October 21, 2019        View this email in your browser
2019 EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS CONFERENCE & BOARD RETREAT
October 27-30, 2019
The Saguaro Hotel

Scottsdale, Arizona
Learn More and Register!
NEWS FROM WASHINGTON
Congress is in session.

Take Action Now:  Support House Funding Levels for Health and Human Services Programs
 
Over the next several weeks, the House and Senate will be drafting a final fiscal year (FY) 2020 omnibus appropriations bill in hopes of meeting a November 21 deadline, when the current continuing resolution expires.
 
The House fiscal year 2020 proposed appropriations bill is overall much more favorable to funding for the Older Americans Act (OAA) and other key Health and Human Services programs. It would increase funding for a wide range of human services programs important to regions, especially those regions that are also designated as the Area Agency on Aging (AAA). In contrast, the fiscal year 2020 Senate Labor/Health and Human Services (HHS) bill would maintain funding at current levels. 
 
The Senate appropriations bill would level the funding for Title III of the Older Americans Act (OAA). The House, in contrast, would increase overall funding by $151 million; a 10 percent increase over fiscal year 2019. The same is true for Title V programs. The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) would be level funded if the Senate fiscal year 2020 appropriations level becomes law; but would increase by about 15 percent if the House funding proposal is adopted. 
 
Other HHS programs such as the Community Services Block Grant and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program would also see a funding increase if the House appropriations bill becomes law. While none of the proposed increases are large, they all represent a movement away from previous fiscal year appropriations, which were either level funded or reduced funding to these important programs.
 
NARC encourages you to:
  • send a letter to your senators and representatives urging them to support the House appropriations recommendations;
  • have your elected officials reach out to their senators and representatives urging them to support the House appropriations levels; and
  • ask your service providers to reach out to their senators and representatives urging them to support the House appropriations level.
A forthcoming blog will provide you with more detail on the House and Senate appropriations bills, as well as links to sample letters and other information.  If you have any questions please contact Neil Bomberg by email (neil@narc.org) or by phone (202 255 2704). 
 
NARC Joins Partner Organizations to Submit Comments on Opportunity Zones
Last week, NARC joined its partners at the International Economic Development Council, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, Rural Community Assistance Partnership, and SSTI to respond to the Department of Commerce’s request for information on Opportunity Zones (OZ). The letter provides our joint responses on questions posed by the Department of Commerce, including “how can public and/or private sector recipients leverage federal grants and loans in a more integrated way?” and “what data would be useful… to evaluate the economic development impact of program investments… in qualified OZs?” Read the letter here.
 
Trump Announces Brouillette as Energy Nominee to Replace Secretary Perry 
In light of Secretary of Energy Rick Perry’s sudden announcement to resign from his post at the Department of Energy (DOE) before the end of the year, President Donald Trump announced he is nominating Dan Brouillette to be the next Secretary of Energy. Brouillette worked at DOE during the George W. Bush administration and has followed Perry’s lead on policy. Both Perry and Brouillette supported a plan to require power plants to carry a 90-day supply of fuel at their facilities, which was rejected by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Brouillette’s current role at DOE has him attending conferences and meetings worldwide to promote the sale and export of natural gas.
 
House Panels Advance Drug Bill Set for Floor Action this Month
The House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Education and Labor Committee both approved a bill designed to limit drug prices last Thursday. The 141-page bill (H.R. 3) includes requirements for the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate Medicare prices for the most expensive drugs, with commercial health plans also having the option of adopting those prices. The upper limit of the negotiated prices would be based on what other wealthy countries pay. The bill would also impose a $2,000 out-of-pocket spending maximum for beneficiaries in Medicare's prescription drug program, Part D. According to preliminary assessments from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill could lead to $345 billion in savings over a decade. Around $42 billion would come from reductions in other medical spending, since CBO estimated that lower drug prices might drive people to use a prescription rather than get a more costly medical procedure. Democrats hope to use the anticipated savings from the bill to expand Medicare coverage.
OTHER NEWS
New Report: What Cities Should Know About Cybersecurity
The National League of Cities, in partnership with the Public Technology Institute, recently released Protecting our Cities: What cities should know about cybersecurity. The guide is designed to better help communities, regions, and local officials prepare for cyber-attacks. The document displays how some cities have fought against hackers and cyber-attacks, compares the cybersecurity preparedness of communities across the country, and uncovers the top ten ways you can improve cybersecurity practices. As more and more daily tasks become digital, it is imperative local governments and officials become protected from malicious cyber-attacks.
 
