The National Association of Counties (NACo) 2014-2015 resolutions process is underway and all NACo members are invited to submit policy resolutions and platform changes that, if approved, will guide NACo’s advocacy efforts in the coming year and beyond. In anticipation of NACo’s 2014 Annual Conference and Exposition—taking place July 11-14 in Orleans Parish, Louisiana—NACo members are invited to submit policy resolutions and platform changes for consideration at the conference. Submissions received by June 11 will be considered by one or more of NACo’s 10 policy steering committees, and if approved by that committee, will be voted on by NACo’s Board of Directors and membership for adoption. All of Maryland’s county governments are members of NACo.
How the Resolutions Process Works
The American County Platform serves as NACo’s permanent policy document and reflects the philosophy and broad objectives of NACo’s membership. Divided into policy areas covered by NACo’s 10 policy steering committees, the Platform serves as a guide for NACo’s federal advocacy efforts. Each year, as part of NACo’s annual conference, county leaders have the opportunity to suggest changes to the Platform and to propose additional policy resolutions that remain in effect for one year.
These proposed platform changes and policy resolutions must be submitted to NACo 30 days before the annual conference. This year, the deadline for submissions is June 11. Once submissions are received, NACo’s legislative staff will make a preliminary decision as to which steering committee(s) should have jurisdiction over the proposed platform change or policy resolution. NACo staff may also make necessary changes to ensure that submissions are formatted properly.
At the conference, NACo’s 10 policy steering committees will discuss and vote on proposed platform changes and resolutions, and NACo’s Policy Coordinating Committee will also meet to address any potential conflicts or issues of jurisdiction. Subsequently, steering committee chairs will present their committee’s actions to NACo’s Board of Directors, the Board will vote on whether to recommend adoption of the proposals, and, finally, NACo’s members will vote on final adoption of proposed resolutions and platform changes.
How to Submit Platform Changes and Resolutions
All platform changes and proposed policy resolutions must be submitted electronically (preferably Word document) via email to email@example.com by June 11, 2014. Submissions must identify the title and issue area in the email subject line (for example: CDBG Appropriations, Community and Economic Development).
For reference, click here to view a proposed platform change and a proposed policy resolution considered by the Environment, Energy and Land Use Steering Committee at NACo’s 2013 Annual Conference.
Proposed platform changes should include the sections of the platform that would be changed under the proposal. Words that would be erased should be struck with a line through the text, and words that would be added should be underlined. Sponsors should be listed at the end of each proposed platform change.
Proposed policy resolutions should be no more than one page in length, and should follow the format below. For a sample document, click here.
- Issue: short sentence stating the purpose of the resolution
- Proposed Policy: concise statement specifying a position or action by NACo and/or other entities
- Background: 1-2 paragraph statement clearly outlining the county interest in the particular issue
- Fiscal/Urban/Rural Impact: short statement addressing the potential impact(s) for counties in the specific issue area
- Sponsor: name and contact information of NACo member sponsoring the resolution
Each year, all resolutions will automatically expire at the annual conference, including those interim resolutions adopted by the NACo Board of Directors during the Legislative Conference in March. Resolutions that members deem relevant must be reintroduced at least 30 days in advance as a “new” resolution to be considered by the appropriate NACo policy steering committee. There is no reaffirmation process.
Steering committees may consider “emergency” resolutions or platform changes (those not submitted within the 30 day period). However, the federal legislative or regulatory matters addressed in these proposals must be emergency in nature, meaning that they could not have been foreseen 30 days prior to the conference, and the subject matter must be of a timely nature, requiring immediate consideration by NACo. Importantly, inaction on the part of a submitter is not grounds for an emergency resolution.
Please contact NACo’s Legislative Director Deborah Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org or the appropriate steering committee liaison with additional questions or concerns. Click here to view the Legislative Department contact list.