Capitol Connection E-Newsletter – October 2020
ACCG Membership Approves 2021 Policy Agenda
ACCG's membership approved the 2021 Policy Agenda through a virtual process that took place on Sept. 24 – Oct. 1. The membership also voted the following as the top three Legislative Priorities: Funding Broadband Deployment in Georgia, Election Law Revisions, and Increase Reimbursement for EMS Services.

** ACCG will soon release the 2021 Legislative Toolkit. The Toolkit will provide an overview of the Policy Agenda while offering tools and resources for county officials to communicate the association's issues with their Legislators. The Toolkit will only be available on the ACCG website for download upon publication.

You're Invited! Attend a 2020 Virtual Legislative Roundtable
In lieu of in-person District Meetings this year, ACCG will host a series of Virtual Legislative Roundtables throughout November to provide an opportunity to interact with the ACCG policy staff and engage in discussions with legislators to hear their perspectives. These sessions will provide you with background information and tools to help us move the legislative priorities forward. If you cannot attend the session for your district, please register for an alternative session. Meeting dates and registration can be found here.
Governor Kemp Announces Plans for CARES Funding 
Governor Brian Kemp’s office issued a press release on Wednesday, October 14 detailing his plans for remaining $1.5 billion in CARES funding received by the state. The press release explains the funds will be used to address the depleted reserve in the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, limiting possible future unemployment tax increases on employers. This action includes the funding that was expected to be disbursed to local governments. While counties had hoped for additional CRF allocations from the state to cover expenses and implement community-based relief programs, U.S. Congress guidance gave Governors across the country the flexibility to direct these funds to address COVID-19 impacts within their state as needed.

This action is a simple and efficient way to keep money in the economy and spread the benefit across state. By not having to pay higher unemployment taxes to replace the depleted reserve, business owners can use those funds for other purposes.

ACCG will continue to work on behalf of Georgia counties and in partnership with the Governor and state agencies to implement measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and foster economic recovery in the months to come.

Referendum Questions on the November Ballot
This November, there will be three ballot questions put before Georgia voters: two Constitutional Amendments and one property tax referendum. All three ballot questions impact county governments. View descriptions of each here.

State of Georgia Broadband Report 
The state’s “2020 Georgia Broadband Report” was recently released. This report is part of the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative that was launched in 2018 and details the efforts underway, including mapping of unserved areas, local broadband planning, and the development of a state grant program.

Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program Application Deadline Approaching
The pre-application period for the 2020-2021 funding cycle of the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program is still open. Pre-applications will be accepted until Oct.16 for both the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program and Land and Water Conservation Fund. For more details, click here.

Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (GTIB) Grant
The application period for the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (GTIB) is open through Oct. 23. The program provides up to $10 million in loan funding for transportation infrastructure projects, and awards are expected to be announced in the first quarter of 2021. Since 2009 GTIB has awarded $151 million in grants and loans to eligible transportation projects throughout the state. Interested applicants are encouraged to review eligibility requirements and submit supporting documents by the application deadline. Click here for more details.
Register for NACo’s First-Ever Virtual Federal Policy Summit
NACo’s first-ever Virtual Federal Policy Summit will take place on Oct. 21- 22, 2020. The two-day summit will feature informative speakers with practical advice on a range of policy issues and updates on the federal policy landscape – broadband, healthcare, infrastructure, COVID-19 relief, public lands, disaster assistance and more. Click here to register.

NACo Releases Federal Advocacy Toolkit
Between now and the end of the year, members of Congress will likely be back in their home districts for more days than they will be in Washington D.C. This provides a great opportunity for county leaders to communicate with legislators, demonstrate the impact of county programs in your communities, and advocate for the federal programs that help to strengthen local initiatives. To help local leaders advocate for top county priorities, the National Association of Counties (NACo) has developed an online Advocacy Toolkit.
Questions? Email the
ACCG Policy Team:

Register for the Virtual Legislative Roundtable in your district!