Archive for October, 2022

MAC signs letter to state asking for more juvenile justice beds

Michigan is short vital resources for juvenile offenders and the state needs to act, MAC and nine other associations told Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) in a letter sent this month.

The letter expressed concern with the lack of short-term local juvenile detention resources and out-of-home placement opportunities for highest-risk youth and warned of a system-wide crisis due to the addition of the 17-year-old population in the juvenile justice system and the closing of state and private treatment beds across the state. In many instances, short-term detention facilities operated by courts and counties are housing youth for months at a time, as opposed to days and weeks as they are intended to. The bed shortage has led courts throughout Michigan to go without proper placement for the highest-risk delinquent youth.

Local courts, counties and other stakeholders have been persistent in their efforts to resolve the shortage of beds. The circumstances that have led to this point, including lack of staffing, Raise the Age legislation, COVID restrictions and new rules and regulations have resulted in a critical shortage that is harming communities and juveniles, some of whom have mental health challenges.

The letter urges Whitmer, MDHHS and legislators to take act and work alongside stakeholders to address the bed shortage crisis with both short- and long-term solutions.

For more information on this issue, contact Samantha Gibson at


MAC needs members’ voices to help block mental health privatization

County leaders’ voices are needed right now to prevent a looming compromise that would privatize Michigan’s local mental health services.

A compromise deal involving Senate Bills 597 and 598 by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Jackson) and House Bills 4925-4928 (by Rep. Mary Whiteford, R-Allegan) could result in new legislation that would damage mental health services in Michigan. SBs 597-598 would shift financial administration of Medicaid mental health services to private Medicaid health plans, taking away public accountability and local governance and replacing it with for-profit private insurance companies.

The potential deal would likely move all of children’s Medicaid services, including autism and foster care, over to private insurance companies, and the state would create one statewide entity to manage the remaining populations, essentially transitioning from 10 Pre-paid Inpatient Health Plans (PIHP) to one PIHP.

MAC opposes any attempt to shift toward privatization of our local public mental health system, and we urge members to contact their legislators to share their opposition as well.

For more information on this issue, contact Samantha Gibson at


Early-bird pricing now available for NACo Legislative Conference

The National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference brings together nearly 2,000 elected and appointed county officials to focus on federal policy issues that impact counties and our residents.

The 2023 conference will be Feb. 11-14 at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.

And until Dec. 10, 2022, the NACo member rate is $520.

At the event, attendees have the opportunity to engage in second-to-none policy sessions, meet the members of the 118th Congress and interact with federal agency officials. This is a one-of-a-kind advocacy opportunity to strengthen our intergovernmental partnerships for years to come.

Registration link:

Schedule link:


Local government webinar to focus on blight, housing, outdoor grants

In partnership with the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Townships Association, Michigan Association of Counties and the Michigan County Road Association, the Michigan Department of Treasury is pleased to announce the 18th joint webinar, “Updates and Resources for Local Governments” for Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. (Eastern).

The Updates and Resources for Local Governments webinar series is designed to provide local government leaders and officials with the information, tools, and resources necessary to make important decisions at the local level. The upcoming webinar will focus on a selection of grants that are available to local governments through various State departments.

Specific topics covered will include:

  • Outdoor Public Spaces Grant Opportunity – SPARK (MDNR) – grants to help local communities to create, renovate or redevelop public outdoor spaces
  • Blight Elimination Grant – State Land Bank Authority is administering grants to local communities to address vacant and deteriorated properties
  • Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Grants
    • MI Hope – energy efficient home repair grants eligible to nonprofits and local governments
    • Missing Middle Housing – housing production program designed to address the general lack of attainable housing and housing challenges underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing the supply of housing stock by providing cost defrayment to developers constructing or substantially rehabbing properties targeted to household incomes between 185% and 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
    • Housing and Community Development Fund – developing and coordinating resources to meet the affordable housing needs of low-income households eligible to nonprofit and for-profit developers, municipalities, land banks, and community development financial institutions

Participants can register and submit questions prior to the webinar by clicking here.  

Presentations and recordings from this webinar, along with previous webinars, can be found at TREASURY – Webinars ( Utilize TREASURY – Contact Information ( for support related to Treasury’s local government services. 


MAC is again partnering with Michigan State University Extension to present the New Commissioner School for newly elected county officials in November and December.

“We are once again pleased to co-sponsor these important classes with MSU Extension,” said Stephan Currie, MAC’s executive director. “MAC will be holding a lunch at each of the in-person sites to brief attendees on all of our operations and support for commissioners.”

The 2022 program will offer a hybrid model for participants, who can be newly elected or veteran commissioners. The program will feature an introductory session via Zoom followed by access to the online learning modules. Then participants will have the opportunity to attend one of four locations for in-person learning and networking session with experts and experienced commissioners.

The program will feature an introductory session on Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. via zoom to help new commissioners learn what is available to them through the self-paced course and share a bit about the onsite learning and discussion opportunities.

Attendees at the in-person sessions will hear the latest from Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Association of Counties and expand learning through focused discussion with experts and experienced commissioners around:

  • Use of ARPA Funds
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Economic Development and Housing
  • Preparing for Meetings
  • Other local hot topics developed through discussion.

The four in-person sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The sessions are scheduled for:

  • 28: Bavarian Inn and Conference Center, One Covered Bridge Lane, Frankenmuth, MI 48734
  • 29: BayPointe Inn, 11456 Marsh Road, Shelbyville, MI 49344
  • 5: Landmark Inn, 230 N. Front St., Marquette, MI 49855
  • 12: Kirtland College, 4800 W 4 Mile Road, Grayling, MI 49738

Full schedule details and registration are available at


MAC speaks in favor of Open Meetings Act rewrite

MAC testified in the Michigan House this week in support of legislation to update the state’s Open Meetings Act.

