tv National Association of Counties Legislative Conference CSPAN March 5, 2019 12:14pm-1:08pm EST
at :30 eastern wednesday, the senate armed services committee looks at prevention and response to sexual assault in the military. on thursday, at 10:00 a.m. eastern, senate foreign relations committee hearing on u.s.-venezuela relations with mark green, usaid administer, and elliott abrams, state department special representative for venezuela. t 1:30 supreme court justice alito and kegan on the supreme court budget. watch beginning wednesday live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3, c-span.org, or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> up next on c-span, a conversation with labor secretary alex acosta, white house advisor conaway, and jon ernst. national association of
counties legislative conference. minutes. >> now it is my extreme pleasure to introduce a former county official, us senator joni ernst. senator ernst previously served as montgomery county i was monitor for the work to eliminate wasteful government spending and protects taxpayer resources. in 2014 senator ernst was elected the first woman to serve in federal from iowa and also became the first female combat veteran elected to the united states senate. please join me in welcoming senator joni ernst. [applause]
>> good morning everyone. welcome to washington dc. yeah, good morning. thank you. greg, thank you for the kind introduction and as greg said i am joni ernst and had the great honor of serving either one in the united states senate and i'm happy to be here today with all of you. it is wonderful to have so many county leaders from all over the country here in the same room and i know there are a number of iowans here. where did they go? there are my iowans. want to give them a special shout. we were able to visit a little bit today about issues that are important to all of you. many of the folks here from iowa notice and the rest of you may not. i did get my start in politics at the county level and first ran for county auditor in my home county of montgomery in 2004. i held that position until 2011 when i was elected to the iowa
defendant. much of what i learned and experienced as a county official has informed my work in the united states senate and perhaps most importantly working as a county auditor gave me a true appreciation for the appointment of local control. many of our state and federal programs are administered or implemented by or in partnership with local governments. local government is truly where the rubber meets the road. for this reason when i look at a policy issue in washington my first thought is always what do the folks on the ground have to say about this particular issue i relied on local officials across iowa to give me information and feedback i need to make informed decisions and i understand not everyone can make it to washington dc to meet with me i made it a point to visit all of i was 99 counties every single year. that is right.
ninety-nine counties every single year. i'm not the only one that does this following in the great footsteps of our senior senator chuck grassley is done the 99 county to work every year and now going on over 38 years. kudos to senator grassley. [laughter] [applause] i know president trump puts an input on all of you and i'm glad to see he bided every county commissioner and supervisor to the white house over his first two years in office. if you are familiar with my work in the senate you know what might top priorities is to cut bureaucratic red tape and a great galatians that don't make sense. yeah, thank you. [laughter] president trump has been working hard on this, too. based on the feedback i received from folks like you i love the effort in the senate two's scrap
the burden some 2015 waters of the us rule. [cheering and applause] probably the number one issue i received feedback on. while the effort in 2015 was ultimately vetoed by president obama the epa has recently proposed a rewrite of the rule i think is reasonable and will provide much-needed certainty for our stakeholders. i know organization found the 2015 role challenging and again, i heard many comments on that and i'm hopeful the new iteration will alleviate the concerns about the difficult role. because in the best position to determine what's working and what isn't i think it's not only important to listen to you but also to empower you. for this reason i'm supportive of policies the delegate as much authority as possible to the
state and the local governments. my good friend and colleague, senator chuck grassley, senior senator from iowa often referred to dc as an island surrounded a reality and congress and federal agencies don't always know what is best for those off the island in your engagement and the valuable input we provide of spring a much-needed dose of reality to this city. to make it easier for our local officials to participate in and influence the policymaking process i introduced a bill that congress that would require that corridors of executive branch agencies to be relocated outside of washington dc metro area. states and cities would be able to compete to become their new home. this would bring good government jobs to new parts of the country and i think it would also result
