GENESEO — The National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference was held in Washington, D.C. this week, concluding Wednesday.

This annual conference brings together county leaders from across the nation to focus on federal policy issues that impact counties and their residents. Conference attendees have an opportunity to engage in policy sessions, interact with federal officials, and participate in congressional briefings and meetings.

According to its website, “NACo supports federal policies and programs that equip county governments with the resources and flexibility needed to effectively serve our residents. NACo works to preserve local decision making and protect counties from unfunded mandates and preemption of local authority. Since counties implement many federal programs at the local level and must enforce many federal regulations, NACo encourages meaningful intergovernmental consultation with counties throughout all federal policy, program and regulatory development processes.”

The following list describes some of NACo’s top policy priorities for 2020:

● Promote mental health and substance use treatment and address criminal justice reforms

● Boost advanced broadband deployment and accessibility while preserving local decision-making

● Strengthen election integrity and safety

● Promote workforce opportunities and supportive services for county residents in changing economies

● Enhance community resilience through regional and local disaster preparedness

● Promote county infrastructure priorities

● Optimize intergovernmental partnerships

Livingston County Administrator Ian Coyle and Jason Skinner, Director of Livingston County Veteran Services, attended the multi-day NACo conference to advocate for county priorities.

Skinner previewed, “My goal at NACo is to meet with federal officials to advocate for improved veteran access to healthcare. We need to explore increased transportation options, tele-healthcare, home-based primary care, and access for those with less than two years of service in order to better connect our veterans to needed care. We also need to focus more attention on getting our veterans the mental health resources they so desperately need.”

“My time in Washington, D.C. will be spent advocating for the County’s forthcoming USDA ReConnect grant application for rural broadband and meeting with USDA officials to present our Light Up Livingston plan to get high-speed Internet to more residences in the County,” stated Coyle.

He will also be joining other county leaders and NYSAC staff for a meeting with Senators Gillibrand and Schumer to discuss Federal and State actions on Medicaid, in particular Governor Cuomo’s brazen move to intercept Medicaid-related Federal revenues intended to flow to counties.