MAC releases state priorities for 2020

Eight issue areas, led by MAC’s ongoing work to reform local government finance and a push to extend county commissioner terms to four years, have been identified as MAC’s State Priorities for 2020.

MAC issues a priority list each year as part of its educational work with legislative leaders.

“The foundation of our advocacy work, of course, are the policy platforms developed and approved by our members and board each year,” explained Deena Bosworth, director of governmental affairs. “This priority list is built off of those platforms, but taking into account the immediate opportunities and challenges we see in then next 12 months in Lansing.”

The eight objectives for MAC’s Government Affairs Team in 2020 are:

  • Reforming Michigan’s System of Financing Local Government
  • Extending County Commissioner Terms to Four Years
  • Working to Combat the Opioid Crisis
  • Ensuring Stable, Proper Funding for Trial Courts
  • Ensuring Viability and Responsibility in Michigan Mental Health Systems
  • Ensuring the State Covers Costs for Property Tax Exemptions
  • Prohibiting the Use of Deed Restrictions in Property Valuations
  • Addressing Infrastructure and Threats to Michigan’s Waters and Shorelines

“Some of these will be familiar to members,” Bosworth noted. “But the list is dynamic, in that issues fall off when we are able to record success at the State Capitol, such as last year with a prudent approach to treating 17-year-old offenders as juveniles.”

For more information on MAC’s 2020 advocacy work, contact Deena Bosworth at bosworth@micounties.org.

 

Jail Task Force report turned over to Legislature

House Speaker Lee Chatfield addresses reporters and others during the presentation of the Jail and Pretrial Incarceration Task Force report to the Legislature Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Jackson) and House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Emmet) received the final Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration report this week at a State Capitol event. It is now up to the Legislature to review the 18 recommendations and decide where their priorities fall.

Speaker Chatfield commented, “The House will review every one of these recommendations and begin work immediately to help protect the people of our state and give them the local and state government they deserve.”

Highlights of the report include:

  • an emphasis on county jails becoming de facto mental health facilities and investment for mental health diversion services
  • expanding officer discretion to use appearance tickets as an alternative to timely arrest processes
  • ensuring adequate resources for protections and services for victims, especially for victims of domestic violence

MAC encourages members to review the full report and recommendations, as well as discuss with other countywide elected officials and staff. Please feel free to provide input or feedback of support or concern to Meghann Keit at keit@micounties.org.

 

Ottawa’s Kuyers attends trade ceremony at White House

Phil Kuyers snapped this photo of President Trump during the signing ceremony for the U.S.-China trade deal.

Ottawa County Commissioner Phil Kuyers, first vice president of the MAC Board, was among invited guests to the signing ceremony for the new U.S.-China trade agreement.

Kuyers was one of a handful of county leaders who were invited to witness the signing ceremony for the “Phase One Trade Deal” in the East Room of the White House.

In a statement Wednesday, the White House said, “The Agreement requires structural reforms to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. The deal also includes a commitment by China to future purchases of U.S. goods and services, plus a strong dispute resolution system that ensures prompt and effective implementation and enforcement.”

Of the event, Kuyers said, “It was an honor to be invited and attend this historic event, with President Trump and his administration, which will mean $50 billion in agricultural trade and more.”

 “Phil is a strong and knowledgeable voice on agricultural policy in every MAC forum, both as a member of our Board of Directors and on our Agriculture Committee,” said Stephan W. Currie, executive director. “His invitation to the signing is more evidence of the administration’s outreach to county leaders in Michigan, which has included special briefings for county leaders from our state in 2017 and 2019.”

 

National news from NACo

 

Nominate a ‘Hometown Hero’ boosting local public health

The Michigan Public Health Week Partnership, of which MAC is a part, joins the American Public Health Association in celebrating National Public Health Week in April 2020 with the annual presentation of the Hometown Health Hero awards.
 
The Hometown Health Hero award is presented to individuals and/or organizations that have made significant contributions to preserve and improve their community’s health in the focus areas listed below. Awardees are selected from nominations received by you. The only way for someone to receive this award is to be nominated. What person or organization in your community deserves this statewide recognition?
 
