Archive for February, 2020

Community corrections, jail pressures discussed at MAC summit

Leaders from groups representing prosecutors and sheriffs came to MAC on Feb. 25 to discuss legislative agendas for 2020.

Leaders of the groups representing Michigan’s sheriffs and prosecutors joined MAC President Veronica Klinefelt and Executive Director Stephan Currie for a discussion this week on legislative goals in 2020.

Among topics raised by MAC were funding for community corrections, the looming sunset on the authority of trial courts to impose fees and a bill that requires defendant competency examinations at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry to be completed within 30 days or allows a court to appoint an outside independent psychiatrist to perform examination.

Key concerns for sheriffs this year are finding a better revenue stream for the state’s Secondary Road Patrol program and full funding for reimbursements to counties holding state prisoners.

Prosecutors want the Legislature to look at greater investment in information technology services and consider the rising demands on prosecutor offices in the wake of the state’s new investments in indigent defense services.

“This was one of the best conversations we have had since we started these gatherings,” said Currie. “Boosting communication and coordination among county groups will pay dividends later this year in the Legislature.”

MAC appreciates the county leaders who were able to attend:

  • Paul Bailey, Berrien County sheriff and past president of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association
  • Matt Saxton, Calhoun County sheriff and incoming executive direct of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association
  • Bill Vailliencourt, Livingston County prosecutor and president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan
  • Jim Miller, a lieutenant in the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office and a member of the joint county-state Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration
  • Barbara Hankey, manager of Oakland County Community Corrections

MAC launched these “county summits” in early 2019 to foster communication and cooperation among the various groups representing county government offices in Michigan.

 

Allegan’s Storey urges state action on lakeshore damages

Allegan Commissioner Jim Storey (left) and Ottawa Water Resources Commissioner Joe Bush before their testimony on Feb. 25.

Allegan County Commissioner Jim Storey told a Senate funding panel this week that little has been done to address a “shipwreck on the horizon” for Michigan’s summer tourism season.

Storey, a MAC Board member, was referring to the damage inflicted by rising water levels and wave action along Lake Michigan in his county and elsewhere. He also told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and the Environment that the state should look at extra emergency funds beyond what becomes available via the regular disaster declaration process. (link to testimony)

Joining Storey during testimony was Joe Bush, water resources commissioner for Ottawa County, who detailed damages in his county on homes, marinas and infrastructure.

“Roads in Grand Haven have been underwater; the city is looking at $3 million-plus to make intersections passable,” Bush said. “Windmill Island (in Holland) will be underwater if we get 8 to 10 inches more (rise in lake levels).

“If water rises, we definitely need to have a plan in place and try to figure out who is going to pay for what,” Bush added.

“We need to get going; time is now,” Storey added. “That’s my essential message.”

For more information on MAC’s work on water issues, contact Deena Bosworth at bosworth@micounties.org.

 

MIDC details system progress, spending to Senate committee

Michigan is unlike many states in the local control over indigent defense services and 85 percent of the state money appropriated for those services went to attorneys and their staffs in fiscal 2019, Executive Director Loren Khogail and Research Director Jonah Siegel of the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) told the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee this week.

The pair also detailed MIDC’s financial monitoring of spending through quarterly financial reports, noting that work has begun on an internal and local system audit component. MAC will be closely monitoring this project and collecting feedback from members, as we recognize the current reporting requirements and additional requests for documentation already are proving burdensome to some systems.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget includes $117 million from the General Fund for FY21 to fully fund systems for compliance of state mandates under standards 1-4. The Legislature is now reviewing those recommendations. If the grant funding is not provided in full by the state, however, local systems are not required to continue to comply, under provisions of state law. MAC is urging legislative approval of the full $117 million.

For more information on this issue, contact Meghann Keit at keit@micounties.org.

 

MAC releases federal priorities in advance of NACo Conference

In advance of the 2020 NACo Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., this weekend, MAC has released its federal legislative priorities for the year.

Key points of emphasis include:

  • Greater investment in services to those coping with mental illness or substance abuse disorders (In Michigan rural county jails, 34 percent of the inmates are dealing with mental illness.)
  • Disaster preparedness and resilience (Michigan was 34th out of 50 states in disaster preparedness in a 2018 USA Today report.)
  • Infrastructure (A 2019 report by a business alliance found Michigan needed $12 billion in new spending to update critical water infrastructure.)
  • Broadband access (Fifteen Michigan counties are below 50 percent in resident broadband access, according to the Federal Communications Commission.)
  • Full funding for federal PILT (Michigan has the second-largest amount of land in federal control of states east of the Mississippi River.)

