Heroes Act Summary

This past Friday, the House of Representatives passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act). The 1,815-page legislation would provide a $3 trillion follow-up to the $2.2 trillion CARES Act aid passed into law in March. This summary provides a breakdown of the bill’s contents, with a focus on key items for regions including transportation and economic development provisions.

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Regions Help Move Earth Day Online

Due to COVID-19, Earth Day has moved online this year, with virtual events and posts taking the place of traditional celebrations. Check out how regional councils have joined in to celebrate the day online.


Small and Mid-Sized Communities Left Out of the Coronavirus Relief Fund

On March 27th, the president signed into law the CARES Act, the largest relief package in history, providing the country with $2.3 trillion of aid to counter the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. One snag in this massive piece of legislation is a rule which leaves small and mid-sized communities across the country without direct access to funding.


NARC Analysis: CARES Act

Read NARC’s analysis of the recently passed CARES Act, which will provide the country with $2.3 trillion of aid to counter the physical and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


States and Regions are Exploring the Transition from Gas Taxes to Per-Mile Charges

Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan , the $760 billion House infrastructure plan, and the $287 billion Senate Highway bill (S.2302) all take different approaches to providing funding to improve the dire transportation and infrastructure situation in the United States, but none offers a plan for how the legislation will be funded. The political near-impossibility of a gas tax increase has led some to consider new funding structures, including charging drivers for the miles they drive rather than the amount of fuel they consume.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): Resources for Regions

NARC COVID-19 Webinar for Regional Councils NARC hosted a webinar yesterday examining the role that regional councils can play in addressing the COVID-19 epidemic. Leaders from the Puget Sound Regional Council (Seattle), Metropolitan Area Planning Council…


Friendly Regional Competition: SEMCOG and MORPC Compete on Census Response Levels

The countdown for the 2020 Census is now reaching single digits as households begin receiving census packets in less than a week. Two regional councils, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) have entered a friendly competition to see which region can receive the highest percentage of Census responses.


A Brief Update on SALT Deduction Cap Legislation

Just before leaving for their holiday recess, the House passed legislation that would suspend the $10,000 cap for state and local (SALT) tax deductions. Here’s a brief update on SALT deduction legislation.


2019: A Year in Review

On behalf of the NARC staff, thank you for all of your support during the past year. Here is a quick look back at all of our successes in 2019.







The California Emissions Standards Situation and Regions

In July of this year, California and four major automakers, BMW, Ford, Honda, and Volkswagon, reached an agreement over a framework for setting Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards through the year 2026. Following the announcement of the framework, the Trump administration began pushing back against California and the four automakers.


Broadband Resources for a 21st Century Nation

In 2019 having access to internet is no longer an option. Job applications, student homework, ecommerce, small business billing, and even conversations with friends and family require access to basic internet. Unfortunately, millions of Americans still lack sufficient internet access.


Back to School: Preparing the Next Generation of Regional Leaders

With new backpacks and school supplies in tow, students across the country are heading back to school. They probably are not thinking about the regional planning that went into creating the transportation system that brought them to school. Some regional councils are trying to teach the next generation that even being as young as they are, they can significantly impact their communities.




What’s Next for the Senate EPW Committee’s Highway Title?

The push for transportation reauthorization has begun, with approximately 15 months before the current authorizing legislation – the FAST Act – expires. This early start to the process can be ascribed to two systemic challenges Congress faces in getting a final bill across the finish line.






The Argument for Regionally Based Job Training Programs

What began as a single city- or county-based job training system some 45 years ago has morphed into a robust, multi-jurisdictional job training system that reflects how and why economies emerge. Going beyond governmental boundaries, this system provides workforce development based on labor markets, economic development areas, local economies, industrial composition, labor force conditions and participation, and much more.



Older Americans Month 2019: Connect, Create, Contribute

Each year, more older adults are making a positive impact across America. As volunteers, employees, employers, educators, mentors, advocates, and more, they offer insight and experience that benefit the entire community. That’s why Older Americans Month (OAM) has been recognizing the contributions of this growing population for 56 years.


The Importance of a Federally-funded Job Training System

In times of very low unemployment, the need for an effective and well-funded federal job training system may be greatest. This is the first of a two-part series on workforce development: Keep an eye out next week for the second article: Why a Regional Job Training System Makes the Most Sense.




Addressing Public Health Concerns Using Regional Solutions

Happy National Public Health Week! This annual week-long celebration, spearheaded by the American Public Health Association (APHA), celebrates the nation’s public health successes while calling attention to our most pressing health-related challenges.


Census Day is a Year Away!

We are officially one year away from the decennial census. By April 1, 2020 – National Census Day – the U.S. Census Bureau plans to send a letter or a door knocker to every U.S….


Regions and the Aging of America

According to the Population Reference Bureau,[1] the number and characteristics of America’s older residents is shifting dramatically. Here are some basic facts: The number of older Americans (those age 60 and older) will double from…


The Clean Water State Revolving Fund: An Update

On March 6th, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio introduced the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2019 (H.R. 1497), which would reauthorize the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program….