Legislative focus turns to water infrastructure spending
With the state’s FY22 budget now enacted, legislators are turning their attention to allocating the approximately $5.7 billion in remaining American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds in state accounts. The first item of focus will be a massive water infrastructure supplemental spending bill sponsored by Sen. Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo).
Senate Bill 565 allocates $2.5 billion of ARP funds for a variety of projects, ranging from lead line replacement to septic system loan programs and wastewater treatment and stormwater management.
Several interest groups have testified on the importance of investing in water infrastructure across our state. MAC and our Coalition for a Strong and Prosperous Michigan were among those voicing support for the funding bill. However, it is important to note that these are preliminary conversations regarding the allocation of funding. It will be several weeks before the Senate Appropriations Committee acts on recommendations to move the proposal forward.
For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Critical 9-1-1 funding measure clears House committee
With legislative session days in 2021 dwindling, the Dec. 31, 2021, expiration of the state’s 9-1-1 enabling act is looming large for county and state officials. Fortunately, this week House Bill 5026, by Rep. Julie Calley (R-Ionia), which would extend the 9-1-1 authorization until Dec. 31, 2027, cleared the House Communications and Technology Committee with a near unanimous vote.
The bill also replaces a statewide 5 percent prepaid wireless surcharge with 6 percent one to ensure proper revenues on these devices, which, over the years, have become less expensive, in large part due to an expansion of internet sales. Importantly, the bill also includes a provision to ensure a review of prepaid fee revenue by the Department of Treasury to determine why revenue has been lower than expected.
There is no change in the state 9-1-1 fee on “post-paid” (contract) devices, which remains at 25 cents, under the proposal. Lastly, the bill has a mechanism in which the Michigan Public Service Commission can roll back fees if revenue ends up higher than expected.
A vote in the full House on HB 5026 is expected to as soon as next week. With the looming sunset, MAC encourages members to reach out to House members to voice support.
For questions, contact Meghann Keit-Corrion at email@example.com.
NACo webinar will feature MAC’s work on Michigan jail reforms
County jails are a major local expense and jail populations across the country have tripled since the 1970s. While state lawmakers may think of jails as the county’s responsibility, many of the laws and policies that determine who goes to jail and for how long are made at the state level. Everything from determining what’s a crime, when to arrest someone, how to make pretrial release and sentencing decisions, and how to handle probation violations and unpaid fees, to things like funding for mental health services in the community. County officials often have broad discretion, but they’re not solely responsible for the growth in our jails.
Safely reducing jail populations has taken on even more importance during the pandemic as congregate care settings have fueled the spread of COVID-19.
Join us on Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. (noon central time) for a half hour webinar featuring the work of the Michigan Association of Counties, which formed a county-state partnership to safely reduce jail populations, and read more about their work here!
MAC joins coalition to enact ‘Prosperity Roadmap’ with ARP funds
Senate backs jail diversion grant programs
Grant programs that would help support local efforts to promote jail diversion and community mobile crisis intervention services easily passed the Michigan Senate this week. Senate Bills 637–638, by Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Wayne) and Sen. Rick Outman (R- Montcalm) respectively, would create grant programs through the Department of Health and Human Services.
Under SB 638, the behavior health jail diversion grant would provide funds to local units of government to establish or expand behavioral health jail diversion programs in coordination between community agencies and law enforcement agencies.
Under SB 637, the community crisis response grant would distribute grants to local units of government for the purpose of establishing or expanding community-based mobile crisis intervention services and give priority to grant applications that demonstrated a commitment to certain best practices.
The state’s FY22 DHHS budget included $5 million for the Jail Diversion Fund which is also created under this legislation. MAC supports both bills, which now move to the House.
Additionally, the legislation aligns with the Coalition for a Strong and Prosperous Michigan proposal to support ongoing grant opportunities through the Mental Health Diversion Council for counties and to build on the existing partnership through the Center for Behavioral Health at Wayne State University, who also supports both bills.