Most U.S. Adults Intend to Participate in 2020 Census, but Some Demographic Groups Aren’t Sure
As the 2020 U.S. census gets closer, the Pew Research Center has conducted a survey aimed at determining how much of the population plans to participate. According to the survey, Americans overwhelmingly are aware of the census, and more than eight-in-ten (84%) say they definitely or probably will participate. Despite a broad knowledge of the census, 16% of people expressed at least some uncertainty about responding. Black and Hispanic adults, as well as those with lower income levels, are more likely to say they probably or definitely will not participate in the census. Black and Hispanic adults have been undercounted in the past, while lower-income adults are classified as a “hard to count” population, according to Census Bureau research.
 
Rising Number of Older Americans Burdened by Housing Costs
The number of Americans aged 65 and older is expected to increase dramatically over the next several decades. According to a new report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, the number of Americans age 65 and over who are burdened by housing costs is reaching new heights while the income gap between high and low earners in the age group is growing wider. Projections cited in the report indicate that the share of U.S. households age 65 and older will rise to 34% by 2038 from 26% last year. During that same timeframe, the number of households with people in their eighties or older are expected to increase to nearly 18 million from around 8 million. These demographic trends could present challenges for state and local policy makers when it comes to areas like affordable housing, transportation, and in-home care.
REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT
GPCOG Offers Free Leadership Training for Elected Officials
The Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) will be hosting leadership training for elected Officials on Wednesday, October 23rd. Craig Freshley of Good Group Decisions will lead a training for elected municipal officials in which Craig will examine three real-life case studies in which municipal officials faced serious challenges. The training session has three primary objectives: a general awareness of principles and practices that make for high functioning governing boards, practical tools and techniques to address specific challenges typically faced by municipal governing boards in the greater Portland area, and peer-to-peer learning and networking.
FROM THE REGIONS LEAD BLOG
Oct 11, 2019 06:39 pm | Jessica Routzahn

As the cost of recycling is escalating for many local governments, regional councils are working toward solutions.

The post How Regions are Supporting Recycling in an Increasingly Challenging Market appeared first on Regions Lead.


FEATURED JOBS
View full list of jobs!

City Transportation Planner (2 Positions)
Posted 10/17/2019
Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Senior City Transportation Planner
Posted 10/15/2019
Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Manager of City Services – Fort Lauderdale
Posted 10/15/2019
Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, Fort Lauderdale, FL

President and CEO
Posted 10/10/2019
Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, Pittsburgh, PA 

Economic and Demographic Analyst
Posted 10/8/2019
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Philadelphia, PA 

GRANTS
View full list of grants!

Agriculture Innovation Center Grant Program
Applications Due: March 20, 2020
The Agriculture Innovation Center Program makes grants to Agriculture Innovation Centers that then provide technical and business development assistance to agricultural producers seeking to engage in making or producing Value-Added agricultural products.
EVENTS
View full list of events!

Applying an Ecosystem Approach to Serving Veterans in your City
October 23, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
Learn what it means to build an "ecosystem" to support veteran success, and hear from collaborative leaders in communities successfully practicing an ecosystem approach to serving veterans with Nancy Berglass, President, NVI, Domenick Lasorsa, Senior Program Specialist, National League of Cities and Mayor Andy Ryder, City of Lacey, WA.
 
How the City of Minneapolis Is Addressing Equity in Shared Mobility
October 31, 2:00-2:30 PM ET
Although advances in technology are giving people more options to move around than ever before, vulnerable residents, many of whom already face mobility barriers, find it difficult to access these services because they require a smartphone and bank account. Like other cities across the country, the City of Minneapolis knows it has to address the impact of fast-changing mobility technology. On this Eno Center for Transportation webinar, Danielle Elkins and Alexander Kado from the City of Minneapolis will share their team’s work to understand and address these gaps by developing new low-income programs for shared mobility.
 
One Year Out: 2020 Elections
November 5, 11:00-12:00 PM ET
As we count down to the 2020 election, Bloomberg Government analysts are pulling together the data and identifying the races to watch. With the primaries around the corner this webinar will discuss the current state of Congress, the pre-election landscape in Washington, and more. Join Bloomberg Government senior reporter and resident election guru, Greg Giroux, for a look ahead to the 2020 elections and its surrounding implications. Register today!
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