What the U.S. House Reconciliation Package Means for Counties

The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed the budget reconciliation package, also known as the Build Back Better Act. The social and climate spending bill, which includes $1.75 trillion in spending over ten years, now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) has an in-depth analysis of key provisions for county governments:

According to the NACo analysis:

KEY PROVISIONS FOR COUNTIES

  • Authorizes the Medicaid Reentry Act, a key priority for counties, which would allow incarcerated individuals to receive services covered by Medicaid 30 days prior to their release from jail
  • Permanently extends post-partum Medicaid coverage from 30 days to 12 months, providing additional access to health services for county residents and reducing uncompensated care costs for county health entities
  • Raises the cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction from $10,000 to $80,000 and extends this cap through 2030
  • New investments in child care and early learning programs with the opportunity for counties to receive direct funding to expand access, quality, and affordability for working families
  • Establishes a new Rural Partnership Program, which aims to enhance rural communities’ access to federal community and economic development funding.
  • Additional funding to support county efforts in expanding critical nutrition programs aimed at reducing child hunger
  • A short-term extension of the Child Tax Credit, which will significantly reduce childhood poverty and lead to significant savings across county health, child welfare, criminal justice, and anti-poverty systems and services
  • More than $1 billion in new funding to support counties’ efforts to prevent abuse and neglect of older Americans

The legislation also includes $500 million for state and local government cybersecurity priorities and $500 million for integrating and implementing Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911). It also provides an extension of $300 for the Emergency Connectivity Fund, which helps schools and libraries keep students, staff, and patrons connected during the pandemic.

Time to Reboot: Tomorrow’s Tech Today

Rapidly advancing technology has changed government service delivery. With remote work, virtual learning, ransomware, data security, and online meetings emerging as more widespread options – and in some cases, obstacles – the MACo Winter Conference will explore how county governments are or should be approaching technology, and what tools can help them provide state-of-the-art services for Maryland residents.

The 2021 MACo Winter Conference, “Time to Reboot: Tomorrow’s Tech Today,” will be held on December 8-10, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference:

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