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Arapahoe County News

Posted on: March 9, 2020

AC Commissioners attend annual NACo conference in DC

NACo Legislative Conference

Immediately after finishing up their annual Leadership Workshop at home, the Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners flew to Washington DC during the first week of March for the 2020 National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference. The event brings together county officials from across the U.S. to engage federal government representatives, share best practices and learn from peers and national experts.

There are 3,069 counties across the nation that invest almost $600 billion every year in taxpayer programs and services, and NACo’s role is to “support federal policies and programs that equip county governments with the resources and flexibility needed to effectively serve [all] residents.” Among the organization’s priorities this year are securing counties’ role as essential partners in the governmental matrix; promoting county-level infrastructure priorities; supporting mental health and substance use treatment, and addressing criminal justice reforms; and improving a variety of services, such as schools and broadband, to rural areas.

The Arapahoe County commissioners had packed schedules throughout the week. Among the highlights:

  • The entire Board met with Colorado’s Congressional delegation—primarily senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet, and Rep. Jason Crow—to discuss the County’s legislative priorities, including the federal Metroplex blueprint, infrastructure funding and various federal grant programs.
  • Commissioner Bill Holen spoke on a panel about PFAS issues at Buckley Air Force Base and around the County.
  • Commissioner Nancy Sharpe updated conference attendees about the work of the task force she co-chairs, which advocates for the elimination of the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy. Commissioner Sharpe also received an award from the National Association of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disorders.
  • Commissioner Kathleen Conti attended meetings of the Regional Air Quality Council and the Large Urban County Caucus. She also met with Veterans Administration representatives to discuss recent developments in the opioid crisis, and about efforts to address veteran suicides.
  • Commissioner Jeff Baker attended the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Steering Committee and Policy Meetings, along with the Military and Veterans Subcommittee. 
  • Commissioner Nancy Jackson attended a Health Steering Committee meeting to advocate for suicide prevention, protecting Medicaid, and securing additional funding for substance use disorders. She also listened to Colin Powell address a gathering about leadership lessons he’s learned during his time in the military and government.

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