Local Officials Ready to Prepare National Municipal Policy
City and town leaders from every section of the nation will be addressing the immediate and long term concerns of municipal officials through the national officials through the adoption of the National Municipal Policy in Orlando.
The National Municipal Policy is the statement of the goals, policies, and program objectives representing the consensus of city leaders in the nearly 16,000 direct and indirect member cities and towns. It serves as the basis for NLC's advocacy efforts and is developed through the work of NLC's five standing policy committees, the Board of Directors, and the full membership.
The Congress of Cities is the culmination of NLC's annual policy process--it is the time when the organization speaks with one voice to the country. This year NLC leaders will bring recommendations on issues as diverse and controversial as health care reform, telecommunications infrastructure, international trade, and mandates to the annual business meeting.
Following is a brief summary of the tissues of each of NLC's steering committees, built upon from the guidance from NLC's Policy Committees beginning last March:
Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations
Mayor Greg Lashutka of Columbus, Ohio and Chair of NLC's Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations (FAIR) Committee will chair a busy meeting of the FAIR Policy Committee in Orlando, Florida on Thursday, December 2nd.
Amendments to clarify and expand NLC positions on federal mandates and the Census are the leading proposals coming out of the Steering Committee. Additionally, the Steering Committee is proposing policy language dealing with an issue raised by the League of California Cities dealing with retroactive assertion of sales tax immunity by federal contractors.
Mandates and Census Proposals
The policy language proposed to be added would supplement NLC's general policy of opposition to federal mandates by proposing that Congress and administrative agencies follow a number of procedural steps to ensure increased consideration of the impact of federal mandates prior to their implementation. The census language proposals are crafted to make more explicit the municipal interest in census improvement and the desired direction of improvements to deal both with the differential undercount and also assure a more accurate and timely census.
Committee Proposed Amendments
Additionally, the FAIR Steering Committee is proposing six amendments which, upon adoption, would convert existing resolutions (which expire at the end of this year) to standing NLC policy. These proposals, which have been passed at least once and sometimes twice by the NLC membership, deal with topics as diverse as federal budget deficits, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and administrative costs taken off the top of federal mineral and timber payments to local jurisdictions.
Other Proposals Cover Wide Range
Even other resolutions were submitted for the Policy Committee's consideration including an omnibus proposal on federal mandates which combines the recommendations of seven different sponsors. Other subjects proposed include: support for a revised method for amending the federal constitution, the role of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, opposition to exclusive and perpetual franchises for rural electric cooperatives covering territory within municipal boundaries, and a series of amendments dealing with taxation of federal property and federal in-lieu of tax payments. Additional resolutions propose opposition to a federal Police Officers Bill of Rights, opposition to proposed federal legislation on OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) reform and commending study of the impact of provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act which are particularly relevant to municipalities.
Constitutional Amendment Procedure
The Virginia Municipal League is proposing that the U. …