Blue Earth County Commissioners Drew Campbell, Will Purvis and Vance Stuehrenberg joined more than 1,700 county leaders in Washington, D.C. for the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual Legislative Conference Feb. 24 – March 1. Attendees met with members of the Trump administration and Congress on key issues like tax and health care reform and surface transportation.
In addition to conference events, Commissioners specifically heard from the Minnesota delegation and took part in individual meetings with Congressman Tim Walz, Senator Amy Klobuchar and with staff part of Senator Al Franken’s Office.
“At a time of tremendous change in Washington, it’s important that counties are at the table when decisions affecting us and our residents are being made,” said NACo President Bryan Desloge.
County leaders emphasized to Congress and the White House that federal policies matter to county government and county government matters to America. In meetings with lawmakers and administration officials, county leaders outlined several key federal policy priorities including:
•Protecting municipal bonds
•Promoting county priorities in surface transportation implementation, and
•Rolling back federal regulations implemented without local input
Conference attendees heard from congressional and administration leaders including U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Mark Warner and U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop. County leaders also participated in the signing of an executive order by President Trump revamping the “Waters of the U.S.” rule.
Also, with health care reform on the congressional agenda, NACo hosted a Capitol Hill briefing on on the crucial role counties play in local health systems.
There were more than two dozen educational workshops featuring county officials and other leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. They focused on topics like the opioid crisis; homelessness; workforce and economic development; transportation and infrastructure; public health and safety; mental health and jails; and cybersecurity and technology.
“Counties stand ready to work together with the administration and leaders on Capitol Hill as we continue to build safe and vibrant communities across the country,” said Desloge.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service. More information at: www.naco.org.