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Oregon Trails

An Occasional Newsletter


The Association of Oregon Counties

Month, Year - Vol 1, Issue 1

Full Steam Ahead     

The pace continues to be brisk     

March 31, 2015

In This Issue
SRS Extension Announced
Health & Human Services
Public Safety
Finance Issues
Energy, Environment & Land Use
A word
PILT Action Needed
Counties Matter
National County Government Month
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links
Fast and Furious

Salem -  It is said that if you repeat something often enough, it becomes true. So, we repeat... this session of the Oregon Legislature is moving very fast. The pace continues to amaze veteran observers and casual hangers on.  


A major deadline looms - April 10th - when bills must have a work session scheduled in their chamber of origin, or they progress no further (unless they become fodder for the always ubiquitous "gut and stuff"). April 21st is the date that a bill must have a work session actually take place or it dies a legislative death. 


Please mark your calendars for April 13th and the next meeting of the AOC Legislative Committee when many of the bills being considered by the Legislature will be considered by AOC Steering Committees and the Legislative Committee. The Leg Comm will meet at Noon, Monday, April 13th. The steering committee schedule is being formulated and will be released later this week. Everything takes place at the Local Government Center, including lunch.  


Secure Rural Schools Update
In the last edition of Oregon Trails we reported that the U.S. House of Representatives had passed a Medicare reform bill that contained a two-year reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-determination Act. At that time, we speculated that the U.S. Senate could take up the legislation before the Spring recess, but the Senate did not. We understand the Senate will consider the legislation once it returns to Washington, DC the week of April 13th. We won't speculate on what the Senate might do when it takes up the legislation, but we are hopeful the vote will fall in favor. We are monitoring the situation closely.

If you have a chance to attend any Congressional town halls during the next two weeks, please take the opportunity to thank the Oregon House delegation for their efforts, especially Congressman Greg Walden and Congressman Peter DeFazio. If you have a chance to visit with either of our U.S. Senators, please ask them to support the SRS legislation when it comes before the Senate.

Mike McArthur, Gil Riddell, Laura Cleland and Eric Schmidt contributed to this report and can try to help you with any questions you might have at this juncture about SRS.



Here are a couple updates on several hot governance topics:


Public Contracting and Procurement

Hearings continue on public contracting and procurement bills that pose significant burdens on counties and other public entities. On Tuesday, March 24, two more were heard in the Consumer Protection and Government Effectiveness Committee. They were House Bill 3321 and House Bill 3322. AOC continues to raise concerns about these bills, in meetings and in testimony. Although many hearings have been held, not many bills have moved, although there is still time before the April 10 deadline to schedule bills for a work session.


Labor - Ban the Box; Sick Leave 

On Wednesday, March 25, the House Business and Labor Committee took up the issue of prohibiting employers from conducting a criminal records check prior to offering employment, and even then with certain limitations. Commonly known as "Ban the Box" (for banning the check box on job application forms that ask about criminal convictions), two bills were heard: House Bill 3025 and House Bill 3097. AOC is opposed to these bills as written. AOC Legal Counsel Rob Bovett testified regarding negative consequences to law enforcement hiring practices, overbroad provisions in the bills that could lead to absurd results, as well as a technical deficiency in both bills. It is uncertain whether a "ban the box" bill will move this legislative session, but if one does it will likely be a significantly amended version  of one of these two bills. 


The issue of mandatory paid sick leave continues to garner attention from both the House and Senate. AOC is supportive of such a concept, but only if paid time off (PTO) counts, there is preemption of local ordinances, collective bargaining agreements are carved out or otherwise exempted, the provisions kick in after 180 days of employment, and small employers are exempted. On Wednesday, March 25, Senate Bill 454 passed out of the Senate Workforce Committee on a partisan vote, after having been amended with the Dash-22 amendments which incorporate some, but not all, of AOC's concerns. That bill is now in the Joint Ways and Means Committee, where it is expected to garner a substantial fiscal impact statement related to state operations, such as Department of Human Services contractors. It is anticipated that House Bill 2005 will be similarly amended, and sent off to the House Rules Committee, as a backup to Senate Bill 454.


