Board Puts Emphasis on Health Care, Mandates, Crime
Baker, Denise, Nation's Cities Weekly
The NLC Board of Directors assessed progress on the 1993 Action Agenda, with particular emphasis on health care reform, crime, and reducing mandates, and initiated planning for the 1994 Action Agenda to guide the organization during the coming year.
Three policy committee chairs joined the Board during its meeting in Orlando to provide updates on key policy issues which, in part, reflected the 1993 Action Agenda and to recommend action in 1994 on emerging issues.
Human Development (HD) Policy Committee Chair Dorothy Inman-Crews, mayor of Tallahassee, Fla., reported on that committee's work on health care reform focusing primarily on the committee's positions supporting an employer mandate to finance health care reform and supporting the ultimate goal of a single payer system. (See related story on policy action at the NLC Annual Business Meeting.)
Transportation and Communications (T&C) Policy Committee Chair Sharon Priest, City Director of Little Rock, Arkansas, reported on that committee's work to begin to develop a new direction for communication policy. Priest told the Board that the T&C Committee had spent the past year examining the implications of emerging technologies that will establish the telecommunications "highway of tomorrow." She urged the Board to make telecommunications one of its action priorities in 1994 and to refer the report of the T&C Committee to all five policy committees in 1994 for their consideration.
The Board accepted the T&C Report and will include telecommunications as a potential priority when it meets in March 1994.
Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations Committee Chair Greg Lashutka, Mayor of Columbus, Ohio, reported on his committee's work in the area of regionalism. Lashutka told the Board that the FAIR Committee believes that the manner in which municipal issues are framed and resolved within a regional perspective is a key element for the future of many of America's cities and towns. He recommended that the FAIR Committee be charged with pursuing this issue in more depth in 1994 with a goal of providing an interim report to the Board at its July 1994 meeting.
The Board accepted the FAIR Committee report and recommendations.
The Board also reviewed its current policy on unfunded mandates and heard a report from the FAIR Committee on a proposed amendment to the policy adding four general principles to clarify NLC's position on mandates. NLC's mandate preamble to the National Municipal Policy, which was adopted by the Board, the Resolutions Committee, and the general membership at the 1991 Congress of Cities states that NLC opposes federal mandates unless the National Municipal Policy specifically supports such as mandate. (See related story on policy action at the NLC Annual Business Meeting.)
The Board accepted the report affirming NLC's current policy on unfunded mandates and its current position supporting Congressional action to ease the burden of current and prospective federal mandates without identifying any one bill as the best approach. More than 30 bills have been introduced in Congress on the subject of unfunded mandates. …