For questions, contact Meghann Keit-Corrion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tell your member of Congress to back ARP flexibility measure
The bipartisan State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act would provide additional flexibility for the $350 billion Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund) authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
This week, the U.S. Senate passed this bipartisan bill, and it now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote. The legislation would strengthen the Recovery Fund in the following ways:
- Allow counties to allocate up to $10 million in ARPA Recovery Funds for the provision of government services without being required to calculate revenue loss
- Allow $10 million (or 30 percent) of a county’s ARPA Recovery Fund allocation to be used for infrastructure-related activities authorized under existing federal surface transportation laws or a Community Development Block Grant project
- Allow ARPA Recovery Funds to provide emergency relief from natural disasters and their negative economic impacts, including temporary emergency housing, food assistance, financial assistance for lost wages, or other immediate needs
The Recovery Fund, which the National Association of Counties helped develop, is a historic investment in our nation’s counties. These funds provide direct, flexible aid for every county, parish and borough in America.
Please contact your U.S. representative and urge their support for final passage of the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act, which will help counties achieve our goal of successfully implementing the Recovery Fund to ensure the health and well-being of our residents and economic vitality for our communities.
ARP matching program campaign discussed in latest episode of Podcast 83
In a new episode of MAC’s Podcast 83, Deena Bosworth and Meghann Keit of MAC’s Governmental Affairs Team go deep on MAC’s involvement in a new coalition to convince the state of Michigan to match local investments of American Rescue Plan funding.
The pair discuss the groundwork laid for the MI Prosperity Roadmap with allies in the public and private sectors AND what local county leaders need to be doing to help propel the campaign. Keit also discusses the legislative progress of 9-1-1 funding.
Members can view any previous episode of the podcast on the podcast webpage.
Updates on ARP, state budget coming in Oct. 26 webinar for local governments
The 14th session in a webinar series, “Updates and Resources for Local Governments,” co-sponsored by MAC and other local government groups will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26.
To register: https://bit.ly/3peBM8v
Topics covered will include:
- An update from the State Budget Office regarding the State of Michigan fiscal year 2022 budget
- An update on the implementation of the American Rescue Plan Act
- Updates from Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) on trends and initiatives
The Michigan Treasury also maintains a a webpage with numbered letters, memorandums, webinars, and resources regarding COVID-19 updates for local governments and school districts. This webpage was created to ensure that Michigan communities have access to the most up-to-date guidance and is updated frequently with information and resources as they become available.
Mecosta administrator appointed to Indigent Defense Commission
Paul Bullock, controller/administrator for Mecosta County, has been appointed to the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Bullock was submitted by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Jackson) for a term commencing Oct. 15, 2021, and expiring April 1, 2025. He succeeds Jeffrey Collins whose term expired April 1, 2021.
Bullock holds a bachelor’s degree in American history from Spring Arbor College and is an active member of the Michigan Association of County Administrative Officers.
The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission develops and oversees the implementation, enforcement and modification of minimum standards, rules, and procedures to ensure that indigent criminal defense services providing effective assistance of counsel are delivered to all indigent adults in this state consistent with the safeguards of the U.S. Constitution, the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and with the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission Act.
Registration opens for Virtual Great Lakes PFAS Summit
Registration is now open for the 2021 Virtual Great Lakes PFAS Summit taking place Dec. 6-10. The goals of the summit are to provide the most current and reliable science and policy, facilitate information sharing and explore current and future research topics related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Participants may include local, state, and federal government officials; environmental consultants and vendors; academic researchers and students; industries involved in managing PFAS contamination; and community organizations. Last year, the summit drew nearly 1,800 attendees from more than 30 states and six countries.
Registration fee is $50 and professional development hours will be available.
Recycling conference set for Oct. 28-29 in Bay City
The Michigan Recycling Coalition Conference is hosting its second conference of the year on Oct. 28-29 at the Bay City DoubleTree. The conference provides two days of educational sessions, thought-provoking keynotes, and unparalleled networking opportunities.
Designed for Michigan public and private sector professionals that manage end-of-life materials, come to learn about opportunities and stay to network with industry experts and potential partners in sustainability. This hybrid event provides both an in-person and virtual attendance option. We’re following state guidance and best practice models to keep you safe in-person and meet your needs if you attend virtually. Take a look at the program.
- Data mapping the social determinants of public health (Governing)
- Supply chain worries, inflation woes and critical thinking (State of the State Podcast)
- Math often adds up against rural health care delivery (NACo)
- More than 90 snakes found under Northern California home (Associated Press)
Public notice bills no help to locals
A two-bill package “modernizing” public notice postings passed out of the Senate this week. SB 258 sponsored by Sen. Vanderwall (R-Mason) and SB 259 sponsored by Sen. Santana (D-Wayne) would modify the definition of a newspaper to mean a newspaper in an adjoining jurisdiction if one was not available in the county.
