MAC-backed revenue sharing bills introduced

Two different packages of bills that create a state Revenue Sharing Trust Fund and direct the expenditures of such a fund have been introduced in the Legislature.

Senate Bills 229230, by Sen. Veronica Klinefelt (D-Macomb), are backed by MAC and carve out a portion of the state’s sales tax for deposit into the fund (10% of all funds collected by 4 percentage points of the sales tax rate).

The bills also:

  • Stipulate the money in the fund does not lapse to the state’s General Fund
  • Allocate an even split of the funds between counties and CVTs (cities, villages and townships)

A dedicated fund helps protect revenue sharing dollars from being raided during the annual appropriations process. The 10 percent collection rate would boost current allocations to counties and reflect the true intention of revenue sharing by requiring a portion of the state’s revenue to be shared with local governments. In this system, if sales tax revenue goes up, revenue sharing would go up, if the sales tax revenue fell, so would the money in the fund. 

Legislation advanced by the Michigan Municipal League (House Bills 427475 and SBs 182183) takes a slightly different approach.

That package would create a base in a Revenue Sharing Trust Fund of the Fiscal Year 2024 recommended revenue sharing amounts and distribute funds on the current allocation method. The fund could accept additional monies but would not require additional deposits into the fund. While this approach would help insulate local governments from further raids on revenue sharing by the Legislature, it does not build in a system for growth. 

The current revenue sharing system is overly complicated and not well understood. For example, many don’t know that counties don’t share in more than $1 billion in constitutional revenue sharing that all CVTs receive per capita. For a quick primer on the revenue sharing program, check out this slide deck prepared by the House Fiscal Agency.  

Parity on the statutory side of revenue sharing, as reflected in Sen. Klinefelt’s bills mentioned above, is appropriate given the fact counties serve 100 percent of the state’s population and have significantly more mandated services to provide to our residents than other local governments.

MAC also is advocating for an increase in the amount in the fund to ensure no local government is faced with reductions in their allocation and to ensure the state supports the work done at the regional and local levels.

A survey recently conducted by MAC found members would use additional revenue sharing dollars to invest in communities in ways long supported by the Legislature, such as infrastructure; unfunded liabilities; customer service improvements; attraction and retention of employees; economic development; and cybersecurity.

Revenue sharing is the most flexible form of state aid to counties, which makes it the most effective method to fund generational investments in public services — with decisions made at the local level. Reform of revenue sharing is one of MAC’s top legislative priorities for 2023.

For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at


Juvenile Justice Reform Task Force testifies before Senate panel

Members of the Michigan Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform testified before the Senate Committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary and Public Safety this week on the 32 recommendations they provided to the Legislature last July.

Of these recommendations, two tiers of priorities have been identified.

The first tier, consisting of six priorities, will be introduced in an approximately 15-bill package later this spring. This package would include expansions to the County Child Care Fund (CCF), including an increase in reimbursement rates to counties from 50 percent to 75 percent for community-based services; expanding eligibility for diversion; and requiring the use of risk and needs assessments.

In addition to expanding the CCF, the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission would be expanded to implement youth defense standards in local county defense systems, the State Appellate Defender’s Office would be required to oversee a system of appellate defense for juveniles and court fines and fees for juveniles would be waived.

MAC supports this bill package and will continue working to implement the recommendations of the task force.

For more information on this issue, please contact Samantha Gibson at


New rules on materials management loom for counties

On March 29, new state legal provisions kick in requiring counties to update their Materials Management Plans (MMP) and increase recycling rates in Michigan.

(NOTE: If you listened to this week’s Podcast 83, be advised that timetables shared there were incorrect; see correct information below.)

A 180-day window for counties to determine whether they planned to file a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) does not officially begin until the director of the EGLE initiates it.

After those 180 days, if a county declines to prepare a new MMP, EGLE will create one for them and the county will then be responsible for implementing the plan. If a county decides to file an NOI and prepare their own MMP, they will have 36 months to plan and receive approval from EGLE. Counties have the option to collaborate with neighboring counties to create regional plans.

Counties that file an NOI will be provided funding from the state to prepare their plans. Each county will be granted a base of $60,000, plus 50 cents per capita, up to $300,000. An additional $10,000 will be given to each county that enters a multi-county plan.

Until the EGLE director initiates the process, counties can consider their waste capacity limits, their willingness to draft their own MMP and whether they would like to partner with other counties.

In the meantime, EGLE will be hosting monthly webinars to walk counties through the process. We encourage each county to have at least one representative participate in these discussions. The meetings are typically held on the third Wednesday of each month; however, April’s meeting has been cancelled.