Clerks Priority Bills Move Out of Senate

The Oregon Association of County Clerks (OACC) has three priority bills this session, namely Senate Bill 27 (housekeeping amendments to various recording statues), Senate Bill 28 (housekeeping amendments to various election laws) and Senate Bill 29 (streamlining the process of electing Precinct Committee Persons - PCPs - to be more efficient, and save county funds). On March 23 and 24, all three bills were passed by the Senate.


Marijuana - Drama at OLCC; Legislation Gearing up to Move; New LOC Publication; Updated PowerPoint

The big news on Thursday, March 26, was the firing of OLCC Marijuana Program Director Tom Burns for apparently leaking documents, and then lying about it.  


It now appears likely that there will be three omnibus bills coming out of the Joint Marijuana Committee:

  1. A technical corrections bill that will likely move out of committee later this week.  It will be a gut-and-stuff of Senate Bill 844.  This is the latest version (Dash-1 amendments), but will likely be updated soon:
  2. Revisions to the medical marijuana supply chain, which will likely be Senate Bill 936. Hearings on SB 936 will  begin this week, and is expected to draw a lot of testimony and discussion. Although AOC Legal Counsel Rob Bovett had a hand in crafting that bill, Mr. Bovett and the Oregon Law Enforcement Marijuana Legislation And Rules Review Committee (OLEMLARRC) have identified some amendments they would like, which Mr. Bovett will present to the Committee.
  3. A big policy bill dealing with a number of high profile issues, such as local control, land use and taxation. Mr. Bovett is working with a number of stakeholders to hammer out some of the issues with this bill, which has not yet been written. Stay tuned.

Last week the League of Oregon Cities released a very timely and excellent publication entitled "Local Government Regulations of Medical Marijuana in Oregon," which includes an extensive sample ordinance dealing with time, place, and manner issues. It's definitely worth the read.


AOC Legal Counsel Rob Bovett has recently received a significant number of requests for his latest marijuana PowerPoint presentation. The most recent version is entitled "2015-03-22-REB-MJ.ppt" It has 82 slides, divided into five sections: (1) Brief history of marijuana regulation in Oregon; (2) Overview of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act; (3) Medical marijuana dispensaries; (4) Overview of Measure 91; and (5) Some current legislative issues. It is 8mb and Mr. Bovett is more than happy to share. Just send him an email  (but he can't guarantee it will make it through all email servers, due to its size). Feel free to use and modify it as you see fit. No attribution is required.


Other Drugs Issues - Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Improvements; Conditional Discharge

Senate Bill 626

SB626/A-Engrossed crafted by AOC Legal Counsel Rob Bovett, makes some important improvements to our Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). The bill: (1) Accelerates the data transfer from pharmacies to the PDMP from one week to 72 hours, providing doctors with more up-to-date information to better serve their patients; (2) Provides an automated notification system to alert prescribers and pharmacists of potentially dangerous drug interactions, or multiple practitioners prescribing drugs to a patient; (3) Provides better access to the PDMP for community health doctors and medical examiners; and (4) Provides better access for researchers analyzing the efficacy of the Oregon PDMP, so long as any reports by those researchers contain only de-identified data. The bill also places sideboards on such research, including, among other things, a requirement that research be approved by an institutional review board.  


On Monday, March 23, 2015, the bill passed out of the Senate Health Care Committee by a vote of four to nothing. However, the bill faces tough opposition from the Oregon ACLU, which has opposed all Oregon PDMP legislation. County health doctors and other key stakeholders are working hard to counter that opposition. The bill will likely arrive on the Senate floor for a vote on Tuesday, March 31.


House Bill 2326

HB2326 also crafted by Mr. Bovett, fixes a technical problem in the Oregon "conditional discharge" statute. In Oregon we allow low level drug offenders to get clean and earn a dismissal of criminal charges. It is called a conditional discharge (or "CD" for short). CDs are used to get drug abusers into treatment and recovery. Drug court programs are one example of how CDs are used. For the past decade, Mr. Bovett has crafted legislation to significantly expand the use of CDs. However, a recent Oregon Court of Appeals decision found a technical defect in the CD statute, which threatens to create a major disincentive for the use of CDs. House Bill 2326 will fix this defect. On Thursday, March 26, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill.  It heads next to the House floor for a vote. 


Rob Bovett, AOC legal counsel, handles governance issues for AOC - when he's not crafting legislation, he is skateboarding on the Capitol Mall.


