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March 6, 2015                                                                 www.nacone.org   NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

Central District Meeting

Kearney, NE

March 19, 2015

Agenda 

 

Northeast District Meeting

Norfolk, NE

March 20, 2015

Agenda 

 

Panhandle District  

Meeting

Gering Civic Center 

March 25, 2015

Agenda 

 

West Central District Meeting

Curtis Ag College

March 26, 2015

Agenda 

 

Southeast District Meeting

Mahoney State Park

April, 17, 2015

Agenda "Under Construction"

 

Nebraska Association of Emergency Managers Annual Conference

Holiday Inn Midtown

Grand Island

April 1-3, 2015   

 

Save the Dates For: 

 

Board of Equalization Workshop

Younes Conference Center

Kearney, NE

May 14, 2015  

 

County Board Workshop

Holiday Inn  

Kearney, NE

June 10-12, 2015 

 

To view all upcoming events, click here.

 


WHO SUPPORTS NACO AND THEIR MISSION?

 

AssocMembersAssociate and Sustaining Members

NACO Associate and Sustaining Members enable NACO to enhance its continuing education programs for county officials across the state. Visit NACO's complete associate and sustaining membership list here.

In This Issue  

County Board Workshop to be Held in June this Year 

West Central NACO District Changes District Meeting Format   

Department of Revenue Announces Assessor Test Date

Department of Labor Announces Inmate Grant Opportunities

Nebraska Crime Commission Announces Violence Prevention Grants

Deciding the Affordable Care Act's Future

Legal Line

County Government Day PowerPoint  

2015 County Official Directory Order Form  

2014 County Board Handbook and Revisions  

News From NACo  

NACo Web-Based Education 

News From Across the State 

County Classifieds    

Legal Calendar

Associate & Sustaining Members 

cbrdwkshpCounty Board Workshop to be Held in June this Year
After last year's County Board Workshop in February, it was decided to move the workshop time from February to June.  A declining registration rate was determined to be the main factor in the decision.  Larry Dix, NACO Executive Director stated that, "while it is difficult to pick a time that will work for everyone, we will continue to offer the same quality of education for the workshop that has been enjoyed in the past."

This year's County Board Workshop will be held at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Kearney on June 10th through June 12th.  Registration for the event will be provided on the NACO webiste when it opens in May.
westcentWest Central NACO District Changes District Meeting Format
Members of the West Central District will need to take notice of a change in the format of the district meeting that will be held on March 26th in Curtis, Nebraska.

J.R. Houser, Frontier County Commissioner and West Central District President has selected the Ag College in Curtis for the location of the meeting.  The format will continue to have registration, coffee and rolls from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. as usual with the Business Meeting starting at 10:00 am. and continuing to 11:00 a.m.  From 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. there will be a tour of the ag college for the District meeting participants.  Luncheon will be served at noon and then the district group meetings will begin at 1:00 p.m. and continue until finished that afternoon.  
deptofreveneuDepartment of Revenue Announces Assessor Test Date

The Property Assessment Division has posted a news release to the Division's website for the County Assessor/Deputy Assessor Exam May 14, 2015.

 

If you have any questions, please contact the Policy/Legal Section of the Property Assessment Division.

deptoflaborDepartment of Labor Announces Inmate Grant Opportunities
Jail-Based Job Centers Will Help Break the Cycle of Incarceration

Strong employment prospects are critical in keeping previously incarcerated people from returning to prison. To help transitioning inmates get the resources and support structure they need to succeed, the department is launching a $5 million pilot program to place American Job Centers in 10 correction facilities around the country. The prison-based job centers will ensure that inmates nearing release get a head start in preparing for the job market. Once released, former inmates will be directly connected to one of the 2,500 American Job Centers nationwide to receive continued support and assistance. "These grants will give soon-to-be released inmates a real shot at success, keep our communities safe and go a long way toward breaking the cycle of incarceration that has plagued so many families around the country," said Secretary of Labor Perez.

  

Grant applications are open now until April 3, 2015.  For the press release and additional information go to: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ETA20150187.htm  

nccovpNebraska Crime Commission Announces Violence Prevention Grants

The Nebraska Crime Commission is pleased to announce the availability of FY 2014-2015 Office of Violence prevention Grant [OVP].


The Application Instructions outline general guidelines, eligibility, and funding requirements.
   

This information can be found on the Crime Commission website:  http://www.ncc.ne.gov/grant_information/application.htm  

  
COMPETITIVE FUNDS AVAILABLE:             $700,000.00

Application Period Closes: April 3rd 2015 @ 5:00 p.m. CST

  

You are encouraged to distribute and post the announcement. Please contact Chris Harris, Director of the Office of Violence Prevention at the Nebraska Crime Commission at 402-471-3813 (office) 402-416-4129 (cell) 402-471-2837 (fax) or by email: chris.harris@nebraska.gov for answers to any questions concerning the funds and application process.
affordDeciding the Affordable Care Act's Future
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) took up a very important case this week - King versus Burwell.  All politics and rhetoric aside, this case has the potential to virtually upend the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and stakeholders should be informed as to its implications.   At the core of the case is whether or not the federal government has the authority to issue subsidies (or tax credits) to otherwise eligible individuals that reside in a state that does not have a "state based health insurance exchange" (emphasis on the word - state).  Nearly three years ago, the SCOTUS rendered a decision addressing the constitutionality of the ACA...specifically the individual mandate. This time around, the SCOTUS will be interpreting specific language within the 2,700 pages of the law, and their determination could have a profound impact on the future of health care in America. 

