sion, and I’d like to walk through some of those as follows: First of all, every county official should familiarize them-

selves with the legislative website. All bills and tracks of these bills can be found at Please bookmark this page. Nov. 16, 2020 – legislators began pre-filing bills for the legislative session. We expect an increase in pre-filing of bills for the 2021 session because of the unknowns that CO- VID-19 presents. Already some bills have been filed that will have an impact on county government. Jan. 11, 2021 – the legislative session officially begins, usu- ally with the Governor delivering the state of the state to both chambers in the house — likely this will be online this year. Jan. 25, 2021 – the deadline to file retirement legislation (can be extended with a supermajority suspension of this rule). Feb. 10, 2021 – the deadline to file constitutional amend- ments to be considered by the legislature. March 1, 2021 – the deadline to file appropriation bills. Historically our sessions have run in excess of 60 days, but

like everything else, this may be the year with an asterisk. It is conceivable that the outbreak worsens during the session and everything is expedited, making the attention we all pay to the session even more critical. So again, my broken record encourages you to watch closely.

Your team here at the AAC will be in constant contact with

you all, and I cannot express enough how much I appreciate the hard work that Mark Whitmore, Lindsey French, Josh Curtis, Eddie Jones, Christy L. Smith, Holland Doran, Anne Baker and Deann Campbell will be putting forth on behalf of counties. Tey are all singularly focused during a session and stand ready to assist whenever and wherever needed. A quote attributed to Mark Twain goes as this, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” While this is obviously meant tongue in cheek, with a fast-moving legislative session we all know that mistakes can be made. Mistakes that harm your constituents by giving them less effective county government. Mistakes that will come to haunt the system and put an asterisk by this legisla- tive session. Don’t let that happen. Have good relationships with your legislators and communicate often when you see potential harm to our local governance. We have a very good system, changes made through the years have been thought- ful and carefully considered. Nobody knows county government better than you. You

are the experts and your voices carry a great deal of weight at the capitol. Good luck to all of us as we fight to end a pandemic and to keep county government pointed in the right direction.

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