Projected revenues for FY 2014 – 2015 are anticipated to be $253.2 million less revenue than originally anticipated.  This projection is what the legislature and administration will use to determine target numbers for the various budgets for the coming year.  As most of you are aware, the governor, along with the House and Senate have recommended full funding for county revenue sharing.  It is critical that you contact your representative and senators and ask them to keep full funding for counties when determining appropriation line items for the upcoming budget.  Attached are talking points for your use.  Please contact MAC is you have any questions and if you are successful in contacting your legislators.

Revenue Sharing TP.FY15 [pdf]

You can also find these on the MAC website: micounties.org
ssc Writing a letter to the local newspaper is an excellent way to show your support for Michigan Citizens for Strong and Safe Communities. Letters to the editor attract a significant reading audience, particularly if the letters are timely and informative. Letters can be submitted to the editor via email or by using your local newspaper’s online submission form. Writing a letter to the editor Generally, letters to the editor should not exceed 150 words. Given the brevity of a letter to the editor, it’s wise to keep it tightly focused. Letters should be written to reach a broad cross-section of the community. Be emphatic in making your point – but be civil! How to submit a letter
  1. Pick up a copy of your local newspaper or go to your local newspaper’s website and look for the “Opinion” or “Op-Ed” section, where letters are typically printed.
  2. Look for other letters to the editor – typically, there will be an email address (in the print edition) or a link to an online form (on a newspaper website) to submit a letter to the editor. Make sure to look for any special guidelines the newspaper you’re submitting to might have (e.g. a special word count).
  3. If you have any questions, call your local newspaper and ask for the opinion editor – or contact the campaign communications team at Truscott Rossman at info@strongandsafecommunities.com.
NOTE: Please make sure to include a working phone number (preferably a cell phone) with your submitted letter. Most newspapers will call you just to confirm you actually submitted a letter prior to publication. Here are a few sample letters for your use: Sample Letters to the Editor
Local governments and school districts would not be required to follow any state-imposed mandate until state dollars are put toward covering the cost of that mandate, under a legislative package that received its first hearing today in a Senate committee.
County officials told the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee today that Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0495Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0496Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0497 and Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0498 end years of unfunded mandates passed down from the state on a “go forward basis.” It would not apply to the many past unfunded mandates locals and school districts feel they’ve been hit with through the years that they don’t have the money to fight in court. Ottawa County Administrator Alan VANDERBERG called the legislation a “great compromise” in the sense that the state has imposed $1 billion in new mandates on county governments since the Headlee Amendment allegedly ended the practice in 1978. The legislation would end the new mandates, which on its own is a “huge win for local governments,” he said. The Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) has been leading the charge on a bill package that follows a 2009 recommendation from the Legislative Commission on Statutory Mandates on ways to end unfunded mandates from the state to local governments. A 2010 report from this group found that local governments are on the hook for up to $2.6 billion in unfunded mandates for that year alone (See “Report: Locals Slapped With $2.6B In Unfunded Mandates,” 2/24/10). http://www.mirsnews.com/capsule.php?gid=3269#22841 “We believe that unfunded mandates are just as inappropriate when the federal government does it to the state as when the state does it to local government,” said Sen. Tom CASPERSON (R-Escanaba), the sponsor of the lead bill in the package, Click to add MIRS Bill Hound SB 0495. Marquette County Administrator Scott ERBISCH spoke of the hardships of declining state dollars at a time when a majority of their revenues go to services — like the courts, health and the jail — continue to go up. In 2011, 22 percent of the county’s general fund came from state sources. In 2013, that was down to 13 percent. From 2001 to 2013, the direct cost to operate the courts rose 23 percent while state funding to operate the courts has decreased by 20 percent. “We ask for your consideration. We support them. We’re looking forward and not backwards.” The unfunded mandates can be as small as an EMS bill that requires further training for those personnel who deal with opiate overdoses or that counties only purchase U.S. flags that are made in the United States, said Deena BOSWORTH of the Michigan Association of Counties. They can also be as large as the increase in costs for public health department to implement a “fantastic public policy” change as the smoking ban. Alger County is a small county that is struggling to get by with its population of less than 10,000 people, said Alger County Commissioner Jerry DOUCETTE. The state is forcing their inmates on the counties for longer periods of time. Meanwhile townships are running so many millages, it’s not advantage for the county to try one its own. “Remember, our state is made up of a lot of small counties,” Doucette said.
-From MIRS Capitol Capsule, Wednesday, April 30,2014 http://www.mirsnews.com/capsule.php?gid=4322#39316
The Michigan Association of Counties (M.A.C.) presented Senator Rebekah Warren (D-Washtenaw County) and Representative Wayne Schmidt (R-Grand Traverse County) with the M.A.C. County Advocate Award at the 2014 M.A.C. Legislative Conference in Lansing. This award is given annually to legislators who have shown strong support for county interests. Senator Warren was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2006 where she served for four years representing the 53rd District. Now in her first term as State Senator, Warren was recognized as a county advocate for her participation on the Michigan Mental Health Commission and her recent sponsorship of the Personal Property Tax legislation. “M.A.C. is an important voice for our local communities. I am honored to have been named a M.A.C. Advocate for my work in the Legislature, as I firmly believe that strengthening our local communities is integral to moving our state forward,” said Warren. Representative Schmidt was elected to the House in 2008 and is now in his third term representing District 104. Having previously served as a Grand Traverse County commissioner for five terms, Schmidt was recognized for his work to resolve the infrastructure funding crisis, and his consistency in working to help county government. “I am truly honored to be recognized by M.A.C. with this award for the work I’ve done on behalf of northern Michigan,” said Representative Wayne Schmidt. “My experience with local government as both a Grand Traverse County commissioner and small businessman offered firsthand knowledge of what it takes to run an effective and efficient county, and I have been proud to work with M.A.C. as a state legislator to solve the issues that our counties face.” “M.A.C. thanks Senator Warren and Representative Schmidt for their continued support,” said M.A.C. Board of Directors President Shelly Pinkelman. “A continued partnership between local and state government is essential for the success of Michigan.”
The National Association of Counties (NACo) legislative conference was held this week in Washington D.C..  As part of this annual conference, MAC meets with our congressional delegation to talk about federal issues affecting counties.  This year the major topics for discussion included:
  • The Farm Bill and PILT Payments
  • Tax Exempt Municipal Bonds
  • Waters of the U.S. Guidance Proposal – Federal Overreach to Control Michigan Waters
  • Medicaid Expansion and Medicaid Coverage for Pre-Trial Detainees
  • Federal MAP-21 Transportation Funding and;
  • Marketplace Fairness (sales tax on e-commerce)
MAC would especially like to thank Senators Levin and Stabenow for their consistent dedication to meeting with all of our conference attendees each year to discuss issues of importance to counties.  This annual tradition affords our commissioners quality time to have questions answered and to relay upcoming issues of concern to Michigan counties.  If you would like more information about the issues MAC members discussed with their congressmen, please follow this link to our federal briefing sheet: 2014 MAC Federal Briefing Sheet
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