in a more visible policymaking. this is something that might iowa folks and i were talking about fine stage a little bit and we would love the opportunity to compete for some of these headquarters and it makes sense. for example, usda of agriculture i don't know of too many farmers and ranchers right here in the dc metro area and it would be great for them to move out to the states that they represent. i'm sure many of you are wondering how the new dynamic in congress will affect what happens on the hill over the next you years and as all of you know after two years of unified republicans controlled we now have a divided congress and while i am sure you will see a lot in the news about the dysfunction and infighting in washington what i want you to know and what you should know is that bipartisanship is still
alive and well. we will continue to work together mac there are still things that both sides agree are very important, infrastructure is one of them. in the near future we begin work on the next surface transportation bill, the highway bill and i'm hopeful that potential input structure package is right back up again. republicans and democrats have differences on how we pay for infrastructure and what things might actually qualify in the package but we all agree it is something that needs to be addressed. another area for both sides came together to accomplish a common goal was the passage of the bipartisan farm bill. these programs like conservation something that's important to our folks back home in iowa now have five years of ability to
look forward to providing much-needed certainty and allowing industries to focus on other major issues facing our economy like trade. last year the administration successfully we negotiated our free trade agreement with canada and mexico. i hope to see congress simply approved this new agreement that will provide certainty to a major businesses who export two of our largest trading partners. i also hope as the process moves forward in ministration can shift its focus to addressing the looming steel and aluminum tariffs mexico and canada finalizing our negotiations with china. iowans continue to tell me they are glad that president trump is finally standing up to china and holding them accountable for their on trade fair practices. there's no denying these ongoing
trade negotiations have been hard on counties across the country and they give us an opportunity to create new market access for farmers and manufacturers. encouraged by the recent report that negotiations have made substantial progress in our trade talks with china and hope we seize this opportunity and reach a final agreement soon. yeah, thank you. [applause] we would love to see this done very soon. with new and open markets america's counties both urban and rural five. again, thank you very much for hosting me here this morning. it's great to have the opportunity to be at this event with you i want to enqueue for all you do and to update you on what is going on in washington dc. thank you so much for the opportunity to be here with you. i'm know i'm always with friends when i'm with county officials. god bless you for the work you do and god bless these great united states of america.
thank you all so much. have a great time. [applause] >> thank you very much, senator. fostering conditions for economic growth including labor market policy and closing the workforce skill gap. next we welcome secretary of the united states department of labor alexander acosta. senator acosta has done several important leadership roles and labor relations injustice. most recently secretary acosta served as the dean of the florida international university college of law. please join me in welcoming the 27th united states secretary of labor, alexander acosta. [applause]
>> good morning. thank you, mr. cox for the kind introduction. this is a great time to speak with all of you because our economy is booming. you all know the statistics, on a planet rate, job creation rate and i want to share a few different ones with you this morning and i recently learned about were particularly important. wages are increasing at the fastest rate we have seen for nearly one decade. here is the interesting part. wages for the bottom and lot increased 6.5% over the past year.
that is really incredible. you've seen these new hires and that is great but 70% of all those new hires from outside the labor force, individuals that had not been working or looking for a job that look at the economy and decided we want to work in join the labor force. here is one other. the wages for individuals who make things, goods producing industries and those who make things and build things and construct things and those who manufacture things for non- supervisory goods produced employees increased more than $2500 last year. that makes a big difference to an individual into a family.
i want to share this with you because i think it reflects the truth about this economy and the truth is this economy is getting not just for people back to work but more people back to work that weren't thinking of working before more people in jobs that are being better and better. [inaudible] is something we don't talk about much but it's almost at a record high. the quick rate is the rate at which people quit their jobs because they find another and better opportunity. that is a reflection of this economy. what are the challenges connect challenges are preparing individuals and offering them the skills that this economy is looking for. for the first time in history for months after months we have seen something we've never seen before.
