New Hersey State of Muncicipalities Facebook Twitter  Linkedin with NJSLOM NJSLOM YouTube Channel NJLM Blog       





   

October 1, 2014

Federal Update – Several Issues
I.     National League of Cities’ Webinar on November 7 “Prepare for the Last Days of the
113th Congress”

II.   Congress Passes Short-Term Funding Measure and Adjourns for Mid-Term Elections
III.  EPA Extends Comment Period for Greenhouse Gas Rule Proposal
IV.  Army Corps Accepting Water Resource Project Proposals
V.   Congressional Cosponsors for CDBG 40th Anniversary Resolution now at 80

Dear Mayor:

Thanks to the Federal Relations Staff at the National League of Cities (NLC) in our Nation’s Capital, here is an update on some important Federal policy developments.

I.  NLC Schedules “Prepare for the Last Days of the 113th Congress” Webinar
After the dust has settled from the 2014 midterm elections, hear from NLC's staff on what municipalities can expect from the upcoming lame duck session of Congress in a webinar on Friday, November 7 at 1:00PM (EST). NLC's Federal Advocacy team will share their insights on the impact the election results may have on Congress in 2015 and their view of the prospects for action during the lame duck session on NLC's legislative priorities, including federal funding for local priorities and Marketplace Fairness. After the webinar, you will be equipped with the latest information to advocate for your municipality and press your congressional delegation to take action on the issues that matter to local government in the final days of this session.

Congress will move quickly when it returns to Washington in November. Be prepared - register now to reserve your place in the webinar.

II.  Congress Passes Short-Term Funding Measure and Adjourns for Mid-Term Elections
Congress passed a short-term bill to fund the federal government through December 11, allowing lawmakers to adjourn for the campaign season and to address longer-term spending measures when they return after the November 4 midterm elections. The bill also included an extension until December 11 of a moratorium on internet access taxes, which was to expire November 1.

While the Senate did not consider the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act (S.2609), we will continue to ask our delegation to see e-fairness become law in the lame duck session of Congress.

You can help us by contacting our Senators and urging them to co-sponsor S. 2609. You could also contact your House member and tell him how important it is for your community that he vote in favor of helping your Main Street retailer by passing e-fairness legislation this year. (For more background on this issue, consider our May 16 “Washington Watch” update at www.njslom.org/letters/2014-0512-Fed-Update.html.)

III.  EPA Extends Comment Period for Greenhouse Gas Rule Proposal
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a 45 day extension to the comment period on the Clean Power Plan proposed rule, which sets carbon pollution emissions guidelines for existing power plants. Comments will now be due Dec. 1, 2014. NLC will submit comments on the proposal, and encourages interested communities to do the same.

EPA's proposed rule would result in an overall national reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. This overall reduction would be achieved through state-specific goals for emissions reductions, which vary by state, but are based on a standard formula that takes into account current sources of power generation, energy efficiency measures, and expected fossil fuel plant retirements in each state. The proposal does not set emissions goals for Vermont or Washington, DC, as neither have a fossil fuel-fired power plant.

Under the proposed rule, states will have broad flexibilities to develop the strategies and solutions for meeting the state goals, including making fossil fuel power plants more efficient, increasing renewable energy generation, increasing low carbon power sources, and reducing demand for energy by improving energy efficiency.

Among the implementation options for states is the ability to develop multi-state implementation plans and to establish market-based trading programs, such as those already underway in California and New England/Mid-Atlantic.

EPA plans to finalize the rule by June 2015, with State Implementation Plans due by June 2016.

How to comment:
Submitting comments on the proposed rule, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602, can be done online by web submission or email. For web submissions, visit the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal and follow the instructions for submitting comments.

If your municipality decides to submit comments, please send a copy to Jon Moran at jmoran@njslom.com

IV.  Army Corps Accepting Water Resource Project Proposals
Under the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which became law in June, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) is accepting proposals from local governments for feasibility studies and modifications to authorized water resources development projects. The request is open until December 3, 2014.

WRRDA authorized flood protection, navigation and ecosystem restoration projects to help upgrade the nation's aging infrastructure. A key WRRDA provision allows local project sponsors to submit proposals to Army Corps, which in turn will submit a list to Congress for authorization.

Under that provision, Section 7001, Army Corps is soliciting proposals from local and regional stakeholders for water resources studies or project modifications to be conducted in partnership with the Agency. Section 7001 provides an excellent opportunity for local governments to shape the future of Army Corps by identifying beneficial and necessary water resources projects to be developed through federal/non-federal cost sharing.

Through the Section 7001 solicitation, local governments can help Army Corps and Congress identify where scarce federal resources can be invested to address our nation's water resources priorities.

Once proposals are collected, Army Corps will publish an Annual Report to Congress listing the proposed projects. The Annual Report is intended to be the sole list of water resources projects to be considered for authorization in future legislation.

V.  Congressional Cosponsors for CDBG 40th Anniversary Resolution Now at 80                  In recognition of the 40th anniversary of the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), which President Ford signed into law on August 22, 1974, the co-chairs of the Congressional Urban Caucus, Representatives Chaka Fattah (D-PA) and Michael Turner (R-OH) and a bipartisan group of supporters, have  introduced H.Res. 668, Supporting the goals and ideals of the Community Development Block Grant program.

NLC is partnering with these long serving congressional champions of the CDBG program to help secure additional cosponsors for the resolution. In our August 5 letter (http://www.njslom.org/letters/2014-0805-Federal-Update.html), we asked New Jersey local officials to contact their Congressman in support of this effort. The number of cosponsors rose from 42 to 83 during the month of September. Sadly, no New Jersey Congressmen have been added to that list, but there is still time to ask them for their support by clicking here. The House is expected to vote on the measure during the lame duck session in November.

On behalf of League Past Presidents, Mayor Chris Bollwage of Elizabeth and Mayor Art Ondish of Mount Arlington – the Co-chairs of our CDBG Task Force – we urge you to reach out to your Congressman, asking him to join as cosponsor of H.Res.668. To show your support for the CDBG program with your Congressman, click here to access NLC’s internet connection.

If you have any questions on these matters, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or jmoran@njslom.com

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

 

Privacy Statement | NJLM FAQ
New Jersey State League of Municipalities • 222 West State Street • Trenton, NJ 08608 • (609) 695-3481
  FAX: (609) 695-0151