Local News

Broward Commissioner Leads Coalition of County Leaders to Washington, D.C.

BROWARD COUNTY – Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman led a bipartisan coalition of elected county officials to Washington, D.C., last week to urge Congress to fully support federal funding and legislative priorities affecting urban counties.

“Now is not the time to cut federal programs that directly affect families and communities,” Lieberman said. “Despite some positive signs of economic growth, people are hurting. It’s during tough times such as these that more Americans turn to their county government for assistance. All levels of government must find ways to meet the needs of our businesses, communities and families.”

Thirteen elected officials representing counties from nine states participated in the National Association of Counties (NACo) Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) “fly-in” to Capitol Hill.

Commissioner Lieberman is chair of LUCC, whose members include elected and appointed county officials from across the nation representing about 130 million people.

The week’s featured event was the rally on Capitol Hill in support of preserving Medicaid from becoming a block grant program for the states. Seven U.S. senators attended the rally and news conference.

“NACo opposes Medicaid cuts or changing it into a block grant for the states,” said Lieberman, “NACo also opposes capping entitlement programs. These proposals would simply shift Medicaid’s costs to counties.”

Senators supporting NACo’s call to preserve Medicaid included Sen. Jay Rockefeller, W. Va.; Sen. Jeff Bingaman, N.M.; Sen. Ron Wyden, Org.; Sen. Jeff Merkley, Ore.; Sen. Al Franken, Minn.; Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Conn.; and Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vt. All seven senators spoke at the news conference.

While in the Nation’s Capitol, Commissioner Lieberman also attended a precedent setting meeting with Cabinet-level officials at a special White House briefing and dialogue on county issues that President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden attended.

“It was a thrill to be there. We worked with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the secretaries of Health and Human Services, Transportation, Environmental Protection and HUD to start strategizing on an agenda going forward,” said Lieberman.

Federal funding priorities for counties include: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Community Services Block Grant program; Workforce Investment Act, Medicaid and local justice/public safety programs.

Other legislative priorities include: repeal of the 3 percent withholding tax on county purchases, reauthorization of the surface transportation bill, and opposition to online travel companies’

withholding of tax receipts from cities, counties and states collected from consumers when hotel rooms are booked through online travel companies, a business practice many believe to be illegal and unethical.

Related Articles

Back to top button