The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo assists America’s 3,069 counties in pursuing excellence in public service to produce healthy, vibrant, safe and resilient counties.
NACo promotes sound public policies, fosters county solutions and innovation, promotes intergovernmental and public-private collaboration and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money. As described in its Annual Report,
This past year, NACo helped counties stand firm against unfunded mandates and costly, unnecessary regulations while securing passage of meaningful legislation. Here is a snapshot of the accomplishments.
Key Legislative and Regulatory Accomplishments
- Five-year Farm Bill signed into law with $228 million in new mandatory rural development resources and more than $400 million for the Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.
- Flood Insurance Reform Bill signed into law that saved residents from skyrocketing premiums in 2,930 counties.
- Senate passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act with overwhelmingly bipartisan support, positioning the bill for consideration by the House.
- A regulation was blocked that would have required the replacement of all fire hydrants, at an estimated cost of $2,000 each.
- An exemption secured from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “employer mandate” for county volunteer firefighters and other volunteers.
- Funding of $270 million for the Secure Rural Schools program was included in The Helium Stewardship Act.
- In the FY15 U.S. House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill language was included to block implementation of the new “Waters of the U.S.” proposed regulationreleased by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Every county in Maryland is a member of NACo. If you are a county elected official and would like to participate in NACo’s advocacy, contact Robin Clark, the Maryland Association of Counties NACo liaison.