Each year, at its annual conference, the National Association of Counties (NACo) invites members to submit resolutions and policy platform changes for consideration to guide the association’s work on national policy.
The Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) facilitates the state process through membership meetings. At the June 10 membership meeting, AOC members passed five resolutions through associated legislative policy committees and the body’s legislative committee for submission to NACo.
Resolutions covered broad topics, including appropriations for Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and the U.S. Department of Commerce, wildfire policy, kratom, and Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS).
AOC Approved Proposed Resolutions
This resolution seeks to address a disparity in PILT allocations to counties with large land mass, but small populations by establishing a payment floor based on acres of land.
To be presented by: Harney County Commissioner Mark Owens
The Economic Development Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce provides direct resources to counties to support economic development efforts through planning grants to Economic Development Districts. This resolution seeks to affirm and advocate for reauthorization of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration budget.
Kratom, a plant extract from Southeast Asia is gaining popularity, but impacts are not well known. It is not yet a regulated drug, but opioid compounds have been found in kratom. A recent Center for Disease Control study found that kratom might be dangerous and states that between July 2016 and June 2017, 152 drug overdose deaths occurred of those deaths, for 91 of those people, kratom was listed as the cause of death. This resolution seeks to gain federal resources to address research and dissemination of best practices for public health relating to kratom.
To be presented by: Klamath County Commissioner Kelly Minty Morris
Federal agencies have adopted regulations, policies, and guidelines that allow lightning-caused fires to burn on federal lands at all times and permit the use of prescribed fires, regardless of ignition source, putting personal health, safety, and property at risk. This resolution seeks to gain greater coordination between federal agencies and local governments in implementing wildfire suppression to reduce risk and keep local residents healthy and safe.
To be presented by: Jackson County Commissioner Colleen Roberts
Counties have long been responsible for recording and preserving real property transactions. Created in 1995 by the mortgage banking industry, MERS served to process trust deeds sold on a secondary market, creating a mechanism to circumvent county recording legal requirements and fees. This resolution seeks to collect data on the amount of public recording fees not collected due to MERS.
To be presented by: Umatilla County Commissioner Bill Elfering
Contributed by: Megan Chuinard | Public Affairs Associate