Capitol Connection E-Newsletter – October 2018
ACCG Membership Adopts 2019 Policy Agenda and Priorities
The ACCG membership approved the 2019 Policy Agenda and Legislative Priorities during this year’s Legislative Leadership Conference in Glynn County. There were two funding/appropriation priorities that included full state funding for new voting equipment that is expected to be deployed in 2020 and new funding for additional behavioral health crisis centers to help divert the mentally ill from county jails. In addition to the funding priorities, the membership approved three legislative priorities. The priority receiving the most votes was incentivizing broadband deployment in the rural areas of the state and to protect local control of county right-of-way during the deployment of 5G wireless equipment. The other two top legislative priorities were protecting local authority to place fees on the property tax bill and increasing the local tag and title fees to cover the cost incurred by the tax commissioner to process tags and titles for the state. 

To review the adopted agenda including priorities click here.  

Time to Update your CLC Network
With the 2019 legislative session approaching, ACCG wants to update the list of county legislative coordinators (CLC). The CLC network is a communication tool that helps county commissioners and county management stay updated on legislation of importance to counties and provides county-specific information to ACCG to help legislators assess the impact of proposed legislation. Further details on the responsibilities of a CLC can be found here. County chairmen are asked to officially designate the CLC by passing a  resolution  at a commission meeting.

Please contact Todd Edwards ( if you have any questions.

ACCG Webinar ' Review of Constitutional Amendments' Available Online
On October 1, the ACCG policy team hosted an informative webinar reviewing the proposed constitutional amendments that will be placed on the ballot in the general election this November. Before you vote, be informed on the impact proposed amendments for HR 238 , HR 993 and HR 51 will have on county government operations. Visit the ACCG website to review the webinar and to access the fact sheets on the proposed amendments.
District Meetings are Quickly Approaching!
The first round of 2018 District Meetings begin next week. Attend a meeting of your choice in any of ACCG's 12 districts throughout the state for an opportunity to interact with state lawmakers and engage in discussions on significant 2019 policy issues as outlined in the ACCG Legislative Agenda and Legislative Priorities. More details on District Meetings can be found here . Contact your clerk to register.

Please contact Nicole Logan ( ) if you have any questions.

ACCG - GMA Local Government Federal Advocacy Forum
All county officials and county staff are invited to attend the upcoming GMA-ACCG Local Government Federal Advocacy Forum. This event will take place on Thursday, November 1, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Anderson Conference Center in Macon-Bibb County. The purpose of the forum is to encourage city and county officials to become more engaged on federal issues that impact local governments, to build good relationships with Congressional district staff as well as members of Georgia’s delegation, and to become familiar with key resources available through federal agencies.

Click here for the agenda. There is no cost to attend, but please register here .
Policy Bulletin from Georgia Department of Revenue
The Georgia Department of Revenue recently posted a Policy Bulletin providing guidance on the state and local sales tax on remote sellers. This new law will go into effect January 1, 2019. To review the Bulletin click here .

GDOT Local Bridge Replacement Program
Currently there are approximately 1,400 posted bridges in Georgia out of the nearly 15,000 structures within the state. The majority of these deficient bridges are locally-owned. In an effort to reduce this number, GDOT has created the Local Bridge Replacement Program (LOCBR). Click here for more details on this program and be on the outlook for more information from GDOT on how counties can participate.

Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) Grant Opportunity
The Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) is offering grants up to $5,000 to local historical repositories in Georgia to develop and/or implement projects to identify, preserve, and provide access to historical records. The deadline to apply for the grant is November 30, 2018. Details on how to apply are provided here .
FCC Curtails Local Control in 5G Deployment Order
On September 26, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a new rule – the   Streamlining Deployment of Next Generation Wireless Infrastructure Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order   –  on 5G wireless network deployment that preempts local government authority to manage the public’s right of way (ROW). The FCC decision limits fees local governments may assess on telecommunications companies for the placement, construction or co-location of new wireless poles (up to 50 feet tall), antennas, and equipment boxes (up to 28 cubic feet) in the ROW. It also establishes time frames (shot clocks) by which local governments must act on permits for these wireless facilities, and curtails any local aesthetic and spacing requirements. 

Click here for more information published in a report by the National Association of Counties. 

Resources Available - U.S. Department of Agricultural Rural Development
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency has several resources available to assist communities combating the opioid epidemic. Rural communities in need of funding assistance with projects that address opioid misuse can apply for a grant offered by USDA. For more information on how to apply and eligibility requirements, click here .

Apply now: FAA awarding $1 billion in grant funding for airport improvement projects
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the Federal Aviation Administration awarded $205 million in funding for infrastructure grants to small airports in 34 states. This is the first round of $1 billi on in total funding for airport improvement projects. The deadline to apply for the supplemental funding grants is October 31. Read the full NACo article here .

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List the Eastern Black Rail as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners are working to protect an endangered marsh bird known as the Eastern Black Rail. S ome populations of the  eastern black rail  along the Atlantic coast have dropped by as much as 90 percent , and with a relatively small total population remaining across the eastern United States, the Service is proposing to list the subspecies as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Read the full press release for more details about this endangered bird and the proposed rule that that would tailor protections for the bird. For your reference, a range map can be found here .
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2018 District Meeting