September 23, 2019        View this email in your browser
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION OPEN UNTIL SEPTEMBER 27!  
2019 EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS CONFERENCE & BOARD RETREAT
October 27-30, 2019
The Saguaro Hotel

Scottsdale, Arizona
Learn More and Register!
NEWS FROM WASHINGTON
The Senate is in session. The House is out today but will resume work tomorrow, September 24.
 
Join NARC This Wednesday for an OAA Reauthorization Webinar (Register Here)
The federal Older Americans Act (OAA) expires at the end of this month and Congress is gearing up the OAA reauthorization process. Join the National Association of Regional Councils, with our partners from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) September 25th, from 3:00-4:00 PM ET, for a discussion covering: the current status of OAA reauthorization, legal considerations when advocating on behalf of the Older Americans Act, and OAA reauthorization education and outreach tactics you can use when talking to federal representatives. 
 
Stopgap Spending Bill Passes House and Receives Support from President
According to Roll Call, a senior White House official has indicated that the president plans to sign H.R. 4378, the continuing resolution (CR) that was passed by the House last week and is expected to move through the Senate this week. The signing of this bill would prevent a partial government shutdown, at least for the next 51 days. Even if the bill passes, issues regarding funding of border wall construction and other partisan spending items remain and will need to be resolved before the CR expires shortly before Thanksgiving.
 
Senators Urge Full-Year FY20 Census Funding in Continuing Resolution
Preparations for the 2020 Census are swinging into full gear leading Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) to head an appeal from 25 Senators urging a direct full-year appropriation for the Census Bureau. In the Senators’ letter they request funding at the stakeholder-requested level, including $7.5 billion for the 2020 Census as part of the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government. The Census Bureau has indicated that the Senators have certainty of full funding, as well as flexibility, at the start of the fiscal year to ensure the Census is conducted properly. Failure to acquire full funding could depress participation and increase operational mistakes which could, in turn, increase census costs by billions of dollars. Without appropriate funding, a variety of efforts will be affected including recruiting, hiring, and training of field staff; verifying and updating the final address list; preparing and strengthening cybersecurity and other IT systems; completing robust advertising and messaging campaigns; and preparing for the launch of peak counting operations in remote areas of Alaska, which must start in January 2021.
 
House of Representatives Passes Bill to Preserve Affordable Rental Housing in Rural Areas
The House of Representatives passed by voice vote on September 10 the “Strategy and Investment in Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2019” (H.R. 3620), which aims to preserve affordable homes and avoid displacement in rural areas. The bill, introduced by Representative Lacy Clay (D-MO), would permanently authorize the Multifamily Housing Preservation and Revitalization program, expand the use of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) vouchers, and create an advisory committee to help the agency develop a comprehensive strategy to maintain the agency’s rental housing portfolio, which provides more than 415,000 affordable homes to low-income people living in rural areas. The USDA Section 521 Rental Assistance subsidy is tied to the Section 515 loan and often provides the only housing option for the lowest-income people in rural areas. This bill would help the USDA to restructure Section 515 loans, extend incentives for owners to stay in the program, and provide properties with additional resources to repair and restore homes. The bill provides additional resources for tenants by expanding the use of the Section 542 vouchers, which function similarly to HUD’s Housing Choice Vouchers, to provide continued rental assistance for tenants displaced from Section 515 properties due to prepayment, foreclosure, or mortgage maturation.
OTHER NEWS
Federal Spending on Kids Falls, as More Dollars Flow Toward Older Adults and Debt
The Urban Institute recently released the 13th edition of their annual Kids’ Share report. The report found that federal government spending on children fell by about $12 billion, or 2.5%, in 2018 compared to 2017. The major drivers of decline were reductions in spending on education, nutrition programs and tax credits, while costs for Social Security, Medicare and the adult portion of Medicaid continue to grow. Interest payments on the nation’s debt are also on the rise and the report projects that they will exceed federal spending on children by next year. While per capita spending on children’s programs rose from around $292 in 1960 to the $4,877 figure seen last year, per capita spending on adults 65 or older shot up from $4,362 to $29,297 over that same time period. Eugene Steuerle, one of the Urban Institute report’s lead authors, noted that current federal policies are also setting up younger Americans to grapple in future years with both larger sums of actual government debt and “implicit debt” due to the troubled funding outlook for health and retirement programs like Medicare and Social Security.

