Groups Report

November/December 2014 Highlights

For a Full Copy of The Groups Report, Please Contact Michael Behm at

Rural Action Caucus (RAC) Retreat | November 6-8
Billings, Montana
Transportation & Infrastructure Symposium & Fall NACo Board of Directors Meeting | December 3-6
Maui County, Hawaii
Stateside Contact: Michael Behm at

NACo’s RAC Steering Committee will use the RAC Retreat to create RAC’s year-long legislative priorities which will primarily focus on advancing the nation’s rural counties’ agendas. These will be placed in NACo’s American County Platform—its annual legislative agenda.

A panel entitled Cultivating a Competitive Advantage: How Rural Counties are Growing Economies with Local Assets and Regional Partners has been scheduled for November 7.

Other expected topics of discussion at the RAC Retreat include:

  • Waters of the U.S. Rule
  • Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Program
  • Marketplace Fairness Act

The Transportation & Infrastructure Symposium will take place December 3-5. County leaders will discuss global freight movement; innovative transportation and infrastructure financing; and, multi-modal solutions and safety improvements.

A mobile workshop and independent session on NACo’s Economic Tracker has been scheduled for December 3.

The following sessions have been planned for December 4-5:

  • How Does the Global Supply Chain Reach Your County?
  • Building Strategic Partnerships to Address Your County’s Transportation Needs
  • MAP-21 Federal Surface Transportation Reauthorization and the Outlook for America’s Counties

One final mobile workshop is planned for December 4 focusing on electronic vehicles and renewable energy innovation in Hawaii.

The NACo Board of Directors will hold its Fall Board Meeting the afternoon of December 5 and will conclude the day with its Board of Directors Dinner.


NCSL Forum | December 10-12
Washington, D.C.
Stateside Contact: Michael Behm at

The NCSL Forum is where NCSL Standing Committees meet to discuss policy and help craft the agenda for the states prior to the upcoming Congressional Session. The Forum will begin with Task force meetings on December 9, including NCSL’s Agriculture Task Force; Military and Veterans Affairs Task Force; Energy Supply Task Force; and, pre-conference meetings about Women’s Health and Leveraging IT: Public Private Partnership on Cybersecurity.

December 10 will be dedicated to the now annual Lobby Day and staff briefings on Capitol Hill for attending legislators to visit their respective congressional delegations and discuss NCSL policy priorities. The NCSL Foundation Dinner will also take place December 10.

NCSL’s eight (8) standing policy committees are scheduled to meet December 11 and 12, focusing primarily on federal issues and their impact on the states. Proposed policies to be amended or approved by the Standing Policy Committees are expected to be made available by mid-November; all Committee policies approved at the Forum must be approved during the Business Meeting and then passed at next year’s Legislative Summit.

A number of committee and policy sessions will be featured at the Forum, including:

  • Using New Data Tools to Improve Transportation and Traffic Safety
  • Elections in the Courts
  • Human Trafficking: Federal Strategic Plan
  • Improving Civil Discourse from the Ground Up
  • Federal Balanced Budget Session
  • The “Motor Voter” Law at 21: Do DMVs and Elections Connect?
  • Rural Health and Telemedicine
  • Supreme Court Update
  • A Look at Public Private Partnerships (P3s)
  • Child Welfare
  • Primaries: Open, Closed, Top Two, What Else?
  • Measuring, Reducing Recidivism
  • Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Quality
  • Export-Import Bank Special Briefing: An Uncertain Future
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems: State and Industry Perspectives
  • How Technology is Changing the Energy Sector: An Examination of Distributed Generation
  • Critical Infrastructure Resiliency

An Issue Forum entitled Cannabis Conundrum is scheduled for December 12. The NCSL Business Meeting will be held on the same day.

More information is availablea at:


Winter Meeting | December 6-7
Las Vegas, Nevada
Stateside Contact: Michael Behm at

The Winter Meeting will begin with a Plenary entitled Managing Lands and Species followed by a session on Infrastructure: Moving People, Freight & Electricity.

The Keynote speaker on December 6 will be U.S. Department of Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz.

Regional updates will take place in the afternoon including the results of an Ad Hoc Task Force on Regional Wildfire Fighting Cooperation and the unveiling of the Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop (RAPID) Toolkit.

A Plenary entitled Improving Services and Opportunities for Veterans is scheduled for December 7 with expected topics of discussion on how to improve services and opportunities, including job training and certification, for veterans in rural areas.

The Winter Meeting will conclude immediately after a Governors Policy Roundtable (topics TBD).

More information is available at: