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NACo Committee Reports
On 7/20/2013 the NACo Human Services and Education met in Fort Worth Texas. The first half of our meeting was held jointly with the Justice and Public Safety Committee. The topic of the joint meeting was a presentation by Scott Santoro on Human Trafficking. The National Association of Counties has partnered with Homeland Security in combating Human Trafficking. I reported on this after last year’s conference and the issue still exists. There are approximately 27 million victims worldwide and has been estimated to be a 32 billion dollar industry. When you imagine this type of money you can see why our youth from every community, county, state and worldwide are at risk. There are educational materials on line at www. dhs.gov/human trafficking. They call their efforts the Blue Campaign and if you do a search for blue campaign the information should come up.
As usual, the Environment, Energy, and Land Use (EELU) Committee meeting had several contentious resolutions and policy changes to discuss that had either been presented by EELU Committee members, or claimed as Cross-Jurisdictional Resolutions. This year the EELU claimed 6 resolutions from Public Lands Committee.
This was my first meeting on the Community and Economic Development Steering Committee and to be frank, I felt like I was running to catch a fast moving train once the resolutions were brought forward. I had obtained a complete set of the resolutions in advance of the meeting and was prepared to engage in a discussion of them, but none occurred. It was clear that the vetting had already occurred at the subcommittee level and the rest of the committee was not in a mood to rehash prior discussions. The Chairman skillfully moved the resolutions at a speed that would make any conductor proud and the package was approved with no discussion in very short order.
At this year’s Legislative Conference, the T&T Steering Committee received updates on a number of subjects including cyber-security, activities of the FCC, NextGen 9-1-1 and FirstNet.
The NACo Human Services Committee passed two resolutions at our Legislative Conference in March, 2013. We passed a proposed Resolution on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. We have been proposing this resolution for the last two years, as we have yet to see any clear legislation dealing with our current immigration system.
Commissioner Mike Murray serves as Chairman, and Commissioner Lesley Robinson serves as Vice Chair of the NACO Public Lands Committee, which had several speakers from the USDA Forest Service and the Department of Interior BLM.
The NACo Environment, Energy & Land Use (EELU) Committee meetings were once again very interesting and controversial. Our first meeting on Saturday morning was to discuss which resolutions introduced in other committees would be considered for discussion by the EELU Committee. Only one resolution was submitted to the Committee in advance of the meeting, but there were 5 other resolutions that were considered cross-jurisdictional and placed for consideration and voting on the March 3rd agenda at 1:00PM.