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ICMA Joins Big 7 to Urge ARPA Flexibility in a Must-Pass Bill

The seven organizations representing state and local governments sent a letter to congressional leaders and all members of the House and Senate to urge that the ARPA Flexibility Act be included in the next legislative or spending bill. 

Now there is another reason to press Congress to pass S3011. While Congress appropriated funding to Treasury to administer recovery programs, available funding is insufficient to allow Treasury to maintain the current levels of support it provides related to the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, the Homeowner Assistance Fund, and the Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund. Passing the ARPA Flexibility Act would resolve this problem by giving Treasury the flexibility to repurpose its administrative funds across programs.  See this Treasury letter for more details.

Financial Data Transparency Act Includes Unfunded Mandate

As Congress prepares to pass the annual appropriation for the National Defense Authorization Act, be aware that it could include a costly amendment:  the Financial Data Transparency Act. 

S4295 would require local governments to adopt common standards that are proposed by federal agencies. While the goals of the act are commendable, it does not include any funding to reimburse local governments for the cost of compliance. As the Government Finance Officers Association explains, S4295 “opens the doors to directing the use of specific technologies for reporting governmental financial information. The unfunded mandate would require extensive staff time along with the need for consulting resources and potential risky updates to government financial systems.”

While the goals of the proposed legislation are laudable, the requirements would be burdensome for many smaller jurisdictions; no funds are included to help pay for implementation costs. Local governments are encouraged to contact their senators to explain the cost issues.

New, Reduced Membership Dues

A new, reduced dues rate is available for CAOs/ACAOs, along with additional discounts for those in smaller communities, has been implemented. Learn more and be sure to join or renew today!