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October 7, 2022

Weekly Highlight

Final Day to 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. For reference, you can view current NCACC Federal Goals and NACo Legislative Goals for background on federal issues the respective organizations are monitoring.

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.
NCACC Updates

Register for the NCACC Legislative Goals Conference, November 16-18

Before each legislative biennium, NCACC convenes a Legislative Goals Conference for counties from around the state to come together to participate in voting sessions to finalize legislative goals, which guide NCACC’s advocacy efforts. The conference is the final step in a comprehensive process, which gives each county an opportunity to shape NCACC’s legislative agenda. To register for the Goals Conference, which will be held in Raleigh November 16-18, click here.

Attendees may reserve accommodations at the Marriott Raleigh Crabtree Valley with a group rate through October 25. On October 26, any unused rooms in the group block will go back to the general pool of rooms at the current rate. To reserve a room, use this link.

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.
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 3:00 - 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 aids 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 3:00 - 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 on-demand webinars from the “Strategies to Address the Opioid Epidemic” series, the three-part medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in jails series, and others. Click here to access the NCACC opioid settlement assistance webpage, which includes links to crucial documents and recommended resources.

NC DHHS Issues RFA for Grants to Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths

The NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services has opened the request for applications (RFA) for the Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths (PDO) Grant. Applications are due October 10.

If you are working on prevention and harm reduction in Bladen, Buncombe, Cherokee, Craven, Cumberland, Davidson, Edgecombe, Guilford, Haywood, Jackson, Lee, McDowell, New Hanover, Randolph, Rowan, Swain, Transylvania, Vance or Wayne counties, you may be eligible for new funding to reduce the number of prescription drug and other opioid overdose-related deaths and adverse events among individuals 18 years of age and older by training first responders and other key community sectors on the prevention of prescription drug and other opioid overdose-related deaths and implementing secondary prevention strategies, including the purchase and distribution of naloxone to first responders. Grants are for $50,000 annually for up to four years.

More information is available here.

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 hosting a webinar on 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. Funding must be matched with opioid settlement dollars.
State & Federal Updates

Congress Scheduled to Take Up Defense Authorization Bill Next Week

The House and Senate adjourned last week and will have no recorded votes until Monday, November 14. The Senate, however, will convene on Tuesday, October 11, to start debate on the FY2023 Defense Authorization bill, which is considered to be “must pass” legislation. Prior to adjourning, and as required before the end of the federal fiscal year on September 30, Congress passed and the President signed a Continuing Resolution to keep the government running through December 16. 

U.S. Department of Energy to Host Webinar Addressing Load Forecasting as Related to Electric Vehicles

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is hosting a Load Forecasting webinar as part of its EVGrid Assist initiative. The webinar will be on October 13 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST. Registration and information on upcoming webinars is available at this link.

Counties Encouraged to Contact Congressional Delegation Regarding Legislation to Protect Federal Health Benefits for Pre-Trial Detainees

Last week, the National Association of Counties (NACo) published resources on legislation related to a current NCACC federal advocacy goal. Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy (MIEP) strips federal health benefits from individuals admitted to jail before they are convicted of a crime. This policy violates an individual’s constitutional rights and fundamental presumption of innocence, strains our local judicial, law enforcement, public safety and human services systems, and results in higher rates of recidivism and poorer health outcomes in our communities. This policy contributes to the over-incarceration of individuals suffering from mental and behavioral health crises, making jails the largest behavioral health providers in the nation.

NACo encourages counties to contact their congressional delegation to ask them to support efforts that would address MIEP. To access the NACo toolkit, click here.

Enterprise Security and Risk Management Office Newsletter

Stay up to date and protect yourself during cybersecurity month with NC Department of Information Technology’s Enterprise Security and Risk Management Office’s newsletter. It features important cybersecurity tips and information about trainings and events such as the 2022 N.C. Cybersecurity Awareness Symposium October 4-5. Learn more about cybersecurity by viewing the newsletter here.

Sales Tax Update — October 2022

ARPA Resource Roundup — October 4, 2022

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

Dare County

The Dare County Finance Department has been awarded the prestigious Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting—the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting—by the Government Finance Officers Association for the 31st consecutive year. Click here to read the county news release.

Person County

With a unanimous vote after a closed session meeting Monday night, the Person County Board of Commissioners named Katherine Cathey the new county manager, effective Tuesday. Click here to read an article on the development.

Watauga County

The Watauga County Board of Commissioners appointed Ray Russell to the board following the resignation of chairman John Welch. 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.

Apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver by October 31

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.
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