Health and Human Services

We expect to see the first round of amendments on House Bill 3100, the Public Health Modernization bill, this week. AOC has been working closely with Coalition of Local Health Officials (CLHO) and the Lane and Multnomah county lobbyists to get suggested language into Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, and Legislative Counsel. We believe we have made a great deal of progress and anticipate seeing a number of our concerns addressed in the amendments. Of course, nothing is definite until we see the amendments, but we have been told that language repealing relinquishment from current statute will not be included in the updated version of the bill, and we believe that many of our concerns around governance will be mitigated by the forthcoming amendments. We will keep you posted as further information becomes available.


We learned during the public testimony on the Addictions and Mental Health (AMH) budget last week that Sen. Peter Courtney, D-Keizer, has modified his request for mental health investments. At the outset of session, he had a proposal for an additional $94 million in mental health funds. He is now talking about a $60 million investment. In coordination with Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs (AOCMHP), we will be working to gather more information about his updated proposal and how he would expect to see those funds distributed among various program areas. Sen. Courtney's staff will be joining us at the upcoming Governance Forum meeting (April 10th at 10:00 am at AOC) to discuss next steps around proposals for increased investments in mental health and public safety partnerships. Please consider joining us as it will be a good opportunity to learn more and ask questions directly. 


AOC Policy Manager Stacy Michaelson can answer any questions you might have on health and human services issues.


Public Safety

County representatives in full force to support Attorney General's budget


Monday's public hearing for the Department of Justice budget had a strong county presence, as counties continue to show their strong partnership with one of Oregon's statewide elected officials. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and the department have worked hard during her time in office to assist all 36 Oregon counties, especially those facing fiscal distress.


During last year's four public safety summits hosted by AOC, Rosenblum sent staff to all four events. Rosenblum herself attended and was a featured speaker during the first summit in Curry County.


"As a former legislator and prosecutor, I certainly appreciate the strong relationship our local counties and district attorney offices have with the elected Attorney General," said Multnomah County Commissioner Judy Shiprack, in her testimony to the committee. "We appreciate the Attorney General's dedication to keeping the needs of counties in mind and we are happy to support the department's budget proposals."


Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry, who serves on the AOC Legislative Committee and Board of Directors, said more resources are needed to support prosecution of elder abuse crimes. "There is an epidemic currently with our growing senior population," said Berry.


Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin was in attendance to support the Oregon Terrorist Information Threat Assessment Network (TITAN) Fusion Center budget, which provides resources to local county and city law enforcement in identifying and addressing potential terrorist threats.


"The TITAN Fusion Center has helped us assess threats here in Oregon to prevent events like the Boston Marathon bombing from happening," said Bergin.


L-R; Yamhill County DA Brad Berry, Ret. Umatilla County Sheriff John Trumbo, Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum, Multnomah County Commissioner Judy Shiprack, Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin outside the hearing room

 April 6th Justice Reinvestment Summit to feature Gov. Brown


Gov. Kate Brown will headline the Justice Reinvestment Summit in Salem on April 6, where hundreds of county and local public safety leaders are expected to join together to discuss the future of justice reinvestment grant dollars.


The event, being organized by the Criminal Justice Commission, is sponsored by AOC and county affiliate groups - Oregon State Sheriffs Association, Oregon District Attorneys Association and the Oregon Association of Community Corrections Directors - will bring together local public safety coordinating councils for a day-long summit on successful reentry and recidivism reduction programs. Attendees will hear from Brown, Department of Corrections Director Collette Peters, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and the four legislators who co-chair the state's public safety task force - Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, Sen. Jackie Winters, R-Salem, Rep. Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, and Rep. Andy Olson, R-Albany.


There is still time to register.  


A limited number of travel scholarships are available for members of each county's local public safety coordinating council. Please contact the Criminal Justice Commission at 503-378-4078 for more details.


AOC policy manager Patrick Sieng keeps an eye on Public Safety issues and carries a badge.


Finance Issues 

Central assessment (addendum)  


Google Fiber explained that they were very concerned about the section that was written in Senate Bill 611B with them in mind. 

  1. They would have the capacity to meet the one gigabit speed standard, but they would not be able to perform it all the time.
  2. Twenty consecutive years of a steep property tax exemption, where their likely maximum assessed value would be no more than $250 million, was not quite enough considering their investment, etc.

Ask and ye shall receive. On Tuesday, the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee will hold a hearing and work session to insert into a mundane Department of Revenue bill (HB 2485) dash-3 amendments. 


