The Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) is an alliance of Michigan counties working to enhance county government through advocacy, shared services and education.
Founded on Feb. 1, 1898, MAC is the only statewide organization dedicated to the representation of all county commissioners in Michigan. MAC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advances education, communication and cooperation among county government officials in Michigan. MAC is the counties’ voice at the state and federal level, providing legislative support on key issues affecting counties.
The 2016 MAC-MCMCFC Legislative Conference will feature Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, plenary presentations on legislative and political issues in 2016 and a variety of educational workshops, including ones on: tips for running a millage campaign; Michigan's "Blue Water" economy; how the Affordable Care Act affects your county as an employer; the regulatory future on drones; and the rise of heroin and opioid abuse in our communities.
NEW!: MAC, Tuscola's Bierlein part of coalition seeking federal court action against election law restrictions
MAC and other local government and school groups around Michigan announced the filing of a federal lawsuit against changes to Michigan's Campaign Finance Act adopted at the end of 2015; these changes impose a 60-day gag order on local officials communicating with voters about local ballot measures. Among the named plaintiffs to the lawsuit is Tuscola County Commissioner (and MAC Board second vice president) Matthew Bierlein, whose county has a millage question on the March 8 ballot.
Read the coalition's statement on the lawsuit.
Civic/school coalition urges repeal to election law restrictions
MAC and a variety of other local government and school organizations urged the Legislature Thursday, Jan. 14 to take immediate action on measures, such as Senate Bill 703 by Sen. Dale Zorn, to repeal the parts of Section 57 of state election law that impose a 60-day zone of silence on local officials regarding local ballot elections. "The feedback from county leaders is consistent and clear: the existing laws were working fine ...," said MAC Deputy Director Steve Currie.
MAC joins coalition to fix election restrictions measure
MAC has joined with other local government and school groups to call on Gov. Rick Snyder and legislators to restore local officials' ability to properly communicate with voters in the 60 days prior to a local ballot question. This ability was stripped away on Jan. 6 when Snyder signed the flawed SB 571. The restrictions on election communications already are affecting communities around the state that have ballot questions in the March 8 election, including the counties of Arenac, Iron, Luce, Montcalm, Montmorency, Ottawa and Tuscola.
Jan. 6: Snyder's signature on SB 571 is 'disappointing'
Responding to the news that Gov. Rick Snyder will sign Senate Bill 571, which carries significant restrictions on how local officials can communicate with voters on local ballot measures, MAC officials labeled the move "disappointing," but emphasized their readiness to work with the governor and legislators who have said they want to repair the flawed law. Read the full release.
Featured: President Doucette urges members to engage with state legislators during acceptance speech
Alger County's Jerry Doucette became the president of the MAC Board of Directors at the end of the 2015 Annual Conference in September. In his acceptance speech at the conference's Monday Plenary Session, he urged commissioners to become more involved in the policy-making process by holding state legislators accountable. You can read the the complete text of his remarks by clicking here. At right, Sen. Tom Casperson offers some remarks about Doucette during the swearing-in ceremony at the Annual Conference.
Gorz joins MAC as governmental affairs associate
The Michigan Association of Counties announced Oct. 20 the appointment of Elizabeth Gorz as its new governmental affairs associate.
Gorz will have tax policy, agriculture, natural resources, finance and economic development in her issue portfolio.
Gorz has more than five years of state government and lobbying experience. Before joining MAC, Gorz worked at Capitol Affairs as an associate lobbyist. During her tenure as a legislative staffer, Gorz worked for Senate Majority Leader Michael D. Bishop of Oakland County and served as director of constituent relations for Sen. Tory Rocca and as a legislative aide to Sen. John Moolenaar.
"Elizabeth's experience in Lansing in both the Legislature and in the lobbying sector will be a boost to our efforts to advance county issues at the Capitol," said Dana Gill, MAC's director of governmental affairs. "We have formed an energetic and experienced team to explain the need for reform on tax capture districts, Dark Stores, transportation funding, criminal justice policies and many other important topics that county governments have to handle each day."
Featured: Sights from the 2015 Annual Conference
Gill appointed as director of governmental affairs
Dana Gill has been appointed MAC's new director of governmental affairs, it was announced Aug. 19.
Gill replaces Deena Bosworth, who has accepted a vice presidency with Big Fireworks of Michigan.
Prior to accepting the director's position, Gill had served as governmental affairs associate at MAC since 2013, covering health, human services, public safety and the judiciary. Gill was MAC's point person in the summer of 2014 in the legislative resolution to the Cunningham court decision that threatened to disrupt funding for local courts across Michigan.
"Dana was all over the (Cunningham) issue," said Steve Currie, deputy director of MAC. "She really showed her mettle in this crisis, and her passion for ensuring Michigan residents receive the best possible public service. When Deena advised us of her departure, it was natural for us to think of Dana to lead our governmental team."
"It's thrilling to be presented this opportunity at MAC to continue our team's work on behalf of Michigan's 83 counties," Gill said. "Of course, it's also a challenge. County issues span across almost every legislative committee. I look forward to working with the Legislature and administration to advance the state and county partnership."
Gill starts her new role on Aug. 22.
"Deena Bosworth has done an outstanding job for us here at MAC," said Timothy K. McGuire, MAC's executive director. "Her knowledge, passion and energy have been tremendous assets to county government during her tenure as director of governmental affairs."