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3154 CCAP 2020 Priorities

Resolution #3154

A RESOLUTION OF WARREN COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA, SUPPORTING THE 2020 PRIORITIES OF THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ASSOCIATION OF PENNSYLVANIA

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania counties have selected five priority issues that will be the focal point of Counties' proactive agenda for 2020; and

WHEREAS, these priorities showcase Counties' commitment to the core services they provide to the people and communities of Pennsylvania; and

WHEREAS, achieving these five County priorities underscore the critical need to redefine, reinvigorate and emphasize the State-County partnership in service delivery; and

WHEREAS, the top priority for Pennsylvania Counties in 2020 is increased funding for mental health services; and

WHEREAS, Warren County has invested in community-based mental health services that coordinate and invest in programs and services that meet the needs and challenges of local communities, including an extensive range of services; and

WHEREAS, a key objective under this priority is the preservation of the successful Behavioral HealthChoices program, which has allowed each county the flexibility to deliver mental health and drug and alcohol services to individuals enrolled in Medicaid that meet local needs and challenges; and

WHEREAS, Counties will need collaboration between the legislature and administration to work closely with them on a targeted, strategic investment of dollars into community mental health services at the county level in order to continue the existing safety net and bolster the availability of mental health services to those who need them as vital steps in the right direction; and

WHEREAS, Counties' second priority is solutions to the Emergency Medical Services crisis, to address current system funding needs and identify potential areas for County involvement and assistance including retention and recruitment, reimbursement rates, funding, coverage, service models, risk reduction, EMS Act and regulations, technology support and training requirements; and

WHEREAS, there is a critical need to address the decline of emergency services in communities and build off the work done in al 2004 SR60 and 2018 SR6 reports to improve overall emergency service delivery; and

WHEREAS, County property tax reform is Counties’ third priority, emphasizing the need to include County property tax in discussions on comprehensive property tax reform; and

WHEREAS, Warren County depends on property taxes as the only source of locally generated general fund tax revenues, creating an unfair burden for property taxpayers to fund critical programs and services, including election administration, services for seniors, support services for children, crisis intervention, court services, preservation of farmland and open space; and

WHEREAS, Counties seek options to levy a County sales, personal income or earned income tax to reduce reliance on the real property tax; and

WHEREAS, Counties have chosen rural broadband expansion as their fourth priority, addressing the immediate need for infrastructure that is critical to economic vitality and personal quality of life; and

WHEREAS, in Warren County, approximately 20% or our residents do not have reliable internet service, missing opportunities to access educational tools, health care, emergency services and other key parts of their everyday lives; and

WHEREAS, increased State funding support for County adult probation services that correspond with the growing need is counties' final priority; and

WHEREAS, the expectations of the County probation system are increasing while State funding has been stagnant for the past six fiscal years; and

WHEREAS, additional State funding will still be necessary for Counties to continue keep pace with the growing need for adult probation services programs as part of a comprehensive criminal justice system; and

WHEREAS, Warren County stands ready to work with the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and Counties throughout the commonwealth in support of these priorities for 2020.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that these priorities emphasize the important role Warren County plays in improving our communities and the well-being of our residents. And that Warren County calls upon the General Assembly and the Administration to work together in partnership with Counties to jointly determine the most effective ways to continue meeting the needs of Pennsylvanians.

IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that collaboration between County government and the commonwealth on these priorities will lead to solutions that improve stewardship of taxpayer dollars, reduce cost, increase local flexibility and assure the quality of services counties provide.

ADOPTED, this 11th day of March, 2020.

COMMISSIONERS OF WARREN COUNTY

Benjamin Kafferlin
Chair

Tricia D. Durbin
Attest: Vice Chair

Pamela J. Matve Jeff Eggleston
Chief Clerk Commissioner