The dash-3 amendments: 

  1. Replace the speed standard to read, "the capacity to provide, at least, approximately" one gigabit per second; 
  2. Remove "the lesser of 20 consecutive property tax years or" standard entirely. What remains? "The exemption shall be granted for the period during which an owner maintains and operates the qualified project." No end, unless the company pulls the plug.

Since there is very real central assessment fatigue in the Capitol, the dash-3 amendments were lightly discussed and quickly passed to the Senate floor.  


AOC policy director Gil Riddell handles revenue and finance issues for AOC.



Two Significant Changes Imminent for the VA Choice Card Healthcare Access Program

The Veterans Administration and Congress are tag teaming on two major changes to the VA Choice Card program. As part of the Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, Congress authorized $10 billion for the Choice Card program to alleviate long wait times at VA medical facilities across the United States. In Phoenix for example, veterans were often waiting more than 60 days for critical appointments. The Choice Card program was designed to authorize non-VA provided care for veterans who live more than 40 miles from VA facilities or who have to wait for care more than 30 days.


Recently, VA officials say the department distributed nearly 8 million VA Choice Cards since the program was initiated in November 2014. To date, it has approved about 46,000 requests for care and managed 44,461 appointments. It had been originally estimated that 300,000 veterans would take advantage of the program.


In response to what many have termed a failure of the Choice Card program to fundamentally improve veterans access for timely healthcare, two changes are now underway:

  1. March 25, 2015 VA Rule Change from "As the Crow Flies" to Actual Driving Distance

The VA publicly announced a reversal of its "as the crow flies" Veterans Choice policy during Congressional hearings the last week of March. Veterans advocates and a variety of elected officials demanded answers from the VA about the Choice Card Program. Initially, the "as the crow flies" decision was commonly portrayed by most media commentators as little more than a strange, bureaucratic interpretation by the VA.  


It has now been reported that the VA's interpretation of the 40 mile limit was actually the result of a calculated decision by Congress to limit the financial impact of the bill. A fully implemented Choice Card program would have cost $50 billion and Congress and the Executive Branch negotiated the initial interpretation, which resulted in many veterans not being eligible for the program and thereby reduced the budget impact to a much smaller $10 billion. The new VA rule change will change to "actual miles traveled" using a program like Google Maps to measure entitlement to the program. It is not yet clear how quickly this new standard will draw down the original funding for the bill; the $10 billion allocated in 2014 is supposed to last until 2017.


2.  Proposed Change in Current Federal Law Regarding 40 mile Limit from any Nearest VA Medical Facility to New Standard of Nearest VA Medical Facility that provides Services the Veteran Actually Needs.


Also during the last week of March, the VA asked Congress for new legislation that would let it pay for private health care for veterans who live near a VA clinic but cannot get the treatment they need because it's not offered at that location. The VA testified that many veterans are excluded from the program because of this provision in the law and that only a handful of veterans have applied for waivers to the rules. Federal leaders have pledged to make the fix. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, chairman of the Senate committee, said his staff would work with the staff of the committee's ranking Democrat, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, to draft new language in the next two weeks.


AOC policy manager Andy Smith works hard for veterans on your behalf.


Energy, Environment & Land Use

Looking Back


Last week there were a number of bills that had public hearings or work sessions in the Energy, Environment and Land Use fields:

  • Two of the juniper-related economic development bills, House Bill 2997 and HB 2998, were passed unanimously from the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on March 24. Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford, suggested that the bills did not go far enough and that more state money needs to be dedicated to juniper removal.
  • On March 24 and 26 the House Rural Communities, Land Use and Water Committee held a public hearing for HB 3368. The intention of the bill is to allow weddings outdoors at bed and breakfast facilities along with wineries and agritoursim sites. It was agreed that the bill is too broad in its current form and that it needs some work. AOC supports HB 3368.
  • On March 26 House Agriculture and Natural Resources held a "pesticide day" and heard seven pesticide related bills. The hearings were well attended and carried over until this Tuesday, March 31. The Legislature has a small work group working out if any of the bills will move forward and exploring the development of a pesticide work group to work on future legislation. AOC has volunteered to participate in this work group.
  • This Monday, March 30, SB 361 received a public hearing in Senate Environment and Natural Resources. SB 361 would require a compatibility statement from the county for those applying for a mining permit.