you see more open jobs than individuals looking for jobs. i want to talk a little bit about this and how we can approach this together putting together because all of you are very much our partners in this. 84% of counties have formed workforce training partnerships with local chambers of commerce, cities, states comes to government and forget not 84% but all of you are focused on workforce. many of you are part of our workforce or chair eight workforce force. you understand that workforce investment leaves the ground for a future. what are we doing and how to be partnered together mac the pledge to america's workers brought together industries the pledge to rescale provide opportunities and so far have pledges for more than explain
5 million opportunities. apprenticeships, apprenticeships are another incredibly important approach. as we look out there in this economy i think we need to take a step back and evaluate what signals do we send to young americans? i was in missouri last week entering an apprenticeship facility for the united brotherhood [inaudible] and it was great. they were getting skills and learning and when they were done with their apprenticeships there were 15 credits short of a college degree because they had an articulation agreement with their local community college. what i found most impressing about it was they showed me their rate sheet and when young men and women left without
apprenticeship programs the lowest starting wage was $28 an hour. [applause] that is a good family sustaining weight. what signals are we sending to young americans? are we saying you only have one path to success in all other paths are no good? or are we saying there are multiple paths and you can go to college and you can study and go be a lawyer or doctor and now you make a good wage and a boss of debt and it will take a while or you can go be an apprentice carpenter and go build something and you won't have student debt and won't take as long and you also have a good wage. decide what you love and pursue what you love and choose what you love and what makes you happy. the goal is a family sustaining
wage. is that the signal or sending in high school? if it is not, as county officials, as local officials, what should you be doing about that? i think this is so important because with young americans out there that might not pursue education because they are told it is college or bust rather than their multiple paths to success. apprenticeships something were talking about quite a bit and i'm proud that since we started talking about this over the last two years we have reached almost 500,000 new apprenticeships. [applause] we are in the final process and have pending at the office of management and budget and we provided our comments on the
final application for industry recognized apprenticeships with the goal of achieving 1 million new apprentices over the coming year. [applause] we have rolled out our apprenticeships .gov website and has three parts. one is for career seekers looking for jobs, one is for educators so they can talk about their programs and a third is from -- as an artificial intelligence aspect to it that identifies opportunities for apprentices and put them up there. i have a request when you go back home look up the apprenticeship of website think about whether there are a way to plug-in the opportunities in your county into that website so more individuals can see. over the next months, actually
this month you will be announcing grants of 150 million to community colleges to further support apprenticeships. these grants are a little different and we asked community colleges to find matching partners in the business community the department of labor has never done that before so why did we do this? what is more powerful? a community college program unattached to the local economy or a community college program with business partners that have put in there dollars into the program so that the community college is providing the skills those businesses need those businesses are invested, not just your membership on the board through their dollars in
those committee college programs and i bet you that curriculum is focused on the local schools that it requires and when it comes time those businesses that invested in those programs are going to hire individuals that are graduating. those $150 million that will be awarded for actually more powerful than that because it has a one-three match. in essence, it will be $200 million of community colleges to foster these programs. i daresay it's the second round of grant opportunities and very excited about the concept. it is a win win. businesses get the skills they are after and input into the community college system and community colleges get financial support and they get insight
into the skills being required. i want to talk about other challenges to workforce. because we have a low on rate our labor force participation should increase and that is why i said it's so important that 70% and new jobs are going to individuals that are not worki working, outside the labor force. we need to engage these individuals much more. i want to talk about individuals that are in prison. the best thing that we, you can do for this individual can help you find a job. the best thing you can do for the economy is how those individuals become part of an economy rather than recidivate.
the best thing you can do for your community estate in your community is give those individuals job in the state in the community again because that is the biggest predictor for individuals not recidivate. reentry is so important and we put out 85 million in reentry and will do a second round. later this march will have a conference where we will invite reentry organizations to washington and provide them with information about all the opportunities available federally to get support and get assistance. this is so important and one note on this -- i was visiting a prison and it had a culinary program and i thought that was great and i said what's the biggest obstacle when you leave
to finding a job? in this particular state not talk about licensing in a minute chefs had to be licensed and if you had a felony you cannot get that license. when you go back home think hard and i know it's very difficult and i know there are a lot of local interests but the card, does every license that excludes a felon really need to exclude that felon and is it really the case that someone does not have a record can't install fire alarms? or can't be a chef? is the best thing for society include individuals from job opportunities? there is another national workforce challenge i want to talk about and that is opioid abuse.
