue Plan and the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. See materials shared during the webinar linked below.
Visit NCACC's resource page on the American Rescue Plan HERE, which will include updates on information and other events as they are added.
Sales Tax Distribution Estimates/COVID Revenue Updates
NCACC is hosting two virtual meetings for members over the next month:
- April 29 (2–3p.m.) — Medicaid Managed Care Listening Session with PHPs
Medicaid Managed Care Standard Plans will go live July 1, marking a milestone in North Carolina's Medicaid transformation. Representatives of the five prepaid health plans (PHPs) chosen to deliver services to Medicaid beneficiaries will be available to hear concerns and answer questions during this hour-long listening session hosted by the NCACC. County commissioners and county management staff are encouraged to attend.
Indicate topics and questions to address
If you have specific topics or questions you would like to have addressed during the meeting, we request that you indicate those topics and questions on this brief survey. Providing your questions in advance will ensure that the PHPs have the correct expertise and representatives in the meeting.
- May 12 (11a.m.–12:15p.m.) — Creating Emotionally Healthy Workplaces During COVID-19
Leisha DeHart-Davis, Director of the Local Government Workplaces Initiative at the UNC School of Government, will share insight and expertise into recognizing personal stressors, organizational stressors and signs of burnout; and supporting employee mental health during the pandemic and the endemic. County management staff is encouraged to attend, and is welcome to extend the invitation to county department heads.
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.