The next scheduled meeting will be from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on May 17. To be included in future meeting notices, please email

For more information on this issue, contact Madeline Fata at


Wayne County addresses Senate panel on juvenile facility crisis

Wayne County officials were called to testify this week before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee in the wake of news reports of major problems at the county’s juvenile center.

Every county in Michigan is suffering from a bed and/or staffing shortage within the juvenile justice system. Incidents like those in Wayne can and should be avoided with the help of the state Department of Health and Human Services. Without proper funding of our juvenile justice system, staff go underpaid and overworked, then leave. Youths go without the services they need and deserve, and risks to public safety are posed.

Court-involved youth in Michigan are currently staying in short-term detention facilities, such as Wayne’s, for months or, in some cases, even years. The staffing shortage has led to countless empty beds in residential facilities that would otherwise be in use. Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula do not have access to a local facility and are forced to send youths to Southern Michigan or out of state. This issue has become a crisis, and the time is now for our state to provide funding to alleviate the burden on this system.

MAC has requested that the state fund staff recruitment, retention, and training to resolve the current staffing shortage crisis, as well as funding for the creation of an additional facility to serve northern counties who do not have access.

For more information on this issue, contact Samantha Gibson at


Podcast 83 looks at juvenile justice, solid waste, revenue sharing

Major changes are looming for three significant areas of county responsibility, MAC’s Podcast 83 team said this week.

Host Stephan Currie and the MAC Governmental Affairs Team of Deena Bosworth, Madeline Fata and Samantha Gibson took in-depth looks at the following issues in Lansing:

  • Juvenile justice reform legislation, with Gibson saying a large packet of bills would constitute “a whole juvenile system overhaul”
  • Revenue sharing reform, with Bosworth detailing her recent testimony to multiple legislative panels on MAC’s plan to create a protected fund for revenue sharing payments and create parity between counties and other local governments on such appropriations
  • Materials management, with Fata reporting that the clock is ticking for counties to make a big decision on whether, under state law passed last year, they will write new solid waste plans or let the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy do so (Correction: Some of the timing mentioned in this week’s podcast on this issue is incorrect; please refer to the written item in this Legislative Update for proper details.)

See the full video, recorded on March 20, by clicking here.

Previous episodes can be seen at MAC’s YouTube Channel.

And you always can find details about Podcast 83 on the MAC website.


Opioid Advisory Commission releases annual report

The Michigan Opioid Advisory Commission released its 2023 Annual Report: A Planning Guide for State Policy Makers on Thursday (March 23). The report provides a comprehensive overview of the background of the opioid epidemic in Michigan and the national landscape in which the opioid settlements are taking place. The report details the state of Michigan’s intended uses of current settlement funds and outlines approved uses of funds as provided in Exhibit E.

The report looks specifically at the Principles for the Use of Funds From the Opioid Litigation and provides a scorecard for Michigan’s adoption of these principles, identifying strategies and gaps. The final section of the report outlines the commission’s findings and recommendations, as well as the Opioid Advisory Commissions strategic plan and planning considerations.

As a reminder, local governments have been given an opportunity to participate in national Opioid Settlements with Teva, Allergan, CVS and Walmart. To participate in these settlements, counties must complete a participation form and return the form by April 18. We encourage all counties to participate in these additional settlements.

For more information on this issue, contact Amy Dolinky at


MAC makes case on revenue sharing to Senate funding panel

Properly investing in local government services is a key economic development strategy, MAC told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee this week.

Testifying before the Subcommittee on General Government, Deena Bosworth, MAC’s director of governmental affairs, urged legislators to take up a MAC-backed plan to dedicate proper funding to revenue sharing to secure local services.

County revenue sharing, Bosworth explained, was established as an alternative to local taxation, with the intent that the state would share its revenue with local governments. However, revenue sharing has not kept up with the growth of the state budget or inflation “While economic development projects are crucial to our state, investing in these projects is only a piece of the pie — counties need to properly fund the services we provide, from public health to roads, we serve 100 percent of the population, but we only receive a fraction of the unrestricted revenue sharing dollars from the state,” she noted.

Also, there are no inflationary adjustments in the revenue sharing dollars counties receive, leaving FY23 revenue sharing for counties at $245 million. If the state paid counties at the same rates as from FY01, with adjustments for inflation, FY23 revenue sharing would amount to $392 million.

MAC supports parity in statutory revenue sharing for counties and would like the Legislature to bring counties up to the same recommended level as the revenue sharing for cities, villages and township, proposed at $293.5 million.