professor alan krueger and i thank him for particular to show how bipartisan this issue is because he works for president obama did a survey and found that 47% almost half of prime age men were not in the labor force took a pain killer, not last month, not last week but yesterday. 47% of men, 25 to 54, not in the labors force took a pain killer yesterday and the follow-up question was it a prescription painkiller and about one third said yes. a third of men not working took a prescription painkiller yesterday.
that is a problem folks. that's a real problem. not just for those individuals but for our economy. and so, you have to work together is opioid issue. it is so important. the department of labor is sponsoring some pilot programs when individuals going into treatment facility for treatment can often take months and what are they doing are they being tweeted? are they watching television or preparing for the next phase of their life can with the department of labor, what they are doing is providing funding for workforce training someone undergoes treatment because -- [applause] at the end of treatment someone does not have a job, again, what are the chances that they will
go right back into their former lifestyle? also to talk about the second program i saw and thought it was so interesting and this was in indiana and they work with employees and this was a tour i took in indiana worked with employees that has a positive and they are able to do this because of a unique law in indiana. in indiana, if you test positive and undergo certain steps like this pathway to employment i will talk about there is a liability shield against employers is something goes wrong. the employer's have incentivized to do this. this is what the pathway to employment is about. the potential employee denied employment due to a failed drug
test has a chance to participate in a personalized rehab program. they go in and get assessed and if there is a likelihood of rehabilitation they keep their job to be different job categories and they can state working as long as they stay in treatment and stay clean. i met this gentleman and he had been working for about 15 years and then went on drugs. i asked him why. his daughter had been arrested and went to jail. pretty tough. here is the question. is he better off continuing to work as long as he stays in treatment and stays clean? or is he better off being fired? and going home and going into a negative feedback report where
he's like i don't have a job, my daughter is in jail, what is the point? taking more drugs and getting more depressed. ... it's very, very good thing. ask, when you go home, think about that, thing about what all of you could do so that you incentivize employers, where appropriate, to keep individuals employed, people do make mistakes. but when they make a mistake, and the workforce it's critical. once they leave the workforce, it's really, really hard to reengage. let me talk about occupational
licensing. there was once a time when one in 20 jobs required a license. now there's different measures, some say one in three, some say one in four, some say one in five jobs require a license. whether it's 2025, or 30%, that is way way, way too many jobs that require license. i was in one state with a license to install fire alarms, more expensive than the license to practice as a lawyer. think about that. they are imposing financial burden on those who could least afford them. a city recently came up with a license for dog walking.
[laughter] not for babysitting, that's okay but dog walking needs a like license. the federal reserve as amended the federal reserve study that 1.4 million hard-working because of this. another study said 1.5 million. estimated 3 million. this is a very card issue. it's very difficult to license. it's all so incredibly important for the workforce. one of the reasons why is because it discourages people to move into your counties and states. geographical billing, which in our society should be an all-time high is pretty down low. it's low because when individuals are thinking, should i move? one of the questions is, how far
is it to get a job in another state? how hard is it to relicense? i want to talk about that issue in particular in one context. i think this is such an easy answer here. there's a reason why every state shouldn't take action. i want to take about that in military spouses. [applause] there are few of you in the room that know about this. our men and women in the armed forces serve our nation and defend each and every one of us. authentically, we recruited them as an individual and along the line, they got married and started a family. so the military is having difficulty retaining the families. i say retaining the family as
you can recruit an individual but you retain a family. these are high spelled individuals. i think military spouse license is one of the reasons why. i want to tell you a story about the military spouse who has providing health coaching for nearly four years in one state. then the military service person was transferred to another air force base. she continued to provide health coaching online to former clients until the spouse got a cease-and-desist is a dietitian in the new state was complaining that the person was practicing without a license in the state. you move to a new state, you continue to communicate with your former clients, you
continue to do it perfectly legal what was your job, your career but this new state tells you, stop your career. you may be serving the nation but the nation does not want you to practice your career. her name is heather. the story is you not not unique. it happens to tens of thousands of military spouses every year. i met an attorney who ended up getting a job at a supermarket because of a licensing issue. we could call in for story after story after story. this just isn't right. so, if you take on licensing,
licenses are necessary, eliminate them. [applause] if you can't do that political politically, at least focus on military spouses. it's not that hard to say if a military spouse is in our state because the military service member is there on orders, they can continue their career so long as they are actions in the home state and there is no disciplinary action against them. [applause] i don't know how folks can account that. these are individuals that are serving our nation and the
spouse is serving right alongside them. this should not have to sacrifice his or her career. [applause] let me wrap up by saying as a general approach, one size does not fit all. we believe in the importance of having flexibility and variability. so across our program, to the extent that they have forcibly to the extent that the department of labor has authority, to welcome the opportunity to work with each and every one of you, outside the box programs. we have almost every waiver we have been asked for. one size does not fit all.
