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League Bulletin

January 18, 2019

WHAT HAPPENED: ​Jones Street remains fairly quiet as the state legislature looks to the start of business proper on Jan. 30, though individual leaders at all levels of government continued to eye federal developments, notably the partial government shutdown and what it means for states and localities.
WHAT IT MEANS: According to the National League of Cities, it's having "real consequences," with CEO Clarence E. Anthony observing that it "becomes harder to rebuild our infrastructure, assist low-income households and invest in community development" as the shutdown continues. NLC has created an online resource center for city leaders with regard to the shutdown. 
ON TAP: In other news, registrations are coming in fast for the League's 2019 Town & State Dinner​ -- a not-to-miss event set for Feb. 20. The dinner wil bring state legislators and municipal officials together to build relationships and discuss how they can work together this biennium. Registration details are in this Bulletin.
THE SKINNY: It's a hodge-podge, but there's a clear common theme of a need to work together as 2019 unfolds. Read on for more news of interest to cities and towns. 

Now available is the League's most recent Quarterly Revenue Report, available in a new interactive format as well as a PDF. Both are housed on the League’s website, here. The latest report examines state-collected local revenues received by local governments for the first quarter of the 2018-2019 fiscal year. These reports provide a snapshot of quarterly trends in state-collected local revenues and supplement the League’s Annual Revenue Projection, coming in March. If you have any questions regarding the Revenue Reports or Revenue Projections, please contact League Research Strategist Caitlin Saunders.

Registration is underway and filling quickly for the 2019 Town & State Dinner on Feb. 20 in Raleigh. Don't delay -- reserve your seat today! At this very special event, municipal officials will join their state legislators for dinner and conversation meant to strengthen existing relationships and build new connections among newly elected local and state leaders. While the League has delivered invitations to General Assembly members, be sure to personally invite your local delegation to join you for dinner once you register. Building on the success of last year’s event, attendees will also have the opportunity to attend several informational sessions in the afternoon about affordable housing, broadband access and a legislative update. Register online now!

A federal judge has ordered a halt on plans to reintroduce on the 2020 Census a question asking about citizenship status. The Tuesday ruling from the Southern District of New York said the top official who directed the question's addition was unlawful in doing so for a list of reasons including violations of the Administrative Procedures Act, which guides the development of regulations at the federal level. Per the 277-page decision, the citizenship question, which hasn't been on a decennial census since 1950, is blocked unless its backers can cure "the legal defects." The case represents one of several lawsuits that have sought to bar the question, which detractors have warned would result in inaccurate headcounts. Route Fifty has full coverage of the judge's order. For more context and an inside look at the preparation of the 2020 Census, listen to Episode 60 of the League's podcast, Municipal Equation. Additionally, the N.C. Counts Coalition has scheduled on Jan. 31 a free, statewide conference on 2020 Census preparations, registration for which is online here​.

Things remain relatively quiet on Jones Street at the General Assembly, though business will resume shortly. Lawmakers are scheduled to return Jan. 30, after which bill filing will pick up and wheels will turn on state budget development. This is the year of the legislative "long session," the first part of the biennium with session work likely to last several months. One development has already transpired in the interim -- Sen. Lewis Pate of Mount Olive has stepped down. Senator Pate served 16 years in the legislature and had just been re-elected in November. He is a former mayor of Mount Olive. His resignation letter cited health reasons for his departure. As for his successor, the Goldsboro News Argus newspaper this week reported​ on at least seven Republican hopefuls, some of them currently serving in local government. 

The National League of Cities has released details about its upcoming Congressional City Conference this March in Washington, D.C. Registration is open for this federal-level advocacy event, and an early bird rate is in effect until the end of this month. "Becoming informed about policies that affect cities will make you a better leader and speaking up together will allow you to achieve more for cities," NLC says. Visit​ for full the schedule and details.

Want to know more about bringing better broadband to your community? Join us for Let's Connect, a statewide series of conversations about broadband access led by national and state experts to engage local residents. These events are being sponsored by the League, the Minneapolis, Minn.-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance and N.C. Broadband Matters. The events are set for Jan. 28 in Albemarle​, Jan. 29 in Fuquay-Varina and Jan. 30 in Jacksonville (see news coverage​). Click here​ for registration details.