MAC also requested to eliminate unnecessary and time-consuming reporting requirements created by the County Incentive Program, which involves 20 percent of a county’s revenue sharing funds.

For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at


Federal proposal would ease regulations on foster homes

A new regulation to allow child welfare agencies to adopt less stringent licensing standards for all relative and kinship foster family homes was offered by federal officials last month. Counties with foster care jurisdiction are encouraged to submit comments on the proposed regulation before April 17.

Kinship care allows relatives or close friends to care for children who are removed from their homes as a result of abuse or neglect. The state of Michigan is facing a foster care bed shortage. Alleviating administrative hurdles for relatives to become licensed foster care providers, rather than placing youth in the foster care system, would allow children to stay with adults they know and leave foster care beds open to those who do not have kinship care options.

MAC supports federal efforts, including the proposed regulation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to increase and incentivize kinship placements for best possible outcomes for children under the care of the county.

For more information on this issue, contact Samantha Gibson at


Celebrate County Government Month in April

National County Government Month (NCGM), held each April, is an annual celebration of county government. Since 1991, the National Association of Counties (NACo) has encouraged counties to actively promote county roles and responsibilities in serving residents. Counties can schedule activities any time during the month. NCGM is an excellent opportunity for your county to highlight effective or innovative county programs and raise public awareness of services provided to the community.

This year’s National County Government Month theme is consistent with NACo President Denise Winfrey’s focus for the year, Counties RISE!

RISE! stands for Resiliency, Inclusion, Solvency and Empowerment – and the exclamation point speaks to the enthusiasm and passion with which we tell those stories. Counties are encouraged to reflect on this theme as you choose how to celebrate NCGM.

NACo’s NCGM page has a wealth of resources for counties to use to engage with residents on the central role county government plays in everyday life:

If you have questions about National County Government Month, please contact Nicole Weissman at


State regulator pledges higher outage fee in wake of ice storm

Michigan’s utility regulatory will start requiring a $35 per day credit in power outages, indexed for inflation, a House committee was told Wednesday.

The House Energy, Communications and Technology Committee is reviewing the actions of Michigan’s two major electric utilities, DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, in the wake of last month’s devastating ice storm that left hundreds of thousands without power.

Representatives of the state Public Service Commission (PSC), which oversees utilities, said it would be altering its rules to require the $35 per day credit, up from the flat $35 (DTE) or $25 (Consumers) credit to utility customers who went without power for more than 96 hours.

DTE and Consumers execs faced extensive questioning about their role in the outages.

While DTE acknowledged the existing fee was not enough to replenish the food lost by households during these outages, but explained the, set by PSC, is meant as a penalty to utilities, rather than compensation to customers.

Both DTE and Consumers insisted the most pressing need for both companies is properly investing in a reliable grid. They claim that is the key to fewer outages and they asked for support from the legislature and all stakeholders to help make the necessary improvements.

Several customers delivered impassioned testimony about the impact these outages had on their families. Committee members voiced their sympathies and urged the utilities to take these personal stories into consideration moving forward.

MAC will continue to monitor any legislative responses to the energy emergency and provide updates if necessary.



Registration opens for 2023 Legislative Conference

Registration opened today (March 10) for the 2023 Michigan Counties Legislative Conference, the first of MAC’s two signature events for our 125th Anniversary year.

This year’s event will be April 24-26 in Lansing, with sessions at both the Radisson Hotel and the Lansing Center. The event is co-hosted by the Michigan County Medical Care Facilities Council (MCMFC).

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been invited to keynote the conference, with her remarks currently scheduled for Tuesday, April 25.

Click here to register.

Additional plenary sessions will feature:

  • A discussion with the Legislative “Quadrant” (the four senior officials in the House and Senate) led by MAC’s director of governmental affairs, Deena Bosworth
  • “A National Perspective on the County Landscape and Priorities” by Matt Chase, executive director of the National Association of Counties
  • A MAC Legislative Update from MAC’s Governmental Affairs staff
  • A State of MAC report from MAC Executive Director Stephan Currie
  • Remarks from MAC President Stan Ponstein of Kent County

Breakout sessions on current challenges for county leaders will include the impact of electric vehicles on road funding, trial court funding, running effective meetings with Robert’s Rules of Order, property tax limitations and litigation and maintenance on dams.

A Legislative Reception will be held on the evening of Tuesday, April 25, during which MAC will present its County Advocate Awards for legislative service in 2022.

See draft agenda (subject to change).