The bill would also require the posting of the notice on a website hosted by the newspaper. Neither of those modifications help to curb the cost of the postings, alleviate the unnecessary details of many of the posting requirements, nor do they assist locals in meeting the publicized notice timeline should a newspaper fail to print the notice in a timely manner.
MAC offered several amendments to the legislation that were rejected. The intent of the amendments was to limit the cost of the public notices to a government rate, to allow for partial posting of information with a link to more information, and to allow the posting online to count toward the deadline needed to meet notice posting timelines. The bills have been referred to the House committee on Local Government and Municipal Finance. MAC will continue to advocate for amendments to make this legislation beneficial to counties.
For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at email@example.com.
Mental health transport option moved by committee
Under Senate Bill 101, sponsored by Rep. Ed McBroom (R-Dickinson), a county board of commissioners would be allowed to contract with a private security company to transport individuals for involuntary hospitalization or screening. The opportunity under the bill will allow county boards to address the many logistical issues that law enforcement officers have to work through when they must transport an individual.
The board would have to establish a county mental health transportation panel, which must include certain members, before entering into a contract. The purpose of the panel would be to recommend a transportation mechanism to serve as an alternative to a peace officer’s transporting an individual to the board. The panel would make sure the company meets the criteria as set forth under the statute, if passed.
The substitute bill that passed the Senate Health Policy and Human Services committee included additional language to protect counties from liability and ensure a private security company would have to maintain insurance coverage. The bill now awaits further action by the full Senate.
For more information on this issue please contact, please contact Meghann Keit-Corrion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NACo hosting webinar featuring Michigan’s jail reforms
FY22 budget includes County Incentive Program requirements
The state’s County Incentive Program (CIP) will continue through FY 2022 after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the state budget into law last week. The Michigan Department of Treasury has released guidance for qualifying counties to begin their application process to receive their full CIP payments.
The program’s document requirements include:
- City, village, and township revenue sharing and County Incentive Program certification
- Citizens’ guide
- Performance dashboard
- Debt service report
- Projected budget report
All required documents must be available for public viewing in the county clerk’s office or posted on a public website. The due date to receive full CIP payments is Dec. 1, 2021. Detailed information can be found on the Michigan Department of Treasury’s CIP website.
For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at email@example.com.
- Pictured Rocks tourism levels likely unsustainable unless action is taken (Rural Insights)
- Johnson & Johnson asks FDA to approve booster shot (9&10 News)
- Michigan coronavirus cases: Tracking the pandemic (Detroit Free Press)
- The ransomware scourge: Reckoning time for governments (Governing)
Conference draws more than 300 to Mackinac Island; President Kuyers urges unity
More than 300 county leaders from across Michigan converged on Mackinac Island this week for the 2021 Michigan Counties Annual Conference, which culminated with the swearing in of Ottawa Commissioner Phil Kuyers as MAC Board president.
The conference, which was held at the Grand Hotel Sept. 26-28, featured plenary sessions, policy breakouts and the MAC Annual Business Meeting, where commissioners approved policy platforms for the 2021-22 year.
Kuyers, who is starting his third term on the MAC Board, is the 113th person to hold the president’s position.
In his speech after taking the oath on Monday, Sept. 27, Kuyers pledged to “raise up MAC as an example of unity, of bipartisanship, of civility and of common sense” in a time of controversy and high passions.
“You are here tonight and at this conference because you believe in the value of MAC. I urge you to lean on this organization like you never have before. Our comfort zone is gone, another victim of the pandemic. Expectations of county government are rising on new fronts from broadband service to affordable housing,” Kuyers continued. “MAC stands ready to help each of you, and your colleagues who are not here tonight, with navigating these new issues. But we must work together.”
Keynote addresses at the event included presentations by Deputy State Budget Director Bethany Wicksall and Dave Lorenz, who leads the highly popular Pure Michigan travel campaign.
Kuyers will lead a board that gained one new member via elections held at the conference: Melissa Daub of Wayne County. She will fill one of the three at-large seats on the MAC Board of Directors.
As the conference closed, the MAC Board confirmed officers for the 2021-22 term. Joining Kuyers are Stan Ponstein of Kent County (first vice president) and Eileen Kowall of Oakland County (second vice president). Veronica Klinefelt of Macomb County moves to the role of immediate past president.