 

Like an elaborate structure or a line of dominoes, the ACA depends on many individual components or pieces fitting together to create an end result.  To achieve the ACA's primary goal of expanding access to...and insurance coverage for - health care - the law relies on three essential underpinnings:

1. Non-discrimination rules for insurers/plans: this means guaranteed issuance of coverage by insurers and employers, with no preclusion for so called pre-existing conditions;

2. The Individual Mandate: the requirement that with certain few exceptions, everyone MUST purchase/acquire health insurance, or face increasing fines levied by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  This mandate (upheld by the SCOTUS in June of 2012) seeks to create a necessary balance of healthy and sick individuals in the insurance "pool"; and

3. Insurance Exchanges/Subsidies: for those that can't access/acquire health insurance from an employer or the federal government (i.e, Medicare, Medicaid, VA), the law established marketplaces for buyers to shop for coverage.  And for those in need of assistance to pay for coverage, the law provides subsidies in the form of tax credits, making the cost of coverage more affordable and attainable.

King v. Burwell is a case challenging the ability of the federal government to provide subsidies (see no. 3 above) in those states that do not have a STATE based health insurance exchange.  The essence of this case rests on six (6) important words, firmly embedded in the ACA - "...an exchange established by the State". The law stipulates that only residents of states having a STATE based health insurance exchange are eligible to receive subsidies to help pay for health insurance.  And since 34 states originally opted to default to a federal (rather than state) exchange, the plaintiffs (represented by King) challenged the ability of the federal government to provide...and for otherwise eligible individuals to receive...subsidies in these states. 


Should the SCOTUS rule in favor of the plaintiffs (King), the federal government would no longer be allowed to provide health insurance subsidies in the 34 states lacking a STATE based exchange.  Of course the states could establish their own exchanges and thus, resume the flow of subsidies, but practically speaking, it would be challenging at best to pull this off.  The reality is, without subsidies, the three (3) ACA underpinnings outlined above unravel.   

 

And, since the ACA's employer mandate/shared responsibility provision is only triggered by the purchase of SUBSIDIZED coverage, a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would render the employer mandate unenforceable.

Suffice it to say, a ruling in favor of King by the SCOTUS would eliminate subsidies (no. 3 above) in 34 states, which would profoundly affect the ability of nos. 1. and 2. above to survive/work, and in effect "kill" the employer mandate.  A ruling in favor of Burwell would result in no effect on nos. 1., 2., and 3. above, so "business as usual", and the continuation of the ACA's roll out, including the eventual activation of provisions previously delayed.

So once again, we'll be glued to our computers, devices and televisions this coming June, to find out what the SCOTUS decides will be the fate...of the ACA!

legallineLegal Line
Editor's Note: Legal Line is a feature that will periodically appear in NACO E-Line. This edition has been prepared by Elaine Menzel of the NACO legal staff. Legal Line is not intended to serve as legal advice. Rather, it is published to alert readers to court decisions and legal or advisory matters important to county government. For a specific opinion on how the information contained in this article or that which will be discussed in future issues relates to your county, consult your county attorney or personal counsel.

Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decision

 

In T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell, 135 S. Ct. 808 (2015), the Telecommunications Act of 1996 provides, in pertinent part, that "[a]ny decision by a State or local government or instrumentality thereof to deny a request to place, construct, or modify personal wireless service facilities shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record." The Supreme Court held 6-3 that pursuant to the Telecommunications Act localities must provide or make available their reasons, but that those reasons need not appear in the written denial letter or notice provided by the locality. Instead, the locality's reasons may appear in some other written record so long as the reasons are sufficiently clear and are provided or made accessible to the applicant essentially contemporaneously with the written denial letter or notice.

 

The Court's basis for localities providing reasons for denial of an application was from provisions of the Telecommunications Act which generally preserves the traditional authority of state and local governments to regulate the location, construction, and modification of wireless communications facilities like cell phone towers, but imposes "specific limitations" on that authority.  

 

Further, the Court stated, "Other than providing that a locality's reasons must be given in writing, nothing in that text imposes any requirement that the reasons be given in any particular form." The Court concluded that Congress imposed no specific requirement on that front, but instead permitted localities to comply with their obligation to give written reasons so long as the locality's reasons are stated clearly enough to enable judicial review. Although the statute does not require a locality to provide its written reasons in any particular format, and although a locality may rely on detailed meeting minutes as it did in this case, the Court agreed with the Solicitor General that "the local government may be better served by including a separate statement containing its reasons." If the locality writes a short statement providing its reasons, the locality can likely avoid prolonging the litigation-and adding expense to the taxpayers, the companies, and the legal system-while the parties argue about exactly what the sometimes voluminous record means. Moreover, in that circumstance, the locality need not worry that, upon review of the record, a court will either find that it could not ascertain the locality's reasons or mistakenly ascribe to the locality a rationale that was not in fact the reason for the locality's denial.