MCMCFC members may attend special sessions for them on human trafficking, the state’s Freedom of Information Act, the opioid settlement funding and survey readiness. These sessions have been submitted to WNA CEAP for approval to award contact hours. Wisconsin Nurses Association is an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. These sessions also have been submitted to NAB for Nursing Home Administrator credits.

The conference will be an in-person event.

Your member registration fee of $405 provides access to all conference events, snacks at the Radisson Hotel on Monday afternoon, the Legislative Reception with appetizers and beverages, two breakfasts at the Lansing Center (Tues-Wed), lunch on Tuesday at the Lansing Center and a boxed lunch on Wednesday you can take with you on your journey home.

Those eligible for the member rate include county commissioners, county administrators, county clerks, county treasurers, county registers, county prosecutors, county sheriffs, county drain commissioners, county department heads and employees and staff of MCMCFC member facilities.

  • Early-bird Member Rate $405 ends April 3
  • Early-bird Non-member Rate $480 ends April 3
  • Member Regular Rate $475
  • Non-member Regular Rate $550
  • Please note that single-day rates will NOT be offered
  • Last day to cancel is April 14

Hotel information

The Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol is again providing a special group rate for the event and is connected via the newly renovated pedestrian bridge to the Lansing Center itself. The bridge now offers improved lighting, new security systems, ventilation system and carpet.

The cutoff date to reserve your room in the conference block is April 3. There is no guarantee that rooms will be available until April 3, so you are encouraged to reserve early.

Call 1-800-333-3333 or click HERE to make your reservation.

Radisson Hotel Lansing | 111 N. Grand Ave. | Lansing, MI 48933

Room rate: $142.95* | Event code: MAC423

Check-in is 4 p.m.; check-out is 12PM

Valet parking is $20 per vehicle per night

*Rate does not include 13% tax

Tax-exempt status: For any Radisson Hotel overnight guest(s) to be eligible for tax-exempt status, (1) the room must be paid for directly by the guest’s government agency, either with a check or credit card, and (2) the guest must provide a copy of the agency’s tax-exempt form. Tax-exempt status is not granted for rooms paid for by the individual, even if getting reimbursed.

Hotel Cancellation Policy: You may cancel with a full refund up to 72 hours prior to arrival. Cancellations received within 72 hours or arrival will forfeit one (1) night room and tax.


Podcast 83 team reviews legislative action on state spending, NACo activities

In their regular weekly episode, MAC’s Podcast 83 team discussed the following news involving county governments in Michigan:

  • Legislative passage of a billion-dollar spending plan for economic development
  • Activity from the 2023 National Association of Counties conference in Washington, D.C., in February
  • Litigation involving fees charged by Michigan trial courts
  • Podcast host Stephan Currie’s visit to the Upper Peninsula for the 2023 Continental Cup ski jump competition in Dickinson County

See the full video, recorded on March 6.

Previous episodes can be seen at MAC’s YouTube Channel.

And you always can find details about Podcast 83 on the MAC website.

Audio versions of Podcast 83 also are now available via the Spotify app.


Participation forms for opioid settlements coming soon

Local governments will be given an opportunity to participate in national Opioid Settlements with Teva, Allergan, CVS and Walmart. Collectively, these settlements are expected to bring in around $450 million to Michigan and will have the same allowable uses of funds as the J&J and Distributors settlements.

To participate in these settlements, counties must complete a participation form and return the form by April 18. County governments should expect to receive the participation email no later than Tuesday, March 14. The participation forms will be sent in a single email and will use Docusign. The form can be signed electronically or signed physically, scanned and emailed back. 

We encourage all counties to participate in these additional settlements.

For more information on this issue, contact Amy Dolinky at


MAC releases templates to assist with opioid settlement planning

MAC has created supplemental documents to the Michigan Opioid Settlements Funds Toolkit: A Guide for Local Spending. The new templates being released include:

  • Spending Plan Template (PDF) (Excel)
    • Excel file that outlines what information should be captured for each strategy being funded that will assist with future reporting
  • PowerPoint Presentation Template (PDF) (PowerPoint)
    • PowerPoint file that provides an overview of the opioid settlements, allowable strategies to fund, and areas for input of specific information around strategies the county will be funding
  • Annual Report Template (PDF) (Word)
    • Word file that outlines information that counties can share publicly on an annual basis through their website and with community partners that includes key questions to answer to increase public understanding, process, and transparency
    • Additional guidance from national organizations around specific metrics associated with activities are expected to be released later in the year

The National Association of Counties, in partnership with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has also released a quick guide for completing a needs assessment, The Principles Quick Guide to Conducting a Needs Assessment to support counties in understanding community needs and assisting in tailoring services to meet those needs.

