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September 30, 2022

Weekly Highlight

NC DHHS Delays Implementation of Medicaid Managed Care Tailored Programs

The NC Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday it is delaying implementation of the NC Medicaid Managed Care Behavioral Health and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Tailored Plans until April 1, 2023. Tailored Plans were originally scheduled to launch December 1. 

The delayed start of Tailored Plans allows Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organizations, which will operate the Tailored Plans, more time to contract with additional providers to support member choice and to validate that data systems are working appropriately. The decision is supported by the leadership of the state’s six LME/MCOs. 

Specific new services will still go live December 1. Click here to read the NC DHHS news release. 

NCACC Updates

NCACC Welcomes Jack Horton as Outreach Associate

Jack Horton, who served as Macon County Manager from 1985-91 and 2008-13, joined Team County on Monday as a part-time, interim Outreach Associate. In this role, Horton will represent the NCACC and serve as a resource for our state’s western-most counties. 

Horton retired in 2013 after a 37-year career in local government that included 35 years in county management. He is a former Senior Advisor for both the North Carolina and International City and County Management associations, a past president of the Western NC Managers Association, and has served as vice chair of the NCACC Liability & Property Risk Pool. He currently serves as Mayor of the Town of Franklin. 

For more information on NCACC Outreach Services and contact information, click here

New Video Series Showcasing County Topics from NCACC & 100 Strong Productions

The NCACC’s 100 Strong Productions premiered a video series this week titled "Inside Look." The videos are designed to give a different perspective on the work done behind the scenes to make North Carolina counties better places to live and work. This series will cover events, topics, and initiatives that are significant to counties. To view the premiere episode, which centers on the NCACC’s 115th Annual Conference, click here. 

Submit Goals for the 2022-2023 NCACC Federal Legislative Agenda

Every biennium, the NCACC solicits input and proposals from our counties concerning federal issues that impact North Carolina counties. To help ensure deliberation on our federal goals, the process is designed to provide opportunities for input and discussion from counties on proposed federal goals.  

Counties can submit federal goals proposals until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7. For more information, contact Director of Government Relations Amber Harris at amber.harris@ncacc.org. To access the federal goals proposal form, click here. 

Counties Can Illuminate Veterans' Service and Sacrifice Through Operation Green Light

In support of military veterans statewide and across the country, this Veterans Day, the NCACC joins the National Association of Counties and the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers in inviting North Carolina counties to participate in Operation Green Light. This initiative shows support for veterans by lighting county buildings and infrastructure green from November 7 to November 13 as a marker to show that veterans are seen, appreciated and supported. For more information on this initiative and steps to put this operation into action, click here

Events

Steering Committee Meetings
Continuing through October 6, Virtual

Legislative Goals Conference
November 16-18, Wake County

View the NCACC Event Calendar
National Opioid Settlement Updates

October 'Strategies to Address the Opioid Epidemic' Webinar to Focus on Collaborative Strategic Planning

NCACC and the NC Department of Health and Human Services are partnering on a webinar series that provides information and resources on evidence-based, high-impact strategies that local governments may pursue to address the opioid overdose epidemic utilizing funds from the national litigation settlement. 

Register here for the next offering, which will be held on Monday, October 10, from 3 – 4:30 p.m. The webinar will provide an overview and county examples of collaborative strategic planning, which is the first listed strategy among the Option A strategies in the NC Memorandum of Agreement. This strategy allows aid with understanding of community needs, maximizing limited resources, coordinating with key partners, and ensuring that services are not duplicated. 

Two other webinars are in development for the remainder of 2022. Dates are as follows, and each will be held from 3 – 4:30 p.m. via Zoom: 

  • Monday, November 14: Recovery Housing Support (register here
  • Monday December 12: Criminal Justice Diversion Programs (register here

Click here to access the on-demand “Strategies to Address the Opioid Epidemic” webinar series. Click here to access the NCACC opioid settlement assistance webpage, which includes links to crucial documents and recommended resources.

Vital Strategies Issues RFA to Support Harm Reduction Programs

Vital Strategies has released a Request for Applications to leverage opioid settlement funds to build community capacity for overdose prevention at the local level. Vital will match county opioid settlement funding directed to community Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) and naloxone distribution up to $70,000 per year for three years. North Carolina local governments, health departments and community-based organizations are all eligible. 

Vital is offering webinars on October 4 and October 26 to address questions. Sign up here. View the full RFA here. The RFA is due October 31, and the three-year grant period is anticipated to begin on January 1, 2023. Funding must be matched with opioid settlement dollars. 

MAT in Jails Webinar Series Now Available On-Demand

A recent three-part webinar series that focused on legal, medical, community and security considerations for providing access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in jails is now available on-demand. The three modules covered topics related to risk aversion, working with opioid treatment programs (OTPs), and operational basics and facility implementation. Access the archived webinars and related presentation files here

National Opioid Settlement Trust Splits 'Summer 2022' Payment; Makes First of Two Disbursements for 2023-23 Fiscal Year

Local governments should have received a second installment of their allocated national opioid settlement funds on September 15. This is the first of two payments for the current fiscal year; the third overall payment should be disbursed prior to the end of the 2022 calendar year. This is an update from a previously announced schedule; please note that the “Summer 2022” payment is being divided into two payments. 

The total sum of the two “Summer 2022” payments will be slightly higher than the initial projection. The Community Opioid Resources Engine (CORE-NC) is in the process of updating the payment schedule to reflect the slightly higher amounts. 

The National Opioids Settlement Trust either wired or mailed the payment to local governments based on the instructions previously provided by local governments to the settlement administrator, BrownGreer. 

