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The House of Representative passed Thursday an amended version of a Coalition-supported bill to require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to review its fire mitigation, readiness, and disaster recovery programs. Senator Alex Padilla, D-Calif., sponsors   S. 3092 (Padilla), the FEMA Improvement, Reform, and Efficiency (FIRE) Act of 2022. The current bill maintains most of the supported provisions from its introduction. The bill addresses discrepancies in federal response before and after wildfire events. If passed, it would require FEMA to review its response to wildfire and further examine factors of fire in damage assessments. The National ...
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The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) provided comment Monday on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to designate two common forms per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as “forever chemicals,” as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). In its comment , the Coalition expressed clear concern of the proposed regulation’s potential significant costs on special districts should liability for contamination not be specified – especially among those providing water, wastewater treatment, and fire protection services. Furthermore, NSDC disagrees ...
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Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., met Tuesday with a roundtable of special districts providing critical infrastructure and essential services in Washington’s First Congressional District communities. The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) hosted the virtual event with DelBene’s constituent special districts providing drinking water, wastewater treatment, hospital, port, and broadband services, along with state association partners. Districts discussed legislative and policy issues impacting their ability to deliver quality public services. Of note, districts shared the need to better define “special district” in federal law to break down barriers ...
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Legislation to solidify collaboration among Federal cyber agencies and enhance their collaboration on cybersecurity measures with state and local government is now law. President Joe Biden signed S. 2520 (Peters), the State and Local Cybersecurity Act of 2021 , ( PL 117-150 ), which codifies communication between the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) and official organizations, such as the Multi-State Information Sharing Analysis Center , that exist to enhance state and local governments’ cybersecurity capacity. CISA already consistently works directly with state and local governments as well agencies providing cyber assistance to ...
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The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) opposes federal legislation that would standardize local agencies’ federal financial reporting requirements, potentially posing an unnecessary, costly mandate on local agencies issuing bonds and holding investments. NSDC is especially concerned about efforts to include S. 4295 (Warner), the Financial Data Transparency Act , in the must-pass Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Of specific concern is Section 203 of the bill. If successfully attached as part of the NDAA or passed on a stand-alone basis, Section 203 would require the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) ...
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The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) encourages all special districts to participate in the Census Bureau's 2022 Census of Governments. Completion of this survey provides critical insights to local governments that help advance advocacy and awareness for nation’s special districts. As part of this important study of local governments: states, counties, cities, townships, special districts, and school districts will receive in early November a Census Bureau questionnaire regarding their organizational and financial measurements. The Bureau administers this survey every five years, as it is required to do so by federal law. The collected information ...
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Federal cyber and emergency management agencies have announced the first opening of the $1 billion State, Local, and Cybersecurity Grant Program. The notice of funding opportunity outlines that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will administer the grant with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) providing expert guidance. The program is the first of its kind and was established under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). States, territories, and tribal governments will submit to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requests for funding under the program by November 15, 2022. Grantees are required to submit ...
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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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