If you have specific template documents that you would like created, or questions, please contact MAC’s Amy Dolinky at


Act by March 14 on ‘ROBIN’ broadband grants

Grant applications for the Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) program are due by 4 p.m. on March 14. Almost $240 million is available for “last mile” and “middle mile” infrastructure for communities who partner with an internet service provider. The infrastructure must be used to expand broadband in unserved areas.

The Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) will evaluate the applications and release funds in late spring or early summer 2023; all funds must be expended by 2026. For more information on the ROBIN program, please follow this link.

The ROBIN program is just the first of two major federal investments in broadband expansion. MIHI is currently in the data collection phase of administering the second program: Broadband Access, Equity, and Deployment Act (BEAD), a whopping $1.6 billion for unserved and underserved communities.

The MIHI team continues to travel across the state this winter and spring as part of its MI Connected Future Listening Tour gathering input from the public. They visited Lapeer and Marysville earlier this week and will be in Bad Axe on March 14. Please find a complete list of upcoming tour locations here.

For more information on MAC’s broadband policy work, contact Madeline Fata at


ARP reporting portal will open on April 1, NACo advises

The National Association of Counties issued the following alert on Thursday:

“Here’s an update from the U.S. Department of Treasury regarding new reporting requirements for the upcoming Project and Expenditure (P&E) Report due April 30, 2023, for the ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. The portal will not open until April 1, 2023, for counties to submit their P&E Reports. These updates apply to all counties unless a county allocated its entire ARPA allocation towards the $10 million revenue loss standard allowance.

“The P&E Report updates include:

  1. Unique Entity ID Requirements for Subrecipients and Contractors: All subrecipients and contractors are required to have a Unique Entity ID (UEI) and have that number included as part of the reporting process. The UEI is the replacement for the previously used DUNS numbers, and they are issued by While this requirement is not new, starting in April 2023’s P&E Report the report form will now return an error when no valid UEI is provided when creating new Subrecipient or Contractor entities. This was previously not explicitly required, but strongly urged by Treasury.
    1. Treasury has stated that for the April 2023 P&E reporting form, if a pre-existing subrecipient or contractor record does not have a UEI, the system will simply flag it as a warning but not prevent them from submission of the entire P&E report.
    2. However, ANY NEW subrecipient or contractor records will be required to have their UEIs provided and they cannot create those entities without one.
    3. Treasury has stated they DO NOT KNOW how long they will be able to keep this flexibility available after April 2023 so counties should get their UEIs together ASAP.
  2. New Subaward/Direct Payments Entity Type: All Subawards/Direct Payments records will be required to have an “entity type” selected before a subaward can be created. This field will capture whether the entity receiving the award or payment is a Subrecipient, Contractor, or Beneficiary. If a county attempts to create a new subaward for a subrecipient without a populated entity type field will result in an error.

“For more information, go to Treasury’s Recipient Compliance and Reporting Guidance page.”


CRC webinar analyzes Michigan budget situation

The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, in partnership with the MIRS News Service, hosted a webinar to break down Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s fiscal year 2024 budget and the state’s financial situation.

MAC is a longtime supporter of the council’s work and encourages members to check out the webinar video or slides.

To watch the video, click here.

To review the slides, click here.


Governor appoints Kent commissioner, MAC director to housing panel

A Kent County commissioner and the executive director of MAC were included in appointments by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Statewide Housing Partnership.

 David Bulkowski, of Grand Rapids, is a commissioner for Kent County and serves as executive director at the Disability Advocates of Kent County. He is appointed to represent community development or advocacy organizations that provide services or housing to families or support other organizations who do.

Stephan W. Currie is executive director of Michigan Association of Counties and serves as a member of the Horizon Bank Advisory Board of Directors. He is appointed to represent local government, which might include representatives from county or municipal government associations.

Last year, Whitmer signed Executive Order 2022-10 establishing the Statewide Housing Partnership. Its primary responsibility is to develop a strategy to implement the Michigan Statewide Housing Plan released in 2022 and make recommendations to MSHDA on how best to achieve its goals. The plan presented opportunities for organizations to partner on common objectives, including rehabilitating and stabilizing the housing supply, reducing equity gaps and homelessness and increasing home energy efficiency and weatherization.