Nominations are due by Feb. 14. Details can be found in the nomination form.

Road Commission bills sent to governor

Eliminating the sunset on a county’s ability to absorb a road commission is getting closer to being finalized under Senate Bills 322-23, which passed the House and Senate in 2019 and were sent to the governor this week.

Since 2012, counties have had the option of absorbing their appointed road commissions. In cases of an elected road commission, a county could put the question up to the voters. The deadline for a county to do so was Jan. 1, 2020. The bills, if signed by the governor, will eliminate the sunset/deadline and make this a permanent option for counties, a change MAC has strongly supported.

In addition to the elimination of the sunset, the bills would require a vote of the people to change an elected road commission to an appointed one. MAC will provide an update on bills as events warrant.

For more information, contact Deena Bosworth at bosworth@micounties.org

 

MAC leaders attend national policy session in Washington, D.C.

Stephan Currie and Veronica Klinefelt were at NACo headquarters in Washington this week for policy briefings.

MAC Board President Veronica Klinefelt and Executive Director Stephan Currie joined their counterparts from around the U.S. this week in Washington, D.C., for three days of issue briefings, policy discussions and meetings with federal officials.

On Wednesday, the group received a presentation on George Washington’s “enduring relevance” and leadership. The next day, the group went to the White House complex to meet with Trump administration officials, including from Interior officials on the National Environmental Protection Act.

“This week was another example of the strong and continuing outreach from the administration to county leaders,” Currie said.

County leaders interested in learning more about federal policy still have time to register for the 2020 National Association of Counties Legislative Conference, Feb. 29-March 4 in Washington. Early-bird pricing remains in effect until Feb. 14. In conjunction with the conference, MAC will hold special events on Capitol Hill to engage Michigan commissioners with their members of Congress.

 

Counties applaud Jail Task Force, await Jan. 14 presentation

Jim Talen of Kent County (left) and Bill Peterson of Alpena County after the Jan. 9 meeting of the Jail and Pretrial Incarceration Task Force.

Michigan’s county leaders are eager to study the findings and recommendations of a joint state-county Task Force on jail and pre-trial detention policies approved by Task Force members on Jan. 9, said MAC’s Stephan Currie.

 “The work of the Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration (#MICJReform) is notable for both its outreach to county leaders directly involved in jail operations and for the data it has brought to public attention,” said SCurrie, executive director. “Crime rates are dropping, yet jail populations remain high, which puts severe stress on limited county budgets. I know our members are eager to study the Task Force’s ideas for prudent measures to reduce jail stress while also ensuring public safety isn’t compromised.”

The panel was launched last spring via an executive order by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. It has been reviewing data in order to study alternatives to jail, safely reduce jail admissions and length of stay, support crime victims and better align practices with research and constitutional principles.

Counties are represented on the panel by Alpena County Commissioner Bill Peterson and Kent County Commissioner Jim Talen, who will finish out their appointments in September.

A press conference will be held Jan. 14 at the State Capitol to outline specific recommendations and initial steps by legislative leaders in response to them.

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

 

Act by Jan. 17 on intention to pursue veteran funds

Letters of Intent to apply for the FY20 County Veteran Services Fund grant monies are due Jan. 17.

Information released this week by the state Veteran Affairs Agency outlined the process and timeline for counties to receive grants. Per law, each grant award will consist of a $50,000 base payment. Per capita payments also will be processed based on the county’s veteran population.

An FY20 supplemental appropriation included $4 million for the fund after months of negotiations between the Legislature and the Governor’s Office. The letter from the agency states, “(T)he goal and intent of these grant dollars are to enhance and improve county veteran service operations in an effort to connect more veterans to their benefits and provide consistent access to services throughout the state.”

Grant guidance will be distributed by the agency. If counties have any questions about uses of the funds, please consider connecting with surrounding counties or MAC.

For other questions or information, contact Meghann Keit at keit@micounties.org.