“We will spend several hours on Capitol Hill on March 3 visiting with House members and receive briefings from both of Michigan’s U.S. senators,” said Deena Bosworth, director of governmental affairs. “These issues will be the first topics of conversation in each session.”

For more information on MAC’s federal advocacy, contact Deena Bosworth at bosworth@micounties.org.

 

Longtime MAC staffer Dzurka passes

Yvonne Dzurka, a fixture at MAC since the 1980s and friend to countless county leaders, passed away Sunday, Feb. 22 due to complications from her long battle with cancer.

The then Yvonne Simon joined MAC in 1985. In the subsequent 35 years, Yvonne was involved in just about every aspect of MAC’s work on behalf of county officials, including conference planning, overseeing the MAC newsletter, Michigan Counties, and serving as the secretary for all three of MAC’s governing boards: MAC, Michigan Counties Workers’ Compensation Fund and MAC Service Corp. She also served as the administrative assistant for the Michigan Association of County Administrative Officers (MACAO).

“We are devastated,” said Executive Director Stephan Currie. “Our hearts and prayers go out to her husband, Scott Dzurka, her son and daughter in-law, Jason and Amanda Simon, and the rest of her family. Each of us at MAC has lost a dear friend whose gentle spirit and ready smile never failed to brighten the day.”

“Yvonne was my right hand in planning the MACAO conference for last two decades,” said Bridgette Gransden, Midland County administrator and a close friend. “She made sure all the details were taken care of and I couldn’t have done it without her — at least not nearly as well.

“Yvonne was a huge supporter of other women — ‘girls,’ as she would lovingly refer to us as. She was all about boosting up other women and encouraging them to follow their dreams. It was common in our conversations for her to say, ‘Of course we can do that — we’re girls!’ We had the power to change the world. Yvonne had the power to change lives,” Gransden added.

On top of climbing the ladder to become MAC’s lead finance staffer, Yvonne also encountered her future husband, Scott, then working in governmental affairs for MAC. The couple traveled, golfed and were big fans of the Michigan State University Spartans.

In remarks in January for a planned feature on her duties at MAC, Yvonne wrote:

 “I love my job … I love the people I work with and the people I work for. Every day, I learn something new about county government or about my job.”

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Court Appointed Special Advocates: The Voice for Clinton County’s Children (1207 N. Old U.S. 27, St. Johns, MI 48879) or St. Joseph Catholic School’s Educational Trust Fund. 

 

DHHS provides opioid broadcast for local leaders

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chair of the Michigan Opioid Task Force, led an Opioid Crises Response Broadcast for local officials Thursday. For those that were not able to view live, the department will be posting slides from the presentation at its site.

Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive continues, to educate about the crisis, which is killing five people per day in Michigan and has reverberating impacts through the child welfare and criminal justice systems —both huge systems largely supported financially by county government. Khaldun noted that in 2018 trends indicated racial disparities across the opioid effects and access to treatment. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is ensuring all this data is considered when targeting interventions. Finally, responses will build on current efforts such as expansion of naloxone distribution and syringe service programs.

The governor created the Opioid Task Force to drive action and policy changes with the goal to decrease opioid deaths in half in five years. MAC is part of the Opioid Advisory Group that provides feedback and suggestions to the Task Force. The Task Force also will be holding town halls around the state. MAC encourages members to attend, promote to constituents and provide input on this important topic affecting county residents.

Town hall dates and more information can be found here https://www.michigan.gov/opioids. Please contact Meghann Keit at keit@micounties.org with questions.

 

MAC Membership Directory arriving in mailboxes

The 2020 MAC Membership Directory is the ultimate guide to county elected officials across Michigan.

Each of Michigan’s 83 counties has a full listing with names, addresses, phone numbers and emails for all county elected officials. The directory also carries a list of board chairs and vice chairs; full administrator listings; and contact information for human resources and purchasing.

Complimentary copies of the 2020 MAC Membership Directory should have arrived, or be arriving, for county commissioners, county administrators and county board offices.

Readers also will find background materials on MAC’s services, full listings for Michigan legislators, both state and federal, and Michigan legislative committee assignments.

Members also can access a digital version of the directory here. Your password information is found on the Table of Contents page of your directory.

