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    2018 NARC Achievement Awards Winners

    At every Annual Conference and Exhibition, NARC celebrates membership achievements of regional excellence and cooperation across the nation. This year’s winners exemplify many qualities that a 21st-century regional council needs to be successful, including innovation, adaptability, collaboration, and hard work. Read more about our 2018 NARC Major Metro, Medium Metro, and Rural Achievement Awards Winners below: Major Metro Winner: Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan Project: Water Resources Plan The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) won the 2018 Major Metro...

    State Perspectives on Regulating Background Ozone

    Ozone

    On June 21, the Environment Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on State Perspectives on Regulating Background Ozone. Among those called to testify was Diane Rath, executive director of the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) in San Antonio, Texas. She provided background on the great progress the San Antonio-New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has made over the years in reducing ozone, and explained some of the complicated factors used to calculate the...

    The National Association of Regional Councils’ 2017 Wrap-Up

    Former NARC Executive Director William Dodge once said, “Regions are the new communities of the 21st century. They have emerged just as villages, towns, cities, and counties did before them... And now they determine our fates.” This quote could not be timelier. As we take time to reflect on the past year and look ahead to 2018, one question has emerged more than any other: What is the role of a 21st century regional council? Highlighting the innovative initiatives that regional councils...

    Concerns Grow Over the Impacts of House and Senate Tax Bills

    Congress is back from Thanksgiving break and confronted with some significant choices, including passage of a tax bill that substantially reduces the corporate tax rate and eliminates some common individual tax deductions, like the property tax and the inheritance tax. From the outset, the goal has been to pass a tax cut bill – good or bad -- before Congress breaks for the Christmas holiday. To do this House and Senate Republicans are moving at breakneck speed to get the bill...

    Why the SALT Deduction Matters. Why You Should Save It.

    Now is the time to let your senators and representatives know that you oppose elimination of the SALT deduction and that they should vote against any tax proposal that would do this. Over the next weeks and months, Congress will be debating legislation to “reform” the nation’s tax system. That debate will focus on many things, including corporate taxes, inheritance tax, individual tax brackets, and charitable tax deductions, among others. But none of the debates may prove as important to states,...

    Making the Census Count: How Regions Can Help

    census, populations

    Although 2020 is a few years away, preparations are already in full swing for the next Census. The groundwork that the U.S. Census Bureau is laying out today will affect the accuracy of the 2020 Census across the country. The Census Bureau is up against a significant accuracy issue: past Census reports have historically undercounted certain populations in the United States. These groups include young children, minorities, and low-income communities. The Census Bureau is once again concerned about this problem occurring...

    The Opioid Crisis Was Declared a National Emergency: Here’s How Local Governments Can Help

    opioid crisis

    Two weeks ago, the Trump Administration issued a statement that directed the executive branch to “use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic.” This declaration couldn’t have come any sooner. The National Center for Health Statistics reported that in the third quarter of 2016, overdose deaths reached a record-breaking 19.9 people per 100,000. If this trend continues, our localities will need all the help the federal government can offer to battle...

    To Sell or Not to Sell? Small Local Governments Look at Privatizing their Public Water Systems

    water

    According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, the United States needs over $600 billion for water infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years. The American Society of Civil Engineers has given the United States a “D” grade on their Drinking Water Infrastructure Report Card, citing the older age of many of the country’s pipelines, the large number of water main breaks, and the likelihood of contamination, especially in smaller water systems. On Monday The Washington Post highlighted that the idea of...

    NARC in the News: Route Fifty National Conference of Regions Coverage

    Reporters from Route Fifty attended NARC’s National Conference of Regions this week and interviewed NARC’s Director of Transportation Programs, Erich Zimmermann, on infrastructure funding and the MPO Coordination Rule. They also attended and covered two different sessions at the conference on NARC’s Fleets for the Future grant program and infrastructure funding.

    Executive Order Aimed at Reducing Regulations

    President Donald Trump ordered government agencies to propose repealing two regulations for each new one they issue. Agencies will propose regulations to repeal when they write new ones, and the White House will approve them. Administration officials say that the military and regulations related to national security will be exempt from the executive action.