NCACC Weekly Update — May 21 | Beaufort County Now | NCACC Weekly Update — May 21

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Press Release:

Weekly Highlights

County Advocacy Week Kicks Off Monday!

    May 24–27, NCACC is hosting County Advocacy Week. The four-day event will kick off Monday, May 24, with a live broadcast on NCACC's website from 5–6 p.m. Over the course of the week, there will be a series of virtual engagements to equip our members to advocate for county priorities during this legislative session. Learn more HERE about what you can expect from NCACC to help you in your discussions with state legislators, and the schedule of events.

Legislative Brief

Bills of Note

    House Bill 947: The G.R.E.A.T. Broadband Expansion Act — Establishes a county led Completing Access to Broadband (CAB) program to supplement funds counties will receive through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) with ARP funds received by the State to expand broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas. All 100 counties will be eligible to receive up to $4 million in matching state ARP funds for broadband projects. The bill also expresses the General Assembly's intent to appropriate $400 million for the CAB program. Additionally, it appropriates an additional $350 million state received ARP funds to be used for the GREAT grant program. The bill was heard in the House Appropriations Committee this week and will likely be passed by the full House early next week.

    Senate Bill 172: Additional COVID-19 Response & Relief — Sets up how federal funds provided to the state under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) will be handled. The bill establishes the Local Fiscal Recovery Reserve to hold federal funds received from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund authorized by ARP. It establishes the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to provide funds to local governments for use in accordance with ARP. The bill appropriates $6.4 billion in state ARP funds to specific funds, programs, and state agencies. It sets out the maximum amount of Emergency Rental Assistance funds reserved or allotted for all counites. The bill was heard in the House Appropriations Committee this week and will likely be passed by the full House early next week.

    Senate Bill 722: Revise Municipal Redistricting/Census — Sets up a process for municipalities to move the date of primary elections due to delay in census data. Municipalities would be required to evaluate census data when it is released. If the governing body determines that the districts need to be revised, they may pass a resolution delaying the primary. The legislation does not offer a solution for counties that face similar challenges due to the delay of census data, but does present a starting point for NCACC to work with legislators on a solution. Please share any input you have on the proposed legislation with NCACC.

State Updates

Executive Actions

    Governor Cooper this week released recommendations on a plan to spend the state's portion of Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds. North Carolina will receive $5.7 billion in these funds from the American Rescue Plan over the next two years. In addition to proposals for direct economic assistance for low- and middle-income families, health initiatives, and education funding, the proposal includes multiple grant and matching opportunities to partner with local governments:

  • Matching funds for affordable housing and rehabilitation projects
  • A $1.2 billion broadband initiative, including $600 million for infrastructure with a competitive bidding fund and targeted grants for local projects
  • Matching funds for water and sewer infrastructure projects for distressed, at-risk, and other units across the state
  • Rural downtown transformation grants
  • Competitive grant program for local governments to develop megasites and green infrastructure

    The recommendations also include $64 million to fund a variety of programs addressing food security and food systems, as well as a $350 million hospitality and small business grant program. The Governor's ARP expenditure recommendations will now be reviewed by the legislature.

Department Updates

    With the new and quickly changing guidance, the NC Department of Health and Human Services released recommendations to clarify face covering requirements and other guidelines for employers.

Federal Updates

    The Office of Recovery Programs in the US Department of the Treasury released last week an Interim Final Rule and accompanying guidance for the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Counties should visit the newly-created Submission Portal to request funds directly from Treasury. NCACC held a webinar on May 18 to share information about the recently released guidance. See below for information shared on the webinar:

COVID-19 Resources

    The NCACC COVID-19 Revenue and Budget Report (April 2021) reviews how the COVID-19 public health pandemic has impacted primary sources of local government finance over the past year, and how counties have responded through fiscal planning and budgeting.

NCACC Updates

TODAY: Deadline for LGFCU Excellence in Innovation Awards Application

    The 2021 Excellence in Innovation Awards program is 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. Award applications are due, today, May 21, 2021.

We’ll be Navigating the Current, Charting Our Course at the 114th Annual Conference

    The current is carrying county leaders to New Hanover County this August 12-14! NCACC is releasing information about speakers and session descriptions, starting with leadership training offered during concurrent session blocks.

    Kick off your conference experience Thursday morning with a fun and engaging session on 'Real Colors' Fundamentals: Understanding Yourself and Others, facilitated by NCACC's Kevin Leonard and Amy Bason. Montana's Dan Clark returns on Friday afternoon to facilitate the innovative and interactive Futures Game: Realizing the Long-Term Implications and Consequences of Decisions Made Today. On Saturday morning, longtime college basketball coach and university administrator Dan Kenney shares insight on how to navigate Conflict, Complaints, Confrontation and Compliments.

    Learn more about the conference, view the agenda, and register off the 2021 Annual Conference webpage. The $275 conference registration rate extends through July 15.
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