 

Do you have PPT errors to correct?

Local governments were reminded of the opportunity to correct errors associated with incorrect personal property tax (PPT) reimbursement calculations in a memo this week from the Michigan Department of Treasury. For a municipality to determine if there was a reporting error or a calculation error, it will need to review the 2019 PPT reimbursement calculations, millage rates and taxable values posted to Treasury’s PPT Reimbursement website.

If a local unit or county identifies an error, then forms found on the department’s website must be filled out and submitted by the deadlines below. The PPT reimbursement correction forms are intended to be utilized by a local unit that has identified an error in its 2019 PPT reimbursement. In addition to the form(s), local units must provide substantiating documentation to support an adjustment to the reported value or the calculated reimbursement amount.

Forms to correct reimbursement calculations must be submitted by the local municipality to the County Equalization Director by Feb. 28, 2020, and subsequently by the County Equalization Director to Treasury by March 31, 2020. Correction of all other errors, including millage rates, must be submitted by all local units directly to Treasury by March 31, 2020.

For more information, contact Deena Bosworth at bosworth@micounties.org.

 

Governor’s State of the State address will be Jan. 29

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has set Jan. 29 for her 2020 State of the State address to the Legislature. The speech will start at 7 p.m.

The yearly address is an opportunity for Michigan’s governor to highlight accomplishments from the past year and chart priorities for the new year.

 

Nominate a ‘Hometown Hero’ boosting local public health

The Michigan Public Health Week Partnership, of which MAC is a part, joins the American Public Health Association in celebrating National Public Health Week in April 2020 with the annual presentation of the Hometown Health Hero awards.

The Hometown Health Hero award is presented to individuals and/or organizations that have made significant contributions to preserve and improve their community’s health in the focus areas listed below. Awardees are selected from nominations received by you. The only way for someone to receive this award is to be nominated. What person or organization in your community deserves this statewide recognition?

Nominations are due by Feb. 14. Details can be found in the nomination form.

 

MCWCF issues $3.2 million in dividends

Members of the Michigan Counties Workers’ Compensation Fund (MCWCF) will receive nearly $3.2 million in premium dividends for the 2018 plan year, adding to a dividend total of more than $28 million in the last 10 years alone.

These dividends result from “surplus” funds from policy premiums paid by members but not utilized due to the fund’s excellent claims management and innovative loss prevention strategies, explained Timothy K. McGuire, the fund’s administrator.

“Our consistent focus on employee safety is the story here,” McGuire said. “If employees avoid injuries, our members avoid health costs, thereby keeping costs down for the fund and allowing the fund to release more dollars back to the members.”

 “Another year and another excellent result for our members” said Doug Johnson, president of the fund’s board and a commissioner for Otsego County. “The partnerships we have with CompOne and Midwest Employers Casualty allow the fund to provide top-notch customer service and safety guidance.”

For more information about MCWCF, visit its website.

National news from NACo

Jim Talen of Kent County (left) and Bill Peterson of Alpena County after the Jan. 9 meeting of the Jail and Pretrial Incarceration Task Force.

Michigan’s county leaders are eager to study the findings and recommendations of a joint state-county Task Force on jail and pre-trial detention policies approved by Task Force members today, said the head of the counties’ statewide association.

 “The work of the Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration (#MICJReform) is notable for both its outreach to county leaders directly involved in jail operations and for the data it has brought to public attention,” said Stephan Currie, executive director of the Michigan Association of Counties. “Crime rates are dropping, yet jail populations remain high, which puts severe stress on limited county budgets. I know our members are eager to study the Task Force’s ideas for prudent measures to reduce jail stress while also ensuring public safety isn’t compromised.”

The panel was launched last spring via an executive order by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. It has been reviewing data in order to study alternatives to jail, safely reduce jail admissions and length of stay, support crime victims and better align practices with research and constitutional principles.

Counties are represented on the panel by Alpena County Commissioner Bill Peterson and Kent County Commissioner Jim Talen, who will finish out their appointments in September.