CountygovernementdaycdCounty Government Day PowerPoint
The PowerPoint presentation is available electronically at no charge (sent via e-mail) for use by counties during their annual County Government Day. The PowerPoint provides a comprehensive look at county government functions in the State of Nebraska and can be customized by each county. CD's are also available for $10.00 each to cover processing, shipping and handling. To request the County Government Day PowerPoint electronically, please e-mail your request to larrydix@nacone.org. The CD order form is available here .
 coudir2015 County Official Directory Order Form
NACO's 2015 Directory of County Officials is a valuable resource that not only gives you names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses of every county official in the state, but includes a listing of county board meeting days, NACO districts, county seats, NACO officers and directors, affiliate officers and NACO staff.  In January, county clerks for each county will receive one complimentary copy of the directory intended for use by all offices in their courthouse.  For additional copies, click here for the order form.
County_Board_Handbook_20122014 County Board  Handbook and Revisions
The 2014 County Board Handbook and related revisions are now available. The cost for a current handbook, including legislative information from the 2014 session, is $80.00/book plus $18.00 shipping and handling per book. The 2014 Supplement to the County Board Handbook is available for $25.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling. The order form is available on the NACO website here. For questions, contact Ashley Vandeloo by clicking here or call her at (402) 434-5660 ext. 223.
newsfromnacoNews from NACo
NACo Holds Hill Briefing on Medicaid and the Role of Counties in Local Health Systems
Pictured here (L to R):  Mary Ann Borgeson, Commissioner, Douglas County, Neb.; John Jay Shannon, Chief Executive Officer, Cook County Health and Hospital System, Cook County, Ill.; Donald Haney, Administrator, Thornapple Manor/Barry County Medical Care Facility, Barry County, Mich.; Edward Michalik, Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities Administrator, Berks County, Pa.; Bob England, Director, Maricopa County, Ariz.; and Mary Ann Borgeson, Commissioner, Douglas County, Neb.

At a February 24 briefing on Capitol Hill-part of the National Association of Counties' (NACo) 2015 Legislative Conference-county health executives explained how America's 3,069 counties, parishes and boroughs provide the foundation for local health systems nationwide.
The panelists highlighted how federal health policy matters to counties and why counties matter to America-by providing the essential building blocks for healthy and vibrant local communities.

Click here to watch a recording of the briefing.  View our videos on YouTube

Spending about $70 billion a year, counties finance and administer many health functions at the local level, like public health, behavioral health, long term care, primary care and inpatient acute care services.  With major decisions about the scale and scope of the federal government's role in America's health system pending-from the FY 2016 federal budget and appropriations for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to major entitlement reforms impacting the Medicaid program-briefing participants, led by NACo Health Steering Committee Chair, Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson of Douglas County, Neb., hammered home why counties need to be at the table during these discussions.
 
Dr. Bob England, the director of the Maricopa County (Ariz.) Department of Public Health, explained how 1,592  county health departments stretch limited federal, state and local tax dollars to promote health and prevent injury and disease for their whole populations.  Dr. Ed Michalik, the administrator of the Berks County (Pa.) agency serving people with mental health conditions and developmental disabilities, discussed how 750 county behavioral health authorities administer state and federal programs, like Medicaid, efficiently and cost-effectively.  
 
Don Haney, the administrator of the Barry County (Mich.) medical care facility-one of 676 county nursing homes-explained how counties, as intergovernmental partners with the state, use local funds as part of the state Medicaid match to provide innovative long term care services for residents with Alzheimer's and other disabilities.  Dr. John Shannon, the CEO of the Cook County (Ill.) Health and Hospital System, gave examples of how a large urban county hospital-one of 960 county supported hospitals-is remaking the local health care safety net with a new Medicaid managed care plan and other interagency and intergovernmental innovations.
 
Commissioner Borgeson summarized, "the decisions Congress make in how to regulate and fund health services, including public health, behavioral health, long-term care and hospital services profoundly impacts county government. Since these decisions will affect our constituents' access to healthcare services and their local tax burden, counties need to be at the table, helping federal policy makers craft workable, sustainable solutions."

Check out NACo's resources that will help with your advocacy efforts
NACo_WebinarsNACo Web-Based Education
What to Look for in the 2015 County Health Rankings

Thu, Mar 19, 2015 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM CDT

Join us to learn about how the County Health Rankings can serve as a tool to help improve health in your community! Learn from experts at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and one of your peer county leaders about the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. New measures and tools will be presented and will include discussion about how these resources can assist your county in its journey toward building a culture of health. Participants will also get access to embargoed data before the March 25th national release of the 2015 County Health Rankings. Register today by clicking https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4316267399537939970.
newsacstNews From Across the State
Nebraska Association of County Officials
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