Looking forward


There are several bills scheduled for hearing this week as well:

  • The State Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold its budget hearings this week (SB 5511) in the Natural Resources Subcommittee of Ways and Means.
  • HB 3246 will receive a public hearing on Wednesday in House Revenue. The bill grants exemptions to certain improvements that increase energy efficiency of property or reduce greenhouse gas emissions from property. The purpose of the bill is to give property owners another incentive to install energy saving upgrades to their properties.
  • Clean Diesel Bills

SB 824 will be heard in Senate Environment and Natural Resources

    • This bill has four parts, the first would require 1 percent of Congestion, Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds to be spent on clean diesel engine retrofits or replacements and any of the 1 percent funding left over after a CMAQ project would be deposited in a Clean Diesel Engine Fund. This only applies to contracts solicited or advertised after January 1, 2016. After Jan. 1, 2018, the 1 percent provision is extended to apply to projects with more than 30 percent of funding from state sources and a contract cost greater than $2 million. This only applies to counties within an metropolitan statistical area (MSA) with a population greater than 10,000 (This is expected to include: Columbia, Washington, Multnomah, Yamhill, Clackamas, Polk, Marion, Benton, Linn, Lane, Deschutes, Josephine and Jackson Counties).
    • The second part creates a requirement for non-road diesel engines greater than 25hp to be registered with the state, and those registration funds to also be deposited in the Clean Diesel Engine Fund.
    • Third, the bill requires the Environmental Quality Commission to replicate California diesel emissions regulations in Oregon (very similar to HB 3310).
    • The last part of this bill repeals ORS 825.615 which preempts local regulation of commercial vehicle idling.

HB 3310 will be heard in House Health Care

    • Directs the Environmental Quality Commission to replicate California diesel emissions regulations in Oregon. Part of this process would be the implementation of required retrofit or replacement of publicly owned trucks that do not meet certain standards, which are not yet enumerated in the bill.
  • Mining Bills-On Thursday there will be four bills focused on the mining industry in Oregon. HB 3089, HB 3090, HB 3096, and HB 3296 will all be heard in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee.

AOC policy manager Mark Nystrom handles Energy, Environment & Land Use issues.


Transportation/Community & Economic Development

Changes to Gain Share

Of the many bills this session addressing the Strategic Investment Program (SIP) and the related Gain Share, AOC has only supported one - SB 129. One of the reasons SB 129 is favored is that it would provide a significant portion of Gain Share revenues to financially distressed counties for economic development purposes. 


Because of the multitude of SIP/Gain Share bills, Sen. Mark Hass, D-Beaverton, Chair of the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee, created a bi-cameral, bipartisan work group to look at all the bills and recommend a solution for moving forward with this very successful economic development tool.  


On Monday, March 30, the work group released the dash-1 Amendments to SB 129. While these amendments do not provide economic development monies for fiscally distressed counties as initially proposed, the funding does target education and investment opportunities across Oregon, including a focus on rural communities. Only those local governments who receive in excess of $5 million per year from Gain Share distributions will be impacted; currently, only Washington County is affected.


As a result of the -1 Amendments, the local share of Gain Share revenue created from Washington County's SIP agreements would be distributed as follows:

  • 15 percent ($14.25 million) to Career Technical Education (CTE) statewide distribution.
  • 15 percent ($14.25 million) to OSU Statewide Service Program (OSU Extension).
  • 30 percent ($28.5 million) to State School Fund for equity distribution across Oregon.
  • 40 percent ($38 million) to local governments for additional distribution to local schools and other taxing districts.

The amendments also include a 10-year extension in Gain Share until January 1, 2029; language making it clear that Gain Share distributions continue for the life of a SIP; and a budgetary change moving Gain Share distributions from an expenditure to a revenue transfer, ensuring that all future distributions will be automatic and not subject to legislative approval.


Upon release of the dash-1 Amendments, Andy Duyck, Chair of the Washington County Board of Commissioners, sent a letter to all commissioners and judges calling this "an incredible opportunity that capitalizes on the success of economic investment and spreads it statewide to critical programs that are valuable to education, career training and economic development in rural communities." Chair Duyck called upon AOC's members to contact their legislators by e-mail or phone and express their support for the dash-1 amendments for SB 129. He also asked commissioners and judges to consider sending a letter of support to Senator Mark Hass, Chair of the Senate Finance & Revenue Committee as soon as practical. 