A press conference will be held Jan. 14 at the State Capitol to outline specific recommendations and initial steps by legislative leaders in response to them.

$1 billion on books unlikely to lead to state spending surge

Michigan will have about $1 billion left over on its books from the fiscal 2019 budget year, but legislative leaders and budget analysts downplayed any surge in state spending.

The Senate Fiscal Agency (SFA) announced the FY19 results on Dec. 30 as part of its regularly required Economic Outlook and Budget Review.

Nevertheless, state leaders quoted by the MIRS News Service this week took a cautious tone.

“(T)he slowing economic recovery detailed in the SFA document doesn’t give (Senate Appropriations Chair Jim Stamas) confidence that the state’s going to have a ‘whole lot of extra money’ to be spreading around,” MIRS reported. “Likewise, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-ClarkLake) isn’t looking to go on a spending spree. ‘The least amount spent is the best service we can provide taxpayers,’ said Shirkey Press Secretary Amber McCann. ‘His goal is be fiscally responsible with an eye on the budget long term.’”

And before Christmas, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer warned that the state’s General Fund situation would be tight in the current budget year (FY20) and for the upcoming one (FY21).

The SFA report, along with data from the House Fiscal Agency and the executive branch, will be used to set revenue estimates to guide work on the FY21 state budget. On Thursday, the Department of Treasury said the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference will start at 9 a.m. on Jan. 10 in Lansing.

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

 

Start saving dates for MAC events in 2020

Please start marking your calendars or making notes for the following MAC events in 2020:

  • Early February – Delivery of the 2020 MAC Membership Directory to all county commissioners and county administrator offices; these directories are free to our members
  • April 15-17 – Legislative Conference, Lansing Center and Lansing Radisson Hotel; attendee registration will open on Feb. 5; please note that this year’s event will run Wednesday-Friday
  • June-July – MAC Regional Summits in four locations around Michigan; dates and sites TBD; registration for these one-day sessions will open in May
  • Aug. 16-19 – Annual Conference, Kalamazoo Radisson Hotel; attendee registration will open June 10
  • November-December – New Commissioner Schools (conducted in partnership with MSU Extension) in four locations around Michigan; dates and sites TBD; registration will open in the fall

For all of the latest updates on MAC events in 2020, be sure to visit our calendar page and our conferences page and download the free MAC app.

 

DHHS sets public forums on direction of behavioral health

County leaders are encouraged to attend public forums set up by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on the state’s specialty behavioral health system and its the future.

The first of the forums is Jan. 8 in Detroit. Click here to register.

MDHHS will host five forums in January and February. All events will run from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Registration is not required, but strongly encouraged to help us best prepare for the events.

Dates, locations and registration for future events:

  • Register for Grand Rapids on Jan. 9 here
  • Register for Marquette on Jan. 22 here
  • Register for Saginaw on Jan. 30 here
  • Register for our virtual forum on Feb. 6 here 

Please review the MDHHS flier for additional details or visit www.michigan.gov/FutureOfBehavioralHealth

In December, MDHHS Director Robert Gordon spoke to legislators about the MDHHS vision for the future of the state’s public behavioral health system after the decision to end the Section 298 pilot project.

For more information on MAC’s work on mental health issues, contact Meghann Keit at keit@micounties.org.

State court office suggests court changes in 2020

Some Michigan trial courts have too many judges, while others have too few is the assessment of the Michigan State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) in its 2019 Judicial Resources Recommendations (JRR) report submitted to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature today.

To address these trends, SCAO is recommending:

  • The Legislature consider eliminating three judgeships by attrition;
  • Create a probate court district and eliminate one probate judgeship;
  • Add nine new judgeships;
  • Create a four-county circuit and district court, then reverse a pending reduction; and
  • Create a probate court district, then reverse a pending reduction.

SCAO said the recommendations are based on an analysis of each court’s caseload, followed by a secondary analysis of local factors, such as population trends. The report’s methodology was developed by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) in conjunction with the Judicial Resource Advisory Committee.