State & Federal Updates

Groundbreaking Autism Response Training for Law Enforcement and First Responders

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety will host autism training for law enforcement and first responders as part of the department’s HEART (Helping Enhance Autism Response Training) initiative. Dennis Debbaudt, an internationally renowned expert on the subject of autism safety, will present at three in-person events from October 11-13. For more information and to register for the training, click here. 

Contact Members of Congress to Request Administrative Flexibility and Technical Support for ARPA Program

Last week, ARPA recipients received a message from U.S. Treasury regarding the department’s diminishing administrative flexibility for the ARPA Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) program and other pandemic relief programs. The message notified ARPA recipients that funding shortfalls will require U.S. Treasury to end its call center, curtail e-mail response operations, and limit Treasury’s ability to engage directly with SLFRF recipients, among other things.   

Without Congressional action, Treasury will no longer be able to continue providing administrative support for ARPA programs and will have to undertake more significant steps to reduce staffing and service in the weeks ahead. NACo is supporting a legislative fix, S. 3011/H.R. 5735, which would address this urgent issue. 

  • Click here to access a co-signed letter from the Big Seven national organizations representing state and local government officials.  
  • Contact your federal elected officials and ask them to include S. 3011/H.R. 5735 in the next legislative or spending vehicle. 

USDA Opens Funding Opportunities to Expand Access to High-Speed Internet

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) opened Round 4 of the Reconnect Program for high-speed internet on September 6, 2022. Funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), available funding includes up to $150 million in loans, up to $300 million in loan/grant combinations, and up to $700 million in grants. The deadline to apply is November 2, 2022. To view the department’s press release, click here. 

Treasury Launches Application Portal for Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund (LATCF)

This week, U.S. Treasury launched an application portal for the Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund, which is a general revenue enhancement program that provides additional assistance to eligible revenue sharing counties and eligible Tribal governments. The American Rescue Plan Act directed U.S. Treasury to reserve $750 million to allocate and pay to eligible revenue sharing counties for each of fiscal years 2022 and 2023, taking into account economic conditions of each eligible revenue sharing county using measurements of poverty rates, household income, land values, and unemployment rates as well as other economic indicators, over the 20-year period ending with September 30, 2021.

  • Click here for more information about the program and access the relevant Treasury guidance and application portal.  
  • Click here for allocations for eligible revenue sharing county governments.
  • Click here to access NACo resources on LATCF and information about an upcoming membership call and webinar.

Sales Tax Update — September 2022

ARPA Resource Roundup

The NCACC offers an email publication to assist counties in accessing the most up-to-date and relevant information surrounding American Rescue Plan Act funds. To view the most recent edition, click here and to subscribe to this newsletter, click here.

CountyQuarterly Summer 
2022 Edition — In This Issue

Cabarrus County's Commitment to Collaboration
Breaking Bread Breaks Down Barriers to Progress

Click here to read the article.
Local Elected Leaders Academy Programs

Hold the Dates for Essentials of County Government

The School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill and the NCACC are again partnering to offer newly elected commissioners a crash course on the essentials of county government. This program, designed to help county commissioners successfully transition from campaigning to governing, will introduce the basic functions of county government and the role of the governing board. 

Registration will soon be available for three offerings – two in-person and one online: 

  • December 15-16, 2022, in Buncombe County (8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday) 
  • January 12-13, 2023, in Durham County (8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday) 
  • January 18-20, 2023, online (8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Wednesday through Friday) 

Click here for more information on the course, and to sign up to receive a notification when registration becomes available. 

Apply by October 15 – Leading the Way to Board Excellence 
Leading the Way to Board Excellence is designed to help you better understand yourself as a leader and to provide you with the skills and tools to work effectively with others towards a common goal. This unique four-part course is open to local elected officials, including county commissioners, municipal elected officials, school board members and members of American Indian tribal councils. 

October 19 – Top 10 Primer: What Local Elected Officials Need to Know about Public Health and Social Services 
This free online program will provide an overview of the legal framework for social services and public health agencies in North Carolina, and highlight the various organizational models available to provide the required services across our state. 

NOTE: When registering for LELA programming, use the code NCACC-SOG-LELA to receive the 20 percent county commissioner discount.
County News
Forsyth County
The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners has approved major investments in the community with the final round of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocations. Click here to read the county news release and for a full list of funded round one projects. 
Warren County
Clerk to the Warren County Board of Commissioners Paula Pulley was named Outstanding Clerk to the Board during the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments’ Annual Awards Banquet. Click here to read the news release. 
NCACC is seeking information on new county programs and announcements to share. Please email communications@ncacc.org with your county’s news and to be included in the NCACC Weekly Update.
Classifieds & Additional Items

Featured Classifieds

All classified ads are available at this link.

One Month Remains to Apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program forgives the remaining balance on federal direct student loans following 120 months of qualifying payments for certain public service employees – including those who work for governments, 501(c)3 organizations, and other nonprofits providing certain public services, including public education, military service, law enforcement, early childhood education and public health.

 

A temporary PSLF waiver makes it possible for millions of public service workers to receive credit for past periods of repayment that would otherwise not qualify – thereby reducing or potentially eliminating student loan debt. In short, the waiver allows borrowers to gain additional PSLF credit, even if they’d been told before that they had the wrong loan type or the wrong repayment plan.
The deadline is October 31. Click here to learn more from the NC Department of Justice. 

Financial Data Services Available to Counties through three+one

At three+one, we are pioneering solutions for public finance officials through innovative fin-tech, but at our core, we are a team of public servants just like you. That is why our public partnerships and endorsements from top national and state-level associations, including NCACC, mean so much to us. Click here to learn more.  

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