WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 2012 – Reauthorization of the farm bill, relief from unfunded mandates, and a renewed focus on rural healthcare and substance abuse are among the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Rural Action Caucus (RAC) 2013 Legislative Priorities. These priorities are designed to help improve the lives of Americans living in rural communities.
RAC members adopted the priorities during the group’s annual meeting held Nov. 8-10 in St. Landry Parish, La. The purpose of the annual meeting is for leaders in county, parish and borough government to discuss the needs and concerns of the rural Americans they represent and decide how best to influence federal legislation, regulations and funding affecting rural people, businesses and communities.
NACo’s 2013 Rural Action Caucus priorities include:
- relief from unfunded mandates;
- reauthorization of the farm bill with a focus on rural development;
- renewed focus on improving rural healthcare and substance abuse programs with a focus on rural veterans and youth;
- implementation of the key rural provisions of the Surface Transportation Law (MAP-21), and
- reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools & Self Determination Act and PILT, which are critical to communities with Public Lands.
Participants also provided input on NACo’s strategic planning process and discussed best practices, solutions and innovations that can be replicated by other rural communities, such as “smart justice” system reforms and food system improvements. Other issues discussed include the potential effects of sequestration – looming automatic, across-the-board federal spending reductions – and election results.
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