“We were pleased with the attendance at our first in-person conference in two years,” said Stephan W. Currie, MAC’s executive director. “It speaks to the quality of the policy breakouts and keynote presentations that more than 300 county leaders set aside the time to join us.”
Governor calls mask-budget links unconstitutional in budget message
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the FY22 state budget this week, but only after a few line-item vetoes and deeming certain boilerplate provisions unconstitutional and unenforceable.
The budget presented to the governor included language that “unappropriated” funding of local public health departments if a heath officer has an emergency order in place authorized under the Public Health Code- unless a county board of commission votes to support the order.
In a letter to lawmakers, the governor stated that penalizing local health departments for using their power given to them by the Public Health Code violates the Michigan Constitution. The letter cites both Article 3, section 2 and Article 4, section 25, which provide for separation of powers and no act is to be amended by reference, respectively.
U.S. Treasury resets key deadline on ARP reporting
The U.S. Treasury has revised its timeline for counties to submit their Project and Expenditure Reports for the Fiscal Recovery Fund.
Treasury has set aside the original deadline of Oct. 31, 2021, citing comments and feedback gathered during the Interim Report and Recovery Plan Performance Report process.
The Project and Expenditure Reports will now be due on Jan. 31, 2022, and will cover the period between award date and Dec. 31, 2021. Further instructions will be provided at a later date, including updates to existing guidance as well as a user guide to assist recipients to gather and submit the information through Treasury’s Portal.
Please visit the Treasury’s website at www.Treasury.gov/SLFRPReporting for the latest information.
Presentations from 2021 Annual Conference now available
Presentation slides from all of the plenary sessions and MAC policy breakouts at the 2021 Annual Conference are now available on the MAC website.
Among the highlights are:
- A breakdown of the state budget process by Deputy State Budget Director Bethany Wicksall
- The MAC Legislative Update
- A primer on Michigan’s voting process by Ottawa County Clerk Justin Roebuck
- Research studies on the problems with, and potential solutions for, Michigan’s local taxation system
Also on the conference page, you will find Facebook videos of three of the breakout sessions.
Check out the 2021 Annual Conference photo gallery
As is always the case when MAC and MCMCFC visit Mackinac Island, there are plenty of photo opportunities – and MAC’s conference photographer, Rod Sanford, captured them.
To see yourself and others, just visit our online gallery.
And this year, MAC is doing something special: If you would like to have a high-resolution version of a gallery photo that is suitable for printing and framing, just make a donation to MACPAC of $10 or more and send the photo ID number to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the digital file for printing.
Daub joins MAC Board after regional caucuses; 4 incumbents re-elected
During regional caucuses held at the Michigan Counties Annual Conference Sept. 26-28, MAC members re-elected four incumbents and selected a new at-large director for the MAC Board of Directors.
Melissa Daub of Wayne County fills the vacancy created when Kalamazoo Commissioner Julie Rogers was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2020.
“Upon taking office, I immediately became involved with the Michigan Association of Counties to share ideas with my colleagues across the state, as well as the work we’re doing in Wayne County,” said Daub. “Today, I’m proud to be named an at-large member for the MAC Board of Directors and to be continuing my focus on transportation needs in my home county and across the state, as well as tackling the many other shared issues we see at the county level.”
Daub was first elected to the Wayne County Commission in 2018. She represents District 10, which includes Canton Township, Plymouth Township and the City of Plymouth. A proud graduate of Plymouth-Canton High School, Commissioner Daub holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.
Incumbent board members were returned to the Board from MAC’s Regions 1, 2, 3 and 5.
President Phil Kuyers of Ottawa County will be starting his third term on the board from Region 2 (Southwest Michigan).
Joe Stevens of Dickinson (Region 1 – Upper Peninsula) and Christian Marcus of Antrim (Region 2 – Northwest Michigan) also were elected to third terms. Eileen Kowall of Oakland (Region 5, Southeast Michigan) was elected to her second term and to serve as second vice president of the Board.
Board members can serve a maximum of three 3-year terms.
Policy survey invitation heading to county leaders next week
An invitation to participate in the next wave of the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) is coming next week to your mailbox.
The MPPS is a statewide survey of local government officials conducted since 2009 by the University of Michigan’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) and co-sponsored by MAC.
On Monday, Oct. 4, you will receive an email link to the new MPPS questionnaire, which asks about issues in your county related to materials management, waste collection, and recycling.