House Bill 6423, by Rep. Julie Calley (R-Ionia), contains few substantive policy changes but is a full, linguistic and stylistic rewrite of the act. Calley has told MAC and others that her goal was to remove the overly complicated legalese in the act, making it easier to interpret and prevent any inadvertent violations.

The House Committee on Rules and Competitiveness is reviewing the measure, which has prompted feedback from MAC, the Michigan Townships Association, the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Association of School Boards. MAC continues to work with Calley on the bill.

MAC will post updates on this issue when the Legislature returns to Lansing after the General Election.

For more information on this issue, contact Madeline Fata at


State puts out call for nonpartisan poll workers

Michigan is still in critical need of poll workers for the Nov. 8 General Election, the Michigan Department of State tells MAC.

County leaders are encouraged to promote the state’s nonpartisan MVP poll worker recruitment program. Election clerks are staffing and training now, so it’s the perfect time to share this opportunity. Looking forward to hearing from you on this.

The MVP stakeholder toolkit is available online at the link above, just look under “Stakeholder Resources.”

For questions on this program, contact Sarah Reinhardt of the Department of State at


County leaders sought for NACo group studying opioid crisis

As the opioid epidemic continues to ravage communities large and small, the National Association of Counties is increasing its response to the crisis with the Opioid Solutions Leadership Network.

The Leadership Network will be formed from up to 26 county officials selected by NACo to attend virtual and in-person convenings (travel reimbursed) to explore members’ opioid response efforts and share strategies for scaling and replicating these strategies in members’ home jurisdictions.

Applications will be taken from interested county leaders until Nov. 9. To download the application form, click here.

For latest updates and news on the opioid national settlement and related matters, visit MAC’s Opioid Settlement Resource Center. For questions on opioid issues, contact Samantha Gibson at


Shine a light for America’s veterans on Nov. 11

This coming Veterans Day, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers (NACVSO) invite the nation’s 3,069 counties, parishes and boroughs to join Operation Green Light and show support for veterans by lighting our buildings green Nov. 7-13. By shining a green light, county governments and our residents will let veterans know that they are seen, appreciated and supported. 

To show support, counties can use this template to pass a resolution declaring your county’s participation in Operation Green Light. 

NACo is offering a toolkit online for counties to get the word out. The toolkit includes a blueprint for declaring a resolution in your county; sending out press releases; writing a letter to the editor to your local newspaper; writing a letter to Congress; and posting information on social media.

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency offers an online search tool to aid veterans and others in finding their nearest veteran service officer. 


Dec. 1 deadline looms for counties to challenge broadband maps

Counties will have until Dec. 1 to challenge broadband maps developed by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) as part of the Broadband Data Collection (BDC) process, which will guide the distribution of billions of infrastructure dollars.

The latest map of availability, commonly called the “Fabric,” will be made available in November 2022, the FCC says.  To learn more about how your county can gather and submit data, visit

More than $42 billion has been allocated from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to expand broadband access across the country through the BEAD program, of which Michigan would receive $1.5 billion. These funds will be prioritized for unserved and underserved communities, so the FCC and Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) must have a clearer picture of broadband service coverage and gaps.

For more information on this issue, contact Madeline Fata at


Trial court funding approved by Gov. Whitmer

Michigan trial courts will continue to have the authority to impose fees, a critical funding element, until May 1, 2024, under House Bill 5956, a MAC-backed bill signed by Gov. Whitmer on October 7.

HB 5956, by Rep. Sarah Lightner (R-Jackson), was designed to address the crisis caused by the looming expiration of fee authority on Oct. 1. Courts have long relied on fees to help fund operations. In 2014, the Michigan Supreme Court said, however, that courts could levy only fees specifically designated by the Legislature. MAC led a coalition to enact a legislative fix that was adopted in the fall. That legislation, to place “reasonably related” costs, has been extended twice already.

For cases between Oct 1 (the original sunset date). and Oct. 7 (the governor’s signature date), the State Court Administrator’s Office released a memo advising that a court’s ability to assess court costs must be resolved by the judge assigned to the case in question.

MAC thanks members who have reached out to their legislators, either directly or via MAC’s digital advocacy tool, in support of court funding.

For more information on this issue, contact Samantha Gibson at


Governor approves county mental health transportation panels

County boards of commissioners now have the authority to establish a county mental health transportation panel under House Bill 4414, by Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Dickinson), which was approved by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Oct. 14.

MAC backed HB 4414, which complements Senate Bill 101, by Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Dickinson), now PA 146 of 2022.

For more information on this issue, contact Samantha Gibson at


Marquette County receives national award

Marquette County has recently honored with the Rural Justice Advisory Council Community Innovation Award by The National Rural Justice Collaborative (RJC). The award is given to county courts and health care providers “who have worked to improve access to behavioral health, reducing victimization, facilitating education and employment opportunities for justice involved individuals, eliminating barriers to accessing justice, reducing incarceration and recidivism and facilitating reentry.”

Marquette County’s recognition is well-deserved. They have created a Jobs Court, established a program to divert mentally ill individuals from incarceration with the help of a Crisis Intervention Team and provided behavioral health services to all defendants. Their efforts have reduced incarceration and recidivism rates, helped defendants convicted of low-level and nonviolent offenses find employment and given defendants access to social workers and mental health care.

MAC congratulates Marquette County for its diligent work to improve the mental and behavioral health programs within their justice system.

For more information on this issue, contact Samantha Gibson at


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