The new Statewide Housing Partnership will lead a coordinated, data-driven, outcome-oriented approach to housing, ensuring that all Michiganders have a safe, affordable place to call home. They will also establish regional consortiums to ensure statewide initiatives build on local efforts whenever possible, and they will keep Michiganders updated on their progress with public-facing communications. The partnership will dissolve on Sept. 6, 2024.

As part of this process, the partnership will hold a facilitated work session to start laying the groundwork for a formal RHP and learn how regional collaboration is key to advancement of the plan. County leaders interested in participating in one of these meetings should go to the registration link.


Staff picks

Legislature approves $1.3 billion in additional state spending

A bill to spend another $1.3 billion in the current fiscal year, largely for economic development incentives, cleared the Legislature this week and was sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for final approval.

House Bill 4016 distributes money through no fewer than seven state departments, with the largest share, $800 million, going either to incentives for a Ford plant to be sited in Calhoun County and an additional investment in the state’s SOAR economic development fund.

In addition to those figures, the bill provides:

  • $212 million for homeowners and landlords to do energy efficiency updates
  • $63.5 million to increase Medicaid interim rates to nursing home providers (see more below)
  • $25 million for grants to offset water bills for low income residents
  • $10 million to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in the waters of the Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay watersheds

MAC did not take a position on the legislation.

For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at


Michigan Supreme Court hears arguments on trial court funding case

This week, the Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) held oral arguments in a case challenging a key source of revenue for local court operations. In People of MI v Travis Michael Johnson, MSC will decide the constitutionality of trial court judges levying fees against criminal defendants.

Prior to 2014, trial courts were able to impose operations fees on defendants. As a result of a 2014 Michigan Supreme Court ruling, trial courts were no longer authorized to levy such costs without statutory authorization by the Legislature. In response to said ruling, a MAC-led coalition convinced the Legislature to amend state law to allow trial courts to place “reasonably related” costs of prosecution on defendants but included the legislative sunset.

Michigan trial courts retain the authority to impose such fees, but only until May 1, 2024, when a legislative “sunset” occurs.

If the court rules against such fees prior to the implementation of a legislative solution, local courts face losing more than 26 percent of their current funding for operational costs. Counties would then be forced to backfill this gap, as local units of government are a main funding source for trial courts.

Members of the Legislature are working to implement funding recommendations of the Trial Court Funding Commission. And MAC is urging quick action to guard against a funding lapse via the creation of a Trial Court Fund to distribute funding to trial courts based on operational requirements, while maintaining local discretion over trial court operational decisions, and the establishment of uniform assessments and centralized collections through the State Court Administrator’s Office. This system will maintain judicial discretion for ordering fines, reduce costs and increase efficiency.

For more information on this issue, contact Samantha Gibson at


MAC-backed bills for tax reimbursement re-introduced

Legislation to fully reimburse counties for property tax losses due to state-mandated exemptions for disabled veterans returned to the legislative slate this week.

Sen. Jon Bumstead (R-Muskegon) reintroduced his idea for reimbursements for disabled veterans’ property tax exemptions via Senate Bills 9596. These bills, which failed to gain approval in the last legislative session, are the culmination of years of negotiations with the veterans organizations, the Legislature and local units of government. Locals have seen increasing losses due to the 2014 legislation mandating property tax exemptions for veterans with 100 percent disability.

As with last session’s versions, the bills create a refundable income tax credit to the veterans, payable to the local taxing units. Full reimbursement to counties for their losses due to the exemption is one of MAC’s top legislative priorities in 2023. However, the Michigan Department of Treasury remains opposed to Bumstead’s legislation.

The bills have been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance, Insurance and Consumer Protection.

Watch in future Legislative Updates and in MAC advocacy emails for ways that you, as county leaders, can become involved in bringing these bills through the Legislature.

For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at


Legislature OKs nursing grants backed by county medical care facilities

County medical care facilities (MCFS), caught in an ongoing and industry-wide staffing crunch, will receive state grants for workforce retention if Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs House Bill 4016.

The Legislature approved HB 4016, the second supplemental budget of 2023, this week. It includes:

  • $67 million in workforce retention grants to nursing home providers
  • $63.5 million to increase Medicaid interim rates to nursing home providers, adjusting the interim rate to 4.5 percent, from 2.5 percent, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023

The Michigan County Medical Care Facilities Council, which represents Michigan’s 34 county-operated MCFs, supports these investments.

For more information on this issue, contact Samantha Gibson at


MAC studying ‘unique’ proposal on handling property tax disputes

MAC has begun an internal review of a unique property tax proposal unveiled recently by Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Dickinson).