 

CLOSUP: Local government financing system is broken

Tom Ivacko and Debra Horner of the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy led a Lansing briefing on local government officials’ thinking on fiscal resources. (photo: U-M Social)

“Michigan is experiencing its longest-ever period of sustained economic growth, but because of a web of policy factors, local governments are not reaping the benefits,” Tom Ivacko, interim director of the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) told a Wolverine Caucus event in Lansing on Tuesday attended by some 40 officials and policy-makers.

CLOSUP, part of the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, presented its case that the system of funding for local government in Michigan is broken at the briefing. Confidence levels of officials across the state to meet their fiscal needs have been stagnant for the past three years despite a growing economy. The root of local leaders’ concerns is a system that has been constricting local governments’ ability to raise enough money to keep up with rising service costs and demands.

Costs for health insurance for public employees, infrastructure repairs and capital expenditure have been rising faster than revenues, as funding streams for municipalities, counties, townships and villages are restricted because of a number of factors, including caps on property tax revenue increases, reduced state government revenue-sharing, state-imposed unfunded mandates on local governments, and rules limiting the types of revenues that can be raised and kept locally, Ivacko noted.

The data come from the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS), which CLOSUP has been conducting since 2009, and which seeks data from the 1,856 general purpose local governments in the state, with an average participation rate above 70 percent. The program is conducted in partnership with the Michigan Association of Counties, the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Townships Association.

“If the situation does not change, less than half of local leaders say they will be able to maintain local services at current levels,” said Debra Horner, MPPS project manager at CLOSUP.

The survey does indicate a majority of respondents see three possible solutions which require statewide action: pay for unfunded mandates; return revenue-sharing to full funding levels; and state constitution reform to allow greater property tax revenue growth.

 

Time to get REAL about your identification

Michigan residents are being urged by the Secretary of State’s Office to ensure their personal identification is compliant for REAL ID.

This federally required standard for identification means anyone who travels by air within the United States will be unable to board a plane without a REAL ID-compliant document beginning on Oct. 1, 2020. A REAL ID also will be required to enter certain federal facilities.

A REAL ID can be a U.S. Passport or an Enhanced Driver’s License – or you can turn your standard driver’s license into a REAL ID at the Secretary of State’s office. Learn more about the law and what documents you need to bring to get a REAL ID at Michigan.gov/REALID.

 

National news from NACo

 

The 2020 MAC Membership Directory is the ultimate guide to county elected officials across Michigan.

Each of Michigan’s 83 counties has a full listing with names, addresses, phone numbers and emails for all county elected officials. The directory also carries a list of board chairs and vice chairs; full administrator listings; and contact information for human resources and purchasing.

Readers also will find background materials on MAC’s services, full listings for Michigan legislators, both state and federal, and Michigan legislative committee assignments.

Members also can access a digital version of the directory here. Your password information is found on the Table of Contents page of your directory.

MAC appreciates the support of our advertisers for helping make complimentary copies available to all county commissioners and county board offices: 44North; BS&A Software; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; Clark Schaefer Hackett; CompOne Administrators; CSI – Computer-Systems, Inc.; Delta Dental; Enbridge; Farner Asphalt Sealers; Foster Swift; Grand Hotel; Granger Construction; Great Lakes Communications Sales Inc.; Ibex Insurance Agency; Kitch, Drutchas, Wagner Valtutti & Sherbrook; Kofile Technologies; M3 Group; Michigan County Medical Care Facilities Council; Michigan State Industries; Michigan Works! Association; Mika Meyers Beckett & Jones PLC; Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone; MMRMA; My Community Dental Centers; Nationwide Retirement Solutions; PFM Financial Advisors, LLC; and Spalding DeDecker.

If you see an issue with any of your county’s listings or have updated information, please contact MAC Communications Director Derek Melot at melot@micounties.org to allow for updates to the digital version of the directory.

DHHS budget receives mixed response in committee session

DHHS Director Robert Gordon

As Appropriations subcommittees began work this week on the FY21 budget, Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon presented on his department’s plans in the areas of education and skills; health and families; and climate and water.

While the DHHS budget, overall, is $26 billion, Gordon said the agency consistently has to do more with less. The Legislature has been concerned with spending in the past few budget cycles, specifically as it relates to the management of IT systems and significantly reined in the spending. Gordon discussed the number of freezes initiated on the IT development and increased financial oversight through a DHHS/DTMB governance board.

Deputy Director George Mellos also presented on the departments behavioral health system transformation project that would include new specialty integrated Medicaid plans. The department wants SIPs to manage physical and behavioral health for those with significant needs and allow the community mental health providers to provide safety net services.