 
REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT
NIRPC Receives Economic Development District Designation from the U.S. Department of Commerce
For over a decade, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) has concentrated regional efforts for greater economic development in northwest Indiana and last week, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the Department of Commerce designated NIRPC as an Economic Development District, finally bringing those efforts to fruition. The designation for the area of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties in Indiana opens the door to additional funding assistance from the EDA for economic development-related purposes not previously available to the region. Ty Warner, Executive Director of NIRPC, said the designation will “significantly enhance the services NIRPC provides the region and its 41 municipalities.” NIRPC is the Metropolitan Planning Organization and regional council of local governments for Northwest Indiana.

 
FROM THE REGIONS LEAD BLOG
Sep 20, 2019 05:15 pm | Jessica Routzahn

In 2019 having access to internet is no longer an option. Job applications, student homework, ecommerce, small business billing, and even conversations with friends and family require access to basic internet. Unfortunately, millions of Americans still lack sufficient internet access.

The post Broadband Resources for a 21st Century Nation appeared first on Regions Lead.


FEATURED JOBS
View full list of jobs!

Assistant/Associate Data Analyst
Posted 9/19/2019
Puget Sound Regional Council, Seattle, WA

Assistant Planner
Posted 9/19/2019
Puget Sound Regional Council, Seattle, WA

Data and Planning Intern
Posted 9/19/2019
Puget Sound Regional Council, Seattle, WA

Sustainability Planner
Posted 9/16/2019
Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, Dayton, OH

Real Estate Research Intern
Posted 9/9/2019
Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Boston, MA

GRANTS
View full list of grants!

Minority Education, Workforce, and Training (MEWT) Program
Applications Due: October 7
The MEWT Program is designed to foster collaboration amongst Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), Department of Energy program offices, industry, state and local government agencies, and other federal agencies to increase engagement and capabilities of underserved communities within STEM and energy fields.
 
FY 2019 Pre-Disaster Mitigation
Applications Due: January 31, 2020
The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program makes available federal funds to state, local, and tribal Governments to implement and sustain cost-effective measures designed to reduce the risk to individuals and property from natural hazards, while also reducing reliance on federal funding from future disasters.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide allocations of $575,000 as required by the Stafford Act to states and territories; and a tribal set aside of $20 million for allocations up to $575,000 for Native American Indian tribal governments to support overall mitigation planning and projects.  The remaining PDM funds will be awarded on a competitive basis with a focus on multi-state/tribal mitigation initiatives.

 
EVENTS
View full list of events!

NARC Webinar! OAA Reauthorization Advocacy Tips and Tools
September 25, 3:00-4:00 PM ET
The federal Older Americans Act (OAA) funds critical services for older adults and their caregivers in regions across the country. The current law expires at the end of this month, so Congress is gearing up the OAA reauthorization process to ensure that these critical programs continue. The National Association of Regional Councils, with our partners from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), will discuss: 
  • The current status of OAA reauthorization;
  • Legal considerations when advocating on behalf of the Older Americans Act; and
  • OAA reauthorization education and outreach tactics you can use when talking to federal representatives. 
Exploring Census Data Webinar Series: Hidden Gems – Discovering Unique Hidden Gems Data
September 25, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
During this webinar, U.S. Census Bureau experts will help you:
  • Understand practical ways to use our hidden gems data through illustrations and use cases.
  • Learn about available resources and data tools, which can assist you in saving time looking for data.
  • Learn how to compare the different types of available data.
EDA's Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Disaster Supplemental NOFO Stakeholder Webinar
September 26, 3:00-4:00 PM ET
This August the Economic Development Administration (EDA) published the FY 2019 Disaster Supplemental Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), making $587 million available to eligible grantees in communities impacted by presidentially declared natural disasters in 2018, and floods and tornadoes in 2019. Please join this stakeholder webinar to learn more about the FY2019 Disaster NOFO.
 
2019 National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
October 3, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) – celebrated every October – was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. Join the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and National Cyber Security Alliance on this webinar for a deeper dive into NCSAM. Learn how this year's theme “Own IT. Secure. IT. Protect IT.” is encouraging personal accountability and proactive behavior, and how you can get involved.
CONTACT US
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