new york is different than iowa which is different than texas and california and alexa alaska. if they want to change things up a bit, ask for the waiver. if they want flexibility, ask for waivers. we can't see this at the federal level, workforce, education has to happen at the local level. to the extent we have flexibly and authority, we will push it out to all of you. [applause] [laughter] you have every incentive to do what is right for your community. you know what is right, much better than we do. thank you for your efforts, all
those individuals eking for jobs holding jobs, thank you for your efforts. as you go back home, think about how to better empower local educators to realize there are multiple cats to success. we need to stop thinking that there are only certain jobs because with every job leading to success, folks love it and if it provides a family sustaining wage. secondly, think about military spouses. it's happening to them, it's wrong. thank you for your efforts. [applause]
>> thank you, we appreciate your presence here today. today we're announcing a new partnership with the national sheriffs association. i'd like to invite jonathan, the executive director of the national association to join me on the stage. as we announce a new past force to address one of the greatest challenges facing county government. county leaders, we focus on solutions. this task force will examine the medicaid exclusion policy. it scripts federal health and veterans benefits from individuals upon admission to gel. not upon conviction. terminating federal benefits to those who are presumed innocent, violation of their constitutional rights. [applause] it also leads to increased
recidivism, increased burst on local taxpayers. with more than 2 million people in jail with serious mental illnesses, disorders and substance abuse disorders, care can help stop the revolving door of incarceration. our task force would study this serious problem and offer solutions and policy recommendations to congress and the administration. this is the right thing to do. we are pleased to name the members of the task force, you can see the names of the individuals on the screen behind me. they got a big job in front of them and i know they are up to the task being presented to them. we think these county leaders, including sheriffs, prosecutors and behavioral health experts and we hope you all will join us policy briefing tomorrow
afternoon on capitol hill. we look forward to working with jonathan and the national sheriffs association and in the months ahead. [applause] >> good morning. good morning. that's the association i know. we have a crisis in front of us. i don't need to repeat the numbers but i do need to make a couple of observations. everyday in this country, more than 300,000 individuals are in our jails. in your details. for one reason only trade because they are mentally ill. that illness caused them or their communities. because of no other reason than
they have an illness. today, as we sit here, our federal government has an obligation, part of the moral and social code. to me, father of two children who have mental illnesses, we can't do this alone. we cannot arrest our way out of the opioid crisis and we can't arrest our way out of mental illness crisis in this country. [applause] asking sheriffs, administrators, county executives, commissione commissioners, city council to carry this burden is unconscionable this is our
humanitarian obligation. we must treat these people with dignity, treat them with respe respect, but please, please stop putting them in jails. put them where they belong. [applause] tomorrow you get to talk to congress about it. sure the personal stories that you have because you do have them. tell them about 17-year-old who woke up one day because he had schizophrenia and couldn't control his rage. tell them about the 35-year-old with ptsd who did nothing more than decide it was so hot, he had to take us closer to stay cool. tell them about the family members you probably have or know about. they're in there, in your custody now in jeff's custody.
we cannot do this anymore. the most civilized nation in the world is locking up people for one reason. they are mentally ill. addicted to a drug. together we can fix this crisis, i ask you, i call upon you, help us fix this problem. thank you, god bless you all. [applause] >> we thank you and the national service association for being here and partnering with us on this important issue. while we are waiting for our next guest speaker, i'm supposed to do a song and dance i guess. i'm going to explain my presidential initiative which is connecting the unconnected. how i got to where this would be an opportunity to build on
brooks' initiative last year, serving the underserved with a particular focus on childhood poverty. we've been blessed, we had united way that ran our information for a good number of years and they decided they wanted to begin focusing on other areas. we were forced to put together a separate 5o1c3 and we did that 2005, there was about the same time the phone number was coming together and kudos to atlanta for the sounder, the first one on the phone line. we have had a very rough phone system for a couple of years. we had fires in 2007 but slowed to 11 do not only the typical health services information but we also used it for disaster, we decided we would do disaster information, not emergency disaster information.
