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The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) has announced its selection to oversee Coalition advancement, grassroots engagement, and federal advocacy actions in a full-time capacity. Cole Arreola-Karr, NSDC’s previously parttime Federal Advocacy Coordinator, filled the newly established Federal Advocacy Director role on October 1, 2022, to administer Coalition activities and ensure NSDC’s federal priorities are executed. He has coordinated the Coalition’s federal advocacy program since its formal establishment in January 2021 and will now play an even greater role in providing services and oversight of the advocacy program on a 27-month contract doing business ...
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Public Trust Advisors, LLC (Public Trust), an investment advisory firm dedicated to servicing public sector investors nationwide, recently became a platinum-level partner with the National Special Districts Coalition in support of mutual efforts to strengthen and advance special districts across the country. Providing services to more than 1,500 special districts and thousands of additional public agencies, Public Trust Advisors specializes in high-quality, low-cost local government investment pool services and provides client-centered account management to assist public agencies in meeting the objectives of safety and liquidity while striving to earn a competitive ...
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The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) completed its first formal advocacy fly-in to Washington, DC, to engage on priority federal issues facing the nation’s 35,000+ special districts. Regular members seated on the NSDC Legislative Committee met with Congressional and Senate offices to share the importance of defining special districts in federal code, promote awareness of essential public services special districts provide to constituents, and begin laying groundwork on efforts to close community gaps in adequate fire suppression infrastructure . “NSDC’s first fly-in is not only significant for our growing Coalition, but it is also a historic success ...
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The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) on Wednesday urged the U.S. Senate to expeditiously consider House-passed legislation crafted in response to worsening drought and wildfire conditions in the West. The House passed, 218-199 , prior to leaving for its August recess H.R. 5118 (Neguse/D-Colo.), the Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act . The omnibus-style bill was amended to include more than 40 stand-alone bills to address the crises. In a letter sent Wednesday to Senate Majority Leaders Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., NSDC underscored the necessity of swift action as special districts ...
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Nextdoor , the popular neighborhood-based social media network, has announced a change to its guidelines that will allow special districts to establish a formal Nextdoor for Public Agencies page on the platform, fostering enhanced community and public relations. The welcome change comes after extensive efforts with special districts stakeholders to promote awareness of special districts as a local government in efforts to gain easier access to the platform’s tools for community communications. More than 5,000 public agencies currently use Nextdoor. Many utilize the tool to share information with residents in specific neighborhoods. The tool may be effective ...
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The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) celebrated Monday the beginning of “National Special Districts Action Week,” its first coordinated national event to connect special districts with their federal representatives during Congress’ annual August recess. “Special districts across the country are engaging with their U.S. House and Senate members to elevate awareness of special districts’ federal issues and locally forge critical relationships with their representatives,” said Cole Karr, NSDC Federal Advocacy Coordinator. “The Coalition is excited to empower our special districts to lead their engagements with resources and information needed for successful ...
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Local agencies providing water and fire protection services in communities across the nation struggle to provide and access adequate resources for fire suppression. In a national report released Tuesday, these agencies urged federal lawmakers to act on recommended solutions to close critical infrastructure gaps. The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) report provides in-depth insights on core issues facing agencies providing water and fire protection services as they fulfill their missions to provide essential public health and safety services.  NSDC along with the fire protection and water agency stakeholders involved in creating the report recommend ...
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced health advisories on four Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, or PFAS , in drinking water. EPA has also announced it will open the first $1 billion in new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding to address PFAS in small and disadvantaged communities. EPA announced an update to its original 2016 advisory on two PFAS contaminants known as PFOA and PFOS . The interim health advisories are triggered for PFOA at 0.004 parts per trillion and PFOS at 0.02 parts per trillion. Both thresholds are below the agency’s minimum reporting level of 4 parts per trillion for both chemicals. The advisories ...
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The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) will coordinate its first annual “National Special Districts Action Week” during the second week of August. The weeklong event will facilitate special districts’ direct engagement with federal legislators during the congressional recess. NSDC will equip special districts with advocacy resources and aid with coordination of meetings with congressional offices during the week of August 8-12. The Coalition’s objective is to provide members with an opportunity to directly engage with their federal representatives to raise awareness of the essential services special districts provide to their constituents, advocate ...
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NSDC is supporting legislation to boost FEMA hazard mitigation project funding in some of the nation’s most hazard-prone communities. The Community Disaster Resilience Zones (CDRZ) Act works within the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act , commonly referred to as the “Stafford Act,” to codify the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Risk Index for Natural Hazards . The index is a relatively new tool that scores each county and census tract based on potential economic losses, social vulnerability, and general community resilience to a range of 18 natural hazards. The legislation would require FEMA to ...