The MPPS studies don’t just end up on someone’s shelf—they are used by legislators, the media, the public, and government officials to better understand what local leaders like you feel is important, right now. Your participation is crucial to the success of the MPPS program.
Reports and data from previous MPPS surveys can be found on the MPPS website: http://mpps.umich.edu.
If you have questions about this research study, contact Dr. Debra Horner, CLOSUP, University of Michigan, 5309 Weill Hall, 735 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109, 734-615-5315 or email@example.com.
- Michigan tech industry looks to foreign workers for growth (Governing)
- (Wayne) County podcast on death investigations proves popular (NACo)
- Meet the bodacious bulky bears of Fat Bear Week 2021 (Smithsonian Magazine)
- Fishtown shanty soared through the air and back home (Interlochen Public Radio)
FY22 budget deal announced; 2% boost on revenue sharing expected
A fiscal 2022 state budget deal is in hand, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican legislative leaders announced this week, just days before the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1.
The Legislature is set to push through a single omnibus spending bill covering the funding for all state departments for FY22. The House and Senate Conference Committee could take up the bill as soon as Tuesday, Sept. 21, with a floor vote expected within the week. Although, details have yet to be released as to what’s inside this budget, MAC is expecting a 2 percent increase in county revenue sharing.
Not included in the omnibus budget bill will be the $6 billion in federal American Rescue Plan funds allocated to the state or the $1 billion surplus identified in the May Revenue Estimating Conference. These funds will be part of supplemental bills passed throughout the rest of calendar 2021, after all sides have had time to negotiate for the inclusion of their priorities.
MAC will continue to monitor the FY22 budget and supplemental bills as they move through the Legislature.
For more information on this issue, please contact Deena Bosworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAC-opposed mental health bills get hearing in Senate
Two bills to revamp the state’s mental health system in ways opposed by MAC received their first hearing before the Senate Government Operations Committee this week.
Senate Bills 597-598 would shift administration of Medicaid mental health services to private health plans through the creation of specialty integrated plans. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R- Jackson) sponsored SB 597 and also chairs the committee; SB 598 is sponsored by Sen. John Bizon (R-Calhoun).
In testimony before the committee, the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan (CMHAM) outlined opposition and major areas of concern, including higher costs and lack of public accountability and oversight. Rather than dismantling the current system, CMHAM urged legislators to build from the point of service delivery, rather than taking a top-down financial approach these bills seek to integrate.
Nearly all testimony this week encouraged lawmakers to focus on improving access and staffing shortages across the workforce. Representatives from the Michigan Association of Health Plans testified in support for the bills. A full video of testimony can be found here.
MAC has long opposed a shift to a private health plans and supports local governance and accountability rooted in the mental health code. This structure allows partnerships across county-based services, including responding to those who come in contact with the county sheriff department and/or jail, local court system, juvenile justice system, health department or local hospital.
Another committee hearing is expected to be held on Sept. 21 at 1 p.m.
For more information on this issue, contact Meghann Keit-Corrion at email@example.com.
Regional meetings set for ARP local government funding
On March 11, President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) of 2021 establishing the $350 billion Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, $130 billion of which is earmarked for distribution to local governments. Generally, allowable uses of the fund include (but are not limited to):
- Responding to or mitigating the COVID-19 public health emergency
- Providing government services to the extent of a reduction in revenue
- Making necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
- Responding to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers
Member regions of the Michigan Association of Regions will host Michigan State University (MSU) Extension faculty and local and tribal government officials to explore Local Fiscal Recovery Fund spending opportunities in a regional context. Join other local leaders to learn about:
- ARP Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Basic Rules
- Best Practices for Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Spending
- Practical Considerations for Contracts, Accounting, and Project Management
- Group Discussions Related to Regional Collaboration
- Leveraging Other State and Federal Funding and Priorities
The workshops are intended for regional planning and development board members, other local elected and appointed officials, tribal government officials, economic development practitioners and other public and nonprofit community development organization staff.
All workshops run 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (registration opens at 9 a.m. for in-person programs). Format varies by region: virtual (exclusive Zoom), hybrid (choice of in-person or Zoom attendance) or in-person.
All events are free.
The first session is set for Sept. 23 in Traverse City. To see the full list of dates, locations and registration information, click here.
