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:
- Agriculture & Rural Affairs
- Community, Economic & Workforce Development
- Environment, Energy & Land Use
- Finance & Intergovernmental Affairs
- Human Services & Education
- Justice & Public Safety
- Public Lands
- Telecommunications & Technology
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: