Georgia County Government - Fall 2013 - (Page 63)

FEDERAL NEWS More Gridlock and Uncertainty May Be Expected in Washington for FY 2014 >> Popular programs and funding streams for local governments are again under fire. With the deficit debate hanging over their heads, Congressional leaders’ calls for regular order seem unlikely to be fulfilled. By Holland & Knight This fall promises another round of fireworks as federal lawmakers lock horns over appropriations bills for FY 2014 and over the destiny of “long-term” deficit reduction talks. The table is set: the deficit is shrinking and the economy is improving, but House-Senate gridlock continues without an end in sight. And in true Washington tradition, this confluence of factors will likely lead to more short-and medium- term uncertainty for local governments. Through this pervasive stalemate, local governments will need to keep a laser focus on the progress of their initiatives and on advocating for their funding priorities. The Economy and Budget Deficits In July, Moody’s Analytics, an economic and consumer credit analysis agency, changed the outlook for the U.S. back to Aaa. This outlook rating reflects confidence in declining budget deficits, and an at least moderately upward trending economy. The steady decline in deficits is largely driven by last year’s infamous fiscal cliff deal which, as many may remember, included a short-term combination of tax increases and automatic federal spending cuts (sequestration) that began in 2013. As a result, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the 2013 federal budget deficit would be reduced by a whopping $1.1 trillion from 2012. Politically, however, the situation is not so cut and dry. Moody’s warned that the failure for Congress to address the long-term budget deficit will risk this progress and put the American economy back on a downward trend. This is so widely believed as true that the two other major credit rating agencies, S&P and Fitch, both agreed that the pervasive gridlock in Washington will be the deciding factor in what happens with the U.S.’s long-term economic health. FALL 2013 63

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - Fall 2013

President’s Message
Director’s Desk
UGA’s Archway Partnership: Empowerment for Georgia’s Communities
Oglethorpe County: Focusing on the Benefi ts of Protecting Rural Roots
Eliminating Risks: LGRMS Celebrates 25 Years
Where Do We Stand? One Year after Georgia’s Criminal Justice Reform
Understanding the Impacts of Juvenile Justice Reform
New Jail Facilities: Counties Focus on New Technology and Capacity to Expand
2013 Legislative Service Award Recipients
Hospital Survival: Informed County Commissioners Can Preserve Local Health Care
Federal New: More Gridlock and Uncertainty May Be Expected in Washington for FY 2014
Slice by Slice: Students Learn About the Signifi cance of Agriculture on Pizza Farms
Talking Trees with Georgia’s County Commissioners
Partner News: Value at the Heart of the Unique Gas South-ACCG Partnership
Commercial Swimming Pool Renovations Do’s and Don’ts
Counties & The Law: The Supreme Court, the Voting Rights Act and Georgia Counties
Legal News: Bidding in Georgia: What to Do When the Lowest
Conference Preview: Legislative Leadership
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - Fall 2013