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Federal and County Relations
"The new initiatives and funding increases actually make this legislation a new national water infrastructure program," says a representative for the National Rural Water Association.
The legislation would beef-up Community Development Block Grant funding and TIGER grants would triple compared to FY 17. There are other notable increases as well.
A group of mostly mayors encouraged the Federal Communications Commission to refocus its efforts on new broadband investment, instead of preempting their oversight of public rights of way.
The officials appeared before a Senate committee. Finding money for President Trump's public works plan remains a sticking point.
The White House has called for axing the grant program in each of the two budget plans it has sent to Congress.
The streamlined broadband deployment the FCC is contemplating will lessen local control without making rural build-outs more likely.
"We don’t want that to happen," according to Anthony Bedell, the agency's deputy assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs.
They plan to make their case for “advance refunding” bonds as infrastructure discussions ramp up in Congress.
There were frictions over issues involving funding and environmental permitting in a hearing on Thursday.
Rep. Gerry Connolly, of Virginia, also offered his views Tuesday on where things stand with a recently created U.S. House task force on intergovernmental issues.
Santa Cruz County has taken steps to improve internet accessibility in its rural parts but wants local government to have more of a say in federal and state broadband policy discussions.
Including for so-called "circuit rider” programs that involve experts who visit communities to help them out with drinking water and wastewater issues.
The proposal may not align perfectly with what many local officials are looking for. But they’re pleased to see it fueling further discussion in D.C. about infrastructure.
States and localities would play a big role in reaching the Trump administration's $1.5 trillion goal for investment in public works.
"The president talks a big act, but then he proposes a small bill," according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
It's the latest round of grants under the POWER initiative, which targets places where the coal sector has declined.
"Every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment," the president said.
Pai even blew up an intergovernmental advisory committee after members asked to talk to him about its future.
In addition to Housing and Urban Development Continuum of Care grants, officials encouraged more state, local and private funding.
“Do we have the clout we once had?" said the executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "That’s a very difficult question."
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