For more information on MAC’s advocacy on court issues, contact Meghann Keit at keit@micounties.org.

 

National news from NACo

MAC encouraged by state lawsuit over opioid costs

Litigation announced this week by Attorney General Dana Nessel is a positive development in the ongoing battle to address the opioid epidemic and to hold to account those distributors that have flooded Michigan with opioids over the last two decades, said the head of the association for Michigan’s 83 counties.

“Counties are on the front lines of the opioid crisis, dealing with it via health departments, child welfare, criminal justice costs and treatment efforts,” said Stephan Currie, executive director of the Michigan Association of Counties. “We are encouraged by the movement we have seen so far at the national level and believe the state’s lawsuit will be a complement to federal litigation by counties.”

In responding to Nessel’s announcement, Currie noted that:

  • more people die of drug overdoses than car crashes in Michigan;
  • since 2002, overdose deaths have tripled, reaching 2,729 in 2017; and
  • county officials in 74 percent of Michigan counties reported an unmet need for drug treatment programs in their jurisdiction, with more than a third (36%) of counties reporting a significant unmet need.

“We are encouraged by the attorney general’s goal of collaborating with the local entities that are bearing this burden in seeking legal redress for the crisis’ massive costs on our state,” Currie added.

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

Governor signs supplemental bills with county funds

This morning (Dec. 20), Gov Gretchen Whitmer signed supplemental budget legislation that formally restores about $60 million in funding for key county programs that were caught up in the line-item vetoes fight this fall.

Among the restorations are:

  • $27.4 million in PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) for local governments
  • $14.8 million in county jail reimbursements for the housing of state prisoners
  • $13.1 million to aid Secondary Road Patrol services by county sheriffs
  • $4 million in grant money for veteran services
  • $3.5 million in reimbursements for foster care services provided by counties
  • $400,000 in community correction funds

The governor also signed a bill that requires the Legislature to provide the governor a budget proposal each year by July 1. The state fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to June 30.

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

 

Podcast 83 wraps up budget deals, 4-year terms

Stephan Currie discusses year-end legislative work with Deena Bosworth (center) and Meghann Keit in the new episode of Podcast 83.

MAC’s Governmental Affairs Team reviewed the restoration of key county funds via budget supplementals, the prospects for four-year terms for county commissioners and more in a year-ending episode of Podcast 83.

“We have some good holiday cheer to bring,” said host Stephan Currie, MAC’s executive director.

“All of the vetoes line items that really affected counties have been restored,” said Deena Bosworth, director of governmental affairs.

“The sticking point was what they were going to do to limit the governor’s powers on how she moves money around,” Bosworth added.

On legislation to create four-year terms for commissioners, Bosworth said, “No one is really against the policy of four-year county commissioner terms, it’s just a matter of when that election takes place. Does it happen on a gubernatorial election year or on a presidential election year?”

Bosworth also reported progress in a key MAC priority to get authority extended for a county to take over its road commission, if it so chooses.

To listen to any episode of Podcast 83, visit the MAC website or our page on Soundcloud.

 

State sets town halls, feds issue grants for opioid crisis

The Michigan Opioids Task Force and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are hosting a series of town halls throughout 2020 to learn more about how the opioid epidemic in Michigan and discuss the state’s efforts to address the crisis. At the town halls, MDHHS and the Michigan Opioids Task Force will share the 2020 strategy to turn the tide on the crisis, seek feedback from the public and host a Q&A about the crisis response.

The first event is at Wayne County Community College Larry K. Lewis Education Center Auditorium, 8200 Outer Drive West in Detroit, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 17.

“The state cannot tackle this epidemic alone,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS in a statement.

A few key questions will guide the conversation:

  • How has the opioid epidemic affected you, your family or your community?
  • What services, programs or policies would you recommend to address the crisis?
  • How can the state help combat stigma and change the narrative around opioid use disorder?

Additional town halls will occur later in 2020:

  • Sterling Heights on March 10
  • Gaylord on July 24
  • Escanaba on July 29
  • Flint on Sept. 25
  • Grand Rapids in November

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

For more information on MAC’s work on opioid issues, contact Meghann Keit at keit@micounties.org.