His Senate Bills 1920 would create a county “Board of Revision” and vest all commercial, industrial and development real property — as well as commercial, industrial and utility personal property assessment appeals and decisions — to that body, bypassing the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

This appeals process would consider all property valued at $600,000 or more. Further challenges to decisions by the Board of Revision could be appealed directly to local circuit court.

The bills have been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance, Insurance and Consumer Protection.

MAC’s Finance and General Government Committee will review the legislation before the association takes any position on the bills.

For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at


Wayne’s Palamara touts MAC effort to aid opioid investment strategies

“County governments — charged with the delivery of public health services at the local level in our state — are on the frontlines of the overdose crisis in their communities. We now have the opportunity to create monumental change by making the best choices to help our families, friends and neighbors make the right ones,” Wayne County Commissioner Joe Palamara wrote in the Detroit Free Press this week to tout MAC’s opioid settlement assistance efforts.

In his opinion column posted online March 1, Palamara, a long-time member of the MAC Board of Directors, noted MAC’s Michigan Opioid Settlement Funds Toolkit: A Guide for Local Spending, developed by Amy Dolinky, MAC’s technical adviser for opioid settlement funds planning and capacity building.

Dolinky and Vital Strategies, a health policy nonprofit partnering with MAC in this work, already have been in contact with nearly half of Michigan’s counties to answer questions or provide expertise as local leaders decide how best to employ settlement funds to address substance abuse disorders.

Additional information and service details can be found on MAC’s Opioid Settlement Resource Center.

For any questions on opioid settlement funds, contact Dolinky at


Cheboygan, Genesee leaders honored for energy efficiency work

Jeffery Lawson, administrator of Cheboygan County, and Deborah Cherry, Genesee County treasurer, recently were honored by Lean & Green Michigan with “Most Valuable PACEsetter” awards for 2022.

The pair were honored “for their dedication to helping businesses in their communities access capital to finance energy and water efficiency projects as well as renewable energy.”

Founded in 2012, Lean & Green Michigan, a corporate member of MAC, is a public-private partnership that helps local units of government administer Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, financing. Since its inception, Lean & Green Michigan has closed 65 deals throughout the state and helped Michigan businesses access more than $207 million in private capital.  

Genesee County joined Lean and Green’s PACE district in October 2014 and closed their first project, Linden Senior Living, in February 2022. The case study can be found here.

Cheboygan County joined in May 2022 and expects to close on its initial project in the coming year.

PACE is a financing tool that allows a commercial property owner to voluntarily enter into a special assessment agreement with a local unit of government, which can be repaid over a period of up to 25 years. It enables cash flow positive investment in comprehensive energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy projects. By financing such projects through PACE, businesses can eliminate the need for upfront capital and benefit from PACE’s long-term, fixed-rate financing structure so that the savings generated from the project are greater than the annual PACE loan repayment — generating immediate positive cash flow.

For more information on PACE, click here.


Counties with resources urged to share with areas hit hard by ice storm

Hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents remain without power on Friday as the state’s two major utilities continue to deal with the aftermath of a large ice storm that hit mid-week across Southern Michigan.

Approximately 700,000 locations are without power, and many will remain that way into next week, MAC is told. Consumers Energy and DTE have hundreds of crews out working to restore the power, and have brought in crews from other states.  Even though the storm is over, high winds caused even more power lines to fall from the weight of the ice Thursday night.

A statewide emergency has not yet been declared, but MAC has been assured by the Governor’s Office that they are deploying resources and have all hands on deck to help. MAC encourages counties to reach out to emergency management offices in hard-hit areas (see map) if they have resources to lend during the prolonged outage. Each emergency management office should have a list of needs to keep facilities operating and residents warm. The list may include generators, diesel fuel, and supplies for warming shelters.

For additional information on emergency management offices, visit the website of the Michigan Emergency Management Association.

DTE reported Friday morning that it hoped to have 50 percent of its down customers back online today.

Consumers Energy said it had restored more than 65,000 customers already and has 480 crews in the field.

For real-time information on restoration efforts, check the Twitter feeds for DTE and Consumers.


Filing period opens for special MAC Board elections at 2023 Legislative Conference

County commissioners interested in serving on the MAC Board of Directors have until March 24, 2023, to file for special elections to fill five seats on the Board at the 2023 Michigan Counties Legislative Conference.

These special elections will be for partial terms and held on April 25 at the conference in Lansing. To be an official candidate, commissioners must file official notice of their intent to run. Applications are due by 4 p.m. on March 24, 2023.

All five seats available represent regions, so will be decided by a vote in regional caucuses.