Additionally, the director highlighted the governor’s recommendation to increase psychiatric staffing. Northern Michigan legislators reiterated their view of a need for a facility located in Northern Michigan. Rep. Sue Allor (R-Cheboygan) noted that patient transportation from northern counties to the Caro Center in Tuscola County can keep deputies away from other duties for several days.

Lastly, the department highlighted the $5.1 million (General Fund) increase in non-Medicaid funding to community mental health providers. This, however, is coming at the expense of a $5 million increase in the local match rate for counties. In FY20, the Legislature included $5 million to start phasing out the $25 million local match amount required under section 928. The governor reversed this trend in her FY21 budget and moved it to the non-Medicaid line. MAC supports the legislative initiative to phase out the local match requirement and will advocate to have it restored as the departmental budget moves through the Legislature.

For more information on this issue, contact Meghann Keit at keit@micounties.org.

 

MAC meets with leaders for clerks, treasurers, RDs

MAC Board President Veronica Klinefelt and Executive Director Stephan Currie met this week with leaders of groups for Michigan clerks, treasurers and registers of deeds to discuss legislative priorities for 2020.

MAC’s Deena Bosworth and Meghann Keit briefed on a variety of MAC priorities, ranging from extending the sunset on trial court fee authority to revenue sharing.

Also discussed were bills on the tax foreclosure process; legislation to allow pre-processing of absentee ballots in the wake of Proposal 3’s liberalization of absentee voting; legislation to waive renewal fees for concealed carry permits; and proposed changes to the Open Meetings Act.

“This was an excellent discussion on the numerous issues where our organizations’ members can collaborate for everyone’s benefit,” said Stephan Currie, MAC’s executive director.

MAC appreciates the county leaders who were able to attend in person or by teleconference:

  • Michael Hanley, Saginaw County clerk
  • Laura Brandon-Maveal, Gladwin County clerk and president of the Michigan Association of County Clerks
  • Catherine McClary, Washtenaw County treasurer
  • Patty Niepoth, Antrim County register of deeds
  • Bob Robinson, Eaton County treasurer and second vice president of the Michigan Association of County Treasurers
  • Stewart Sanders, Newaygo County register of deeds and president of the Michigan Association of Registers of Deeds

MAC launched these “county summits” in early 2019 to foster communication and cooperation among the various groups representing county government offices in Michigan. Next week, MAC will host leaders from the groups representing sheriffs and prosecutors.

 

Time to register for 2020 Legislative Conference

The 2020 Michigan Counties Legislative Conference will feature a variety of speakers and events to enhance county officials’ learning and leadership skills.

Please note that this year’s conference runs Wednesday through Friday, April 15-17.

Among the highlights:

  • Plenary sessions on legislative priorities, jail reform proposals and county revenue trends
  • Remarks from senior state officials (Chief Justice Bridget McCormack will headline the panel)
  • 12 workshops designed for MAC members and affiliates over three days.
  • A Legislative Reception on Wednesday evening
  • An Exhibitor Show Reception featuring complimentary beverages and snacks

The conference’s early-bird fee is just $350 for county members, which includes all commissioners, county administrators, medical care facility administrators, treasurers, prosecutors, sheriffs, clerks and registers of deeds. Please note: The early-bird rate ends on March 20, so register soon.

The conference hotel, the Radisson, is offering a special room rate of $135.95 for the event, and is connected to the main conference venue, the Lansing Center, by an enclosed pedestrian ramp.

Complete details are available in our handy Registration Packet.

Or you can begin your registration process by clicking this link. Please remember: All registrations are online only.

 

Fiscal training schedule stretches from Iron River to Lapeer

Training sessions designed to help county leaders on capital project planning and general financial oversight will begin March 4 and continue through the summer.

The Fiscally Ready Communities team, a joint project of the state Treasury Department and MSU Extension, will lead the sessions on capital asset management and planning and general financial oversight!

Please note: These sessions are eligible for credit in MAC’s County Commissioner Academy program. 

Each training is half-day and is FREE. The material is designed for basic to intermediate knowledge or a refresher course for those with advanced knowledge.

Dates and locations for capital planning sessions are:

  • March 4 – Ann Arbor
  • April 2 – Lapeer
  • April 28 – Madison Heights
  • May 14 – Kalamazoo
  • June 11 – Grayling
  • July 8 – Iron River
  • July 9 – St. Ignace
  • Sept. 9 – Saginaw

Plans also are being finalized for sessions in Big Rapids in August. Check the website for updates.