Four counties among federal grant recipients

Also this week, the U.S. Department of Justice announced millions in grants to local entities engaged in combating the opioid crisis. Among the Michigan recipients of these grants were Alcona, Lenawee, Muskegon and Van Buren counties.

Alcona received $500,000 and Lenawee $158,164 as part of $44 million in grants “to jurisdictions, academic institutions and training and technical assistance providers to establish, expand, assist and research the effectiveness of adult drug courts, including veterans treatment courts.”

Muskegon and Van Buren each received $750,000 as part of $23.8 million for a federal program that “provides financial and technical assistance to facilitate collaborations between criminal justice, mental health and substance abuse treatment systems to serve individuals with mental illness or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse issues.”

 

$3.6 million in grants go out to prevent invasive species

Thirty-two projects will split up $3.6 million to help prevent and eradicate the spread of invasive species across Michigan. Many of the award winners are county Conservation District Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas, or CISMAs. CISMAs work collaboratively in counties to prevent, detect, manage and eradicate invasive species on the ground and in the water.

Started in 2014, the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (MISGP), has awarded more than $18 million to 112 projects and is a joint effort of the departments of Natural Resources (DNR), Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). 

Michigan considers an invasive species as “one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm, or is likely to cause harm to Michigan’s economy, environment, or human health.” Projects that have resulted from funding from the MISGP grants have helped protect and preserve more than 35,000 acres of land and water.

For more information, contact Michael Ruddock at ruddock@micounties.org or visit the website.

 

State posts February 2020 PPT payments

Counties now can see Personal Property Tax (PPT) Reimbursement payments scheduled for February 2020.

The Local Community Stabilization Authority has approved the PPT amounts. Click here and open the report for Other Municipalities – 2019 PPT Distribution by Payee. This spreadsheet will show the payments that went out in October 2019 and the payments scheduled to go out in February 2020.

For more information, contact Deena Bosworth at bosworth@micounties.org.

 

 

Governor’s Office seeks applicants for state board slots

The state of Michigan needs to fill about 170 slots on state boards and panels ranging from the Mackinac Bridge Authority to the Underground Storage Tank Authority Board. The vacancies fall during the first half of 2020 and the Governor’s Office is soliciting applications from service-minded citizens.

The list is broken down by state department and includes specifications for each vacancy.

If you or someone you know would be a good match for a position, send name and contact information to dagherg@michigan.gov and apply at Michigan.gov/appointments.

Applications are now being accepted for Q1, while the deadline for Q2 is Friday, March 27.

 

Mental Health briefings set for Waterford, Coldwater, Escanaba, Gaylord

“Managing Mental Health Crisis” is a series of one-day events designed to provide participants with a better understanding of mental illness as it relates to law enforcement.

“Managing a Mental Health Crisis (MMHC) is a culmination of knowledge and skills developed by law enforcement and mental health professionals with the intention of promoting effective and high-quality responses to mental health related incidents,” stated the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which is co-hosting the events with the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority (MMRMA) and The Cardinal Group.

The dates and locations are:

Each session runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there is limited seating at each, so act quickly. To make your free registration, contact jericwaddell@thecardinalgroup2.com.

 

USDA webinar to review rural broadband efforts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) willl host a Dec. 30 webinar covering the second round of funding for the Broadband ReConnect Program announced on Dec. 12. USDA staff and representatives will provide a general overview about the program, eligibility, required documentation and more.

You can register for the webinar here. USDA recommends you register early and run a system check to ensure quick access on the day of the webinar.

The ReConnect Program offers loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in areas of rural America without sufficient access to broadband. The application window for the second round of funding will open on Jan. 31, 2020.

The awards made under this program will bring high-speed broadband to rural areas that lack sufficient access to broadband.

To learn more about the ReConnect Program and upcoming events, visit https://www.usda.gov/reconnect.

 

 

National news from NACo