Click here to download the application form.

The MAC Board of Directors is the key body in guiding the legislative and organizational strategies of MAC. Board terms are three years in length and individuals may serve up to three terms.

Following seats are vacant and will be filled at the 2023 Legislative Conference:

  • Region II, Seat A (would serve term to Annual Conference of 2024*)
  • Region III, Seat A (would serve term to Annual Conference of 2024*)
  • Region IV, Seat B (would serve term to Annual conference of 2026)
  • Region V, Seat B (would serve term to Annual Conference of 2024*)
  • Region VI, Seat B (would serve term to Annual Conference of 2025)

No director shall serve more than three full three-year terms, except in certain situations where a director is filling a vacancy in an unexpired term. If the elected replacement shall serve more than half of the unexpired term, it shall be considered as if such person has served one full term for purposes of term limits. If the person filling the vacancy shall serve less than half of the unexpired term, that person shall be permitted to serve up to three additional full 3-year terms. *Denotes a period of less than half of a term.

Candidates who file are also encouraged to submit a statement of up to 400 words on why members should support them. These statements will be posted to the MAC website in late August.

If you have any questions about Board duties, please contact Executive Director Stephan W. Currie at 517-372-5374 or


Treasury’s Contact Center on ARP issues reopens

The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Contact Center for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) reopened on Feb. 21. The Contact Center closed last year due to an administrative funding shortfall, which impacted Treasury’s ability to provide technical assistance and support to counties that received State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Funds (LATCF), Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funds and more.

Late last year, Congress provided additional resources for the Office of Recovery Programs in the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2023 as part of the Cornyn/Padilla amendment (the National Association of Counties and MAC worked with both Congress and Treasury to ensure the inclusion of this critical amendment).

Counties can reach out to the Contact Center for questions related to recovery programs at these contact points:


Join Treasury, MSUE for free webinar on budgeting

MSU Extension and the Michigan Department of Treasury will cover the fundamentals of budgeting during uncertain economic times, tracking long-term fiscal health, and operational best practices.

The webinar is free and will run from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. (ET) on March 16, 2023. Click here to register.

Michigan communities have experienced fiscal instability for a number of reasons, including the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, and ongoing economic uncertainty. This webinar will provide best practices for local government fiscal health, including budgeting, long-term planning, dealing with uncertainty, and financial policies and procedures.

MAC has just designated this session as part of County Commissioner Academy (CCA), the association’s continuing education program for members. Participants in this session will earn 3 credit hours for CCA.

What will be covered:

  • The budget process and communicating your budget
  • Dealing with uncertainty in a changing economy
  • Understanding key financial variables, such as:
  • The “rainy day fund”/fund balance/net position
  • Understanding how the tax base provides revenue
  • Understanding volatile revenue
  • Forecasting revenue and expenditures
  • How to track your budget performance, including reviewing and amending your budget
  • How spending in the present will have an impact on the future. 

Detailed guides that outline strong policies and procedures each local government should have. These guides include a checklist to track what your local government already has, what you are working on, and next steps. 

The Fiscally Ready Communities program was created to assist communities that want to establish, measure, and maintain policies to increase operational and financial effectiveness and safeguards. This partnership between MSU Extension and the Michigan Department of Treasury helps local governments work towards fiscal health by sharing best practices in fiscal sustainability. There are currently four webinars that are part of the Fiscally Ready Communities program, with a fifth to be added later in 2023.


NACo seeks applications for 2023 Achievement Awards

Counties have until March 3 to get the best fee on their applications for a 2023 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award.

The program is a non-competitive awards program recognizing innovative county government programs. One outstanding program from each category will be selected as the “Best of Category.” Below, find resources to help you begin your application and explore past winners.

Only county governments and state associations of counties are eligible to submit applications. There is no limit to the number of applications that can be submitted by a single entity. Regional partners are welcome to submit applications for a collective project; however, submitters must identify a single county or state association to submit the application on the group’s behalf.

To be eligible, programs must accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Offer new services to county residents, fill gaps in the availability of services, fill gaps in or tap new revenue sources
  • Improve the administration of an existing county government program
  • Upgrade the working conditions or level of training for county employees. Enhance the level of citizen participation in, or the understanding of, government programs
  • Provide information that facilitates effective public policy-making
  • Promote intergovernmental cooperation and coordination in addressing shared problems

The fee for each application submitted by March 3, 2023, is $75. The fee for each application will increase to $100 from March 4-April 7, 2023. Any application received without payment will not be judged or awarded.

For complete details, visit the Achievement Awards page.


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