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Special districts have been in the national headlines following the Florida State Legislature’s action to dissolve a narrow set of special districts, targeting the Reedy Creek Improvement District, upon which Walt Disney World was created. This action and subsequent news articles have largely been focused on the social political topic driving the dissolution of these districts, and less so on what special districts are and the great services they provide to millions of Americans across the country.   Published Wednesday exclusively on Smerconish.com is a piece by Districts Make the Difference , the national public awareness campaign for special districts, ...
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The National Special Districts Coalition has endorsed legislation that would allow public water utilities to leverage tax-exempt bonds for the replacement of lead-contaminated service lines on private property. In a letter sent Thursday to Congressman Daniel Kildee, D-Mich., the Coalition outlined its support for his H.R. 6985 , the Finance the Lead Out of Water (FLOW) Act of 2022. The bill would amend the existing tax policy requiring public utilities to sidestep the lengthy, costly Internal Revenue Service’s “ Private Business Use Test ,” which is required to approve tax-exempt bond revenues’ use for use on private land to ensure bond proceeds ...
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The National Special Districts Coalition supports bipartisan legislation that would authorize $1 billion for fire and EMS station construction and enhancement. Congressman Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., sponsors H.R. 3728 , the Fire Station Construction Grants Ac t , which would establish the “Assistance to Firefighters Fire Station Construction Grant” under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Grant funding would cover the building, rebuilding, or renovation of fire and emergency medical services (EMS) facilities and stations. The program would also cover installation of backup power systems, HVAC system upgrades, exhaust emission controls, development ...
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A bipartisan Senate deal to reallocate $10 billion in unused COVID relief and recovery funds to COVID therapies and research also includes key elements of existing legislation offering greater flexibility on use of ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, announced Monday the Bipartisan COVID Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022 , which includes the primary elements of the NSDC-supported State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act , which NSDC strongly supports. This legislation originated in the Senate as S. 3011 (Cornyn) and passed unanimously ...
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The National Special Districts Coalition Legislative Committee authorized during its March 2022 meeting a working group provide solutions to issues pertaining to firefighting infrastructure. The Coalition’s decision to establish the working group is predicated on feedback from various NSDC Members and special districts underscoring a need to address the lack of sustainable and efficient water infrastructure to accommodate firefighting needs. The establishment of the working group coincides with NSDC’s declaration of support for H.R. 3728 (Pascrell), which would authorize a new $1 billion Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program to construct, enhance, ...
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Earmarks are officially back for the federal Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations process, and details are beginning to trickle in from top appropriators. House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., announced in a “ Dear Colleague ” letter the FY23 Community Project Funding process, which is similar to the FY22 program. The Committee and its subcommittees will be reviewing congressional requests through the end of April. Each subcommittee will release details on which federal funding accounts will be open for earmarks in the coming days. Some members of Congress have begun announcing their own application deadlines to ensure adequate time ...
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NSDC signaled its approval Thursday for legislation to boost critical funding resources for firefighter assistance that also proposes policies to address short staffing in America’s fire agencies.  The Coalition’s support of S. 3592 (Sanders), the Firefighter Staffing and Support Act , is rooted in the resources the legislation would authorize and policies offered to enhance the ability for volunteer forces to respond in times of disaster. The bill would authorize $913 million in FY2023 appropriations for each the Assistance for Firefighter Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) programs with adjustments commensurate ...
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The National Special Districts Coalition supports federal legislation that would create labeling standards for non-flushable wet wipes and foster public awareness of the wipes’ impacts on wastewater infrastructure. H.R. 4602 (Lowenthal), the Wastewater Infrastructure Pollution Prevention and Environmental Safety (WIPPES) Act , is a bipartisan effort that would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Trade Commission to collaboratively develop standards for non-flushable wipe manufacturers to print “Do Not Flush” labels on packaging. The legislation would allow violations to be considered “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” ...
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The application period is now open to join a federal commission focused on developing recommendations to policymakers on wildfire mitigation and recovery. The Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission is charged with recommending short- and long-term policies and strategies to federal lawmakers for preventing, mitigating, suppressing, and managing wildfire. The U.S. departments of Agriculture (USDA), Homeland Security (DHS), and Interior (DOI) will coordinate the commission, which will also offer recommendations for the rehabilitation of fire-ravaged lands. NSDC encourages special district representatives with expertise and experience in wildfire preparedness, ...
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The National Special Districts Coalition on Monday communicated to the House Homeland Security Committee its support for the bipartisan State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act of 2021 . The legislation – H.R. 5960 (Neguse) and S. 2520 (Peters) –   would allow the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agencies to enhance communication of vital information regarding potential cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and breaches to state and local governments. The bills would also authorize federal resources to help state and local governments to prevent and recover from future cyberattacks. NSDC’s February 7 letter to House Homeland Security ...
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