For times and venues, see the registration page. To register for the capital trainings, visit https://events.anr.msu.edu/FRC2020/

Additionally, the team will be leading one Financial Best Practices Overview training on Thursday, May 7 in Grayling, plus a webinar planned for the fall. This training was created in 2019 to provide local governments with information on best practices and policies and procedures.

To register for the high-level overview on May 7 in Grayling, visit https://events.anr.msu.edu/FRC2020/

Please check  Michigan.gov/FiscallyReady for additional information.

 

State offers $250,000 in anti-blight grants to small counties

The State Land Bank Authority has launched a second round of Michigan Rural Community Demolition Grants. Smaller communities in Michigan can apply for a $50,000 grant to help eliminate blight and revitalize their communities.

The funds, available to Michigan county land banks and local units of government in counties with populations under 50,000, are designed to help communities remove vacant and abandoned structures from their neighborhoods and prepare for future developments that spark business investment and provide good jobs for residents. Applications are due Friday, March 13 at 5 p.m.

The maximum award per proposal is $50,000 and can be used toward vacant and abandoned, blighted commercial or residential structures. Proposals will be evaluated based on their anticipated impact in promoting public safety, enhancing economic development, public and private investment in the project and alignment with the community vision or other placemaking efforts.

For more information, visit Michigan.gov/LandBank.

 

Listening sessions on opioid crisis continue March 12

The Michigan Opioids Task Force and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are hosting a town hall Thursday, March 12, 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the Sterling Heights Community Center, 40250 Dodge Park Road. 

MDHHS and the Michigan Opioids Task Force will share its strategy to address the opioids crisis, seek information about how the opioid epidemic has impacted those in attendance and host a Q&A about the crisis response.

“Information gathered during this event and other town halls will help the state develop a crisis response that is flexible; effective to fit the needs of communities from Detroit to Grand Rapids to Marquette; and informed by the experiences of Michiganders affected by the crisis. About 150 people attended a similar town hall in Detroit in January,” said MDHHS in a statement.

Future sessions will be in:

  • Gaylord on Friday, July 24
  • Escanaba on Wednesday, July 29
  • Flint on Friday, Sept. 25
  • Grand Rapids on Friday, Nov. 6

For more information about the state’s opioids response and available resources, visit Michigan.gov/opioids.

 

Animal welfare grants issued to county shelters

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is issuing $127,240 to 23 recipients of the 2020 Animal Welfare Fund grants. The grants help support the spaying and neutering of shelter dogs and cats to help them be more adoptable. Grants also help support many anti-cruelty and proper care programs and training around the state. Registered shelters also can receive assistance through the grant program for the unrecovered costs of care for animals involved in legal investigations.

“The Animal Welfare Fund is supported by generous Michiganders during tax season when they check the fund’s box on Form 4642, Voluntary Contributions Schedule, with their state tax returns. Since 2010, MDARD has distributed more than $1.3 million to more than 185 local animal shelters. One hundred percent of the contributions made to this fund are used for Michigan animal welfare programs,” MDARD said in a statement.

Among county facilities receiving grants were:

  • Cass County Animal Shelter – $10,000
  • Gratiot County Animal Shelter – $5,000 
  • Kalkaska County Animal Shelter – $2,940
  • Macomb County Animal Shelter – $1,490
  • Newaygo County Animal Shelter – $874
  • Roscommon County Animal Shelter – $10,000
  • Saginaw County Animal Care Center – $8,000
  • St. Clair County Animal Control Shelter – $6,000
  • St. Joseph County Animal Shelter – $7,520

Please note that best practices for animal shelters will be the topic of a workshop at this year’s Legislative Conference in Lansing, April 15-17. For details on the workshop and registering for the conference, check out our Attendee Registration Packet.

For more information on the program, click here.

 

National news from NACo


MAC Participates in Michigan High Water Coordinating Summit

The Department of Energy, Great Lakes and Environment (EGLE) held a summit this week to discuss the weather trends and the devastating issues facing our State to record high lake levels and ground saturation. The summit included representatives from:

  • EGLE
  • Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Michigan Department of Agriculture
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Michigan State Police
  • US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE)
  • National Weather Service (NWS)
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Michigan Emergency Managers Association
  • Michigan Association of Counties
  • Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioners
  • Michigan Townships Association
  • Michigan Municipal League
  • US Coast Guard

Presentations by the USACE and the NWS provided the group with startling information: the Great Lakes are experiencing the highest precipitation on record and has measured more than 30 inches above the average; record lake levels are expected for Lake Michigan and Lake Huron for the spring and summer of 2020; there has been a record rate of rise in lake levels from January 2013 to January 2015; Lake Michigan alone is up 5.5 feet since 2013 and it is forecasted to go up another 12 – 18 inches by July 2020.  In addition, inland lakes are saturated as is the ground. With the culmination of shoreline erosion, inland lake flooding, and failing septic systems, Michigan is facing serious challenges in protecting homes from falling into lakes, infrastructure being destroyed, and environmental impacts of failing wastewater systems. 