we decided to do that, we had very bad fires in 2007. we had 67 calls in six days. giving people information on whether they needed to boil water, get back to their homes or what roads were open, where they could go to assistant centers, we realized there's so much more that can be done with 211. having that for health and human services information. over the last few years, we've been having people report, they actually can take people information from the call 211 in san diego, it blew the silos away and now it when somebody calls, the operators, significant train, they deal with real people that have real problems and we focus on giving them a real solution. it's just one of the most transformational expenses i've
had, about 500,000 calls and e-mails coming in online service that they have and it's made all the difference in the world. they sign people up for food stands, they get reimbursed by the department of agriculture. one of the many ways we fund 211, san diego. want to take the opportunity to explain my presidential initiative. now it's my honor to introduce our next guest speaker, kellyanne conway. she serves as a service to the president and senior counselor. she has led some of the and ministrations multi- profiles initiative. she will give us a look inside some of the administration's efforts for the past two years can't some of her busy biggest accomplishments, join me in welcoming kellyanne conway.
[applause] >> good morning, thank you for having me. >> we are so delighted to have you as part of this this money. i have to tell you, i don't think i've ever seen any presidential administration opened the door more for access for local government and the administration has done. i know over the last -- [applause] i know over the last year, i think something like 35 different forms, you literally invited every county elected official in america to come in and meet with the president's administration, cabinet sector, secretaries with the speakers that just had tremendous information to share. i think i was part of the last delegation that came in. you are a big part of a lot of
those efforts california, alaska and hawaii in october and we were honored to have the president come in and talk to us for about 20 minutes. tell me, what has been the feedback from the administration, the cabinet secretaries and they've had a chance to meet with county officials, what is the step of the administration? >> thank you for having me today. we cannot do what we do and be on the administration without the input and insight, the information and the individual participation from our local elected officials and not elected officials. why? because much like everything on president trump, it begins with the grassroot level.
he's the chief executive his entire career at the trump workstation. chief executive on tv, the event is. now chief executive of the united states. i think at the executive level, his always been very natural for him to rely upon different individuals and structure to make sure he's got the information and input. he's very good, i think, about weighing opinions and making a decision, executing a decision. the federal government, this is the white house, the president, it's wonderful he's being action on so many different issues but we will never substitute his for yours. the reason is, we need to hear, the two way conduit to bring to
us hearing and what your steering and expensing at home. hearing from us what happening, a couple of things that have happened, everything from the upgrade crisis, relation, big peppers and effort, justice reform, infrastructure has begun but we will continue in the expect in a bipartisan way. anything that has to do with the order, resource developing act that was signed into law in october. the faa the authorization in october. these are things that may be the african american government c but you feel it. i think there are examples where they can't make decisions on high and expect everyone to comply.
it took me 50 years to get to my 50th debate when i, it took the white house about a year end a half to have all 50 states come in and represent, it's an incredible important part, our own infrastructure, intelligence information can for structure. some of the best ideas we have heard have been the best practices. yes, charges. the opportunities we've heard from local elected officials. we did have 35 represented, the president was there for a few of them and participated in 27 and the president came in at the last one for the crowning achievement but i'll tell you that, different geographically and demographically and sometimes economically, we do
here so many common trends of the opportunities. we want to continue. >> with the comments were talked about, the whole crisis, affecting every county across the united states. you played a very significant leading role in the administration to deal with the crisis including significant strata initiatives put in place, literary changes to help local and state government officials, address the crisis. talk about these efforts and steps that you are aware of that you can share with us. >> thank you for helping us raise awareness. not just the crisis but some of the solutions we are working on together. we refer to the and drug