What's a PNMP?

On March 30, the Oregon House unanimously passed legislation that creates the Pacific Northwest Manufacturing Partnership Advisory Committee (PNMP), a group dedicated to fostering manufacturing in the region. The PNMP was formed in response to a federal initiative to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in the U.S. The partnership includes interests from throughout SW Washington, the Willamette Valley and the Columbia River Corridor. 


Individual members include cities, counties, community colleges, universities, research institutions, and multiple economic development and workforce organizations.

Business Oregon will administer the PNMP, and the department will focus on facilitating regional collaboration among the manufacturing sector by working with relevant education and research institutions.


SB 482 will now go to Governor Brown's desk for her signature.



We came into the session optimistic about a transportation package that would help county road departments address significant backlogs of maintenance and preservation projects. With the passage of the low carbon fuels bill, hopes of the passage of a transportation package diminished, even though some legislators predicted that a package may be possible later in the session when cooler heads might prevail. 


If the transportation package was not yet dead, it certainly will be if two new bills related clean diesel fuels, HB 3310 and SB 824, pass. AOC staff are working with county road officials to gather information about the impact of these bills on counties.  Although AOC has not yet taken an official position on these bills, staff will testify on Wednesday about the fiscal impact if that information is available in time. HB 3310 will be heard in the Healthcare Committee at 1:00 p.m.; SB 824 will be heard in the Environment and Natural Resources Committee at 3:00 p.m.


Continuing down the road of negative impacts on our road funds, it was also discovered that ODOT's budget includes a reduction in the shares from the State Highway Fund that will go to the state, counties, and cities. The cost of the DMV's Service Transformation Program (STP) and the DMV Debit/Credit Acceptance would take an estimated $39 million off the top of the State Highway Fund in the next biennium, resulting in the loss of nearly $9 Million to counties.  


Although AOC agrees there are definite needs to modernize the system used by DMV and to enable customers to pay with debit/credit cards, counties cannot afford to take the hit associated with paying for these programs. Policy Manager Mary Stern provided testimony before the Joint Ways & Means Committee on Transportation and Economic Development on Monday, March 30, suggesting other funding sources should be found to cover the cost of these programs. AOC will be working with LOC on a bill which would identify those funding sources. 


AOC Policy Manager Mary Stern navigates transportation issues along with community and economic development . 


A word from the spin doctor
(look it up)
 WIR Conference Coming Up

The Premiere National Conference for Counties of the West



The Western Interstate Region (WIR) serves as the counties' advocate for public policy issues affecting the West. Don't miss your opportunity to connect with county officials from fifteen Western states at this intimate annual gathering. Key discussion items will include budget, tax and entitlement reform, long-term funding for federal transportation programs, broadband and Internet policies, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, including the Administration's "Waters of the U.S." proposed rule. Register now!  


Video:  Counties Matter

Federal Policies Matter to County Government


America's 3,069 county governments provide fundamental services for building healthy, safe and vibrant communities. Through the National Association of Counties, county governments engage federal policy makers on a range of issues like transportation, infrastructure, healthcare, public safety and public lands management. All of these issues are vital to our nation's quality of life and long-term prosperity.

 View the video to learn more and share this information with your residents! 


National County Government Month


Tell Your Constituents about the Great Programs and Services Your County Provides!


National County Government Month (NCGM) is an annual celebration of county government held each April. This year's theme is "Counties Moving America Forward: The Keys are Transportation and Infrastructure," which is also the focus of NACo President Riki Hokama's presidential initiative. 


Start planning your NCGM activities today! To help you with that process, NACo has created a resource booklet that includes ideas and suggestions for activities you can do to raise awareness about the vital programs and services you provide to the residents of your county. 

To see the 2015 NCGM booklet, click here.


Visit for NCGM and NACo logos and a sample proclamation.  


Contact AOC Member Services Manager Mckenzie Farrell with questions.


Please feel free to contact Laura Cleland or Eric Schmidt at AOC with any questions you might have about AOC. We will make sure you are connected to the right policy manager or member services manager. We are also looking for timely stories and photos that you might want to share with our newsletter list. Please let us know.  
Laura Cleland & Eric Schmidt

Association of Oregon Counties



Have a great week.