National League of Cities Applauds Opioid Funding, Water Infrastructure Improvements in Final Action by Congress

WASHINGTON — December 12, 2016 — The 114th Congress closed out its term by passing two important pieces of legislation will help local officials combat major issues facing America's cities. Following House action last week, the Senate passed the FY2017 continuing resolution, which contains $500 million in additional funding to help communities respond to the opioid epidemic, last Friday. On Saturday, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act passed the Senate, authorizing $9 billion for flood prevention, navigation and ecosystem restoration projects under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The bills, in tandem, also provide much-needed aid to the City of Flint, Michigan, to address the ongoing drinking water crisis.

NLC advocated for the passage of these pieces of legislation, both of which address major policy priorities for cities.

In response to this legislative action, National League of Cities (NLC) President Matt Zone, councilmember, Cleveland, released the following statement:

"On behalf of America's cities, the National League of Cities welcomes the passage of two final pieces of critical legislation from the 114th Congress. First, the passage of the continuing resolution ensures that our government can continue operating at full capacity, while providing support for some of the most pressing issues facing cities. The funds appropriated for opioid prevention and treatment programs will help local officials address the health crisis that is gripping so many communities in our country. Through partnership at every level of government, we can put an end to this epidemic.

"We also welcome the passage of the WIIN Act, which includes provisions to address the ongoing drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and helps communities nationwide through projects under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Every day, cities are confronted with threats that can impact our water infrastructure, and this bill will go a long way to help us address issues now and plan for the future.

"As local leaders, we know well that government works best when we work together. We congratulate this Congress on the conclusion of a successful term, and look forward to working on these issues and others in 2017."

As part of a large ongoing grassroots effort to raise awareness of and develop resources for the opioid epidemic, NLC partnered with the National Association of Counties to form a 24-member task force of city and county officials. These efforts culminated in a report, Prescription for Action: Local Leadership in Ending the Opioid Crisis, which offers recommendations for local officials addressing the crisis in their communities.

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About the National League of Cities
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. www.nlc.org