EGLE has been working diligently to issue permits for temporary structures to protect homes and other property from falling into Lake Michigan. The average turnaround for permits is 14 days at this point. The department has prioritized permit processing based on the urgency of the matter and the health and safety of the residents in the area. 

Because no one can prevent the rising water levels, the summit focused the afternoon on modeling differnet scenarios, identifying risks to the community, and discussing which resources would be needed to respond to the events. Additionally, the summit focused on identifying some of the barriers to action and remediation. 

For more information on the issue, please contact Deena Bosworth at bosworth@micounties.org.

 

Trial court funding sunset extension introduced 

Rep. Sarah Lightner (R-Jackson) introduced House Bill 5488 to extend the sunset allowing courts to impose reasonable court costs. Under current law, the assessment of these costs would expire Oct. 17, 2020. The bill would extend that date until Oct. 1, 2023. MAC supports HB 5488.

As most are aware, the Michigan Supreme Court, in the Cunningham ruling of 2014, said trial courts lacked clear statutory authority to levy fees and costs on defendants to help ensure operating cost. Understanding the huge gaps this could cause in court budgets, MAC supported the passage of legislation to restore fee authority and to extend that authority through Oct. 2020.

Additionally, in 2017, the Trial Court Funding Commission was established through law, and the work of the Commission ended in Sept. 2019. The Commission recommended five reforms including: 

  • Establishing a stable court funding system, creating a dedicated trial court fund and ensuring more equitable funding across courts
  • Using state-funded court technology to create a uniform and cohesive system
  • Establishing uniform assessments and centralized collections to free court personnel from non-court operations
  • Moving toward a uniform employment system to streamline organizational structure so court operations are less reliant on local finances
  • Creating a task force to implement short- and long-term policy goals

MAC expects legislation to also be introduced this year related to some of these recommendations. The report identifies short and long-term implementation plans so it is anticipated changes will be phased-in over a number of years.  

For further information, contact Meghann Keit at keit@micounties.org.

Opioid briefing this month for local officials 

The Michigan Opioids Task Force and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is hosting a briefing on the state’s opioid crisis response for local government officials.

This briefing is intended for officials who are leading opioids crisis response for a region, county, or locality in Michigan. A range of organizational structures can play this role, from a regional coalition or consortium to a county-level task force to municipal-level planning efforts. These organizations may be led by the local health department or Prepaid Inpatient Health Plan, by the offices of elected officials, by non-profits, or by many others.

Please participate or pass the information along to other potential attendees leading efforts in your county.

The briefing will take place on February 27th from 3 – 4 pm via video conference and will be led by Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chair of the Michigan Opioids Task Force and Chief Deputy for Health at MDHHS.

To attend, please register at the following link and MDHHS will send you a calendar invitation: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LBZKGCM

Questions can be directed to MDHHS-OpioidsTaskForce@michigan.gov.

 

The 2020 Michigan Counties Legislative Conference will feature a variety of speakers and events to enhance county officials’ learning and leadership skills.

Please note that this year’s conference runs Wednesday through Friday, April 15-17.

Among the highlights:

  • Plenary sessions on legislative priorities, jail reform proposals and county revenue trends
  • Remarks from senior state officials (Chief Justice Bridget McCormack and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist have been invited to attend)
  • 12 workshops designed for MAC members and affiliates over three days.
  • A Legislative Reception on Wednesday evening
  • An Exhibitor Show Reception featuring complimentary beverages and snacks

The conference’s early-bird fee is just $350 for county members, which includes all commissioners, county administrators, medical care facility administrators, treasurers, prosecutors, sheriffs, clerks and registers of deeds. Please note: The early-bird rate ends on March 20, so register soon.

The conference hotel, the Radisson, is offering a special room rate of $135.95 for the event, and is connected to the main conference venue, the Lansing Center, by an enclosed pedestrian ramp.

Complete details are available in our handy Registration Packet.

Or you can begin your registration process by clicking this link. Please remember: All registrations are online only.

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