- State and local government job growth lags as economy recovers (Pew Trusts)
- Meeting schedule of the Michigan Independent Redistricting Commission (State of Michigan)
- The state pension funding gap: Plans have stabilized in wake of pandemic (Pew Trusts)
- USDA releases resource guide for rural disaster resiliency and recovery (NACo)
‘Wait-and-see’ approach advised on federal vaccine and testing rule
Counties would be well served to wait and see how a federal rule on employers for COVID vaccines and testing plays out before reacting, MAC was advised by legal experts on Friday.
Attorneys from the firm of Cohl Stoker & Toskey P.C. analyzed the announcement from the Biden administration on Thursday and stated:
“The federal OSHA does not directly apply to Michigan employers. Rather, Michigan has a State Plan of its own under the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA), MCL 408.1001 et seq.
“MIOSHA applies to all places of employment, except domestic employment and mines, MCL 408.1002(1), and applies to all employers, including the State or a political subdivision (including Counties) that employ one or more persons. MCL 408.1005(2); MCL 408.1006(2); MCL 408.1009. …
“Thus, the promulgation of a new Federal OSHA Standard by the U.S. Department of Labor would not apply in Michigan unless and until it is processed as an administrative rule in Michigan. MCL 408.1014(5).
“At this point, the scope of the proposed new Federal OSHA Standard mandating vaccines or frequent testing is unclear, e.g., there may be exceptions for certain employers, such as the Postal Service.
“The actual language must be reviewed to ascertain whether it may ultimately be applicable to Michigan counties. Even so, several groups have already pledged to challenge the proposed new Federal OSHA Standard on constitutional and other grounds.”
Treasury releases information on finalizing Interim Final Report on COVID aid
The U.S. Treasury has released new information regarding the process for finalizing the Interim Final Report for the Fiscal Recovery Fund.
Key points include:
- Treasury is in the process of reviewing the more than 1,000 public comments in response to the Interim Final Rule (IFR).
- Treasury expects its review of comments to continue into the fall. Therefore, the Final Rule will not be published until this fall or after.
- Until Treasury adopts a Final Rule, and the Final Rule becomes effective, the IFR is, and will remain, binding and effective. This means that counties can and should rely on the IFR to determine whether uses of funds are eligible under the Recovery Fund.
- Funds used in a manner consistent with the Interim Final Rule while the Interim Final Rule is effective will not be subject to recoupment
- Counties may use the IFR to interpret whether their use of fund meet the criteria of what is eligible (beyond the eligible uses listed on page two of Treasury’s recent statement)
- Counties can use State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, up to their amount of revenue loss due to COVID-19, with broad discretion to provide government services
- Counties may also consider FAQs issued by Treasury to help assess whether a project or service would be an eligible use of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.
To read Treasury’s full statement on the Final Rule process, click here.
Podcast 83 returns to live sessions Monday; register now!
Summer is over, which means legislators are returning to Lansing – AND MAC’s Podcast 83 team will be back to weekly live sessions to give you all the inside info on what’s happening at the Michigan State Capitol and in Washington, D.C.
Register now at this link for the Monday session, which will start at 3 p.m.
MAC Executive Director Stephan Currie will lead MAC’s Governmental Affairs Team of Deena Bosworth and Meghann Keit threw the latest on key issues affecting counties, including:
- Developments on American Rescue Plan funding and reporting
- What’s happening on the fiscal 2022 state budget negotiations, with the Oct. 1 start of the budget year now looming
- MAC’s fall campaign to finish legislative approval of bills to enact four-year terms for county commissioners, starting in 2024
A recording of the session, which will include Q&A with viewers, will be placed on MAC’s YouTube channel on Sept. 17.
Links to past episodes also can be found on the podcast webpage.
Webinar to answers questions on using the ‘.gov’ web domain
A Sept. 22 webinar co-sponsored by federal and state agencies will discuss the benefits of local governments using the “.gov” URL domain.
The federal Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has long encouraged use of the .gov domain, yet in Michigan, only a handful of counties have adopted it.
Starting at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 22, CISA officials will discuss “Making the Move to DOTGOV.” This is a half-hour discussion with a Q&A session to follow. CISA will provide information on the transition well as common hurdles that may arise and how to deal with them.
Use the following link to participate: https://share.dhs.gov/mi_elections/.
NOTE: The link will take you to a sign-in page. Just click to sign on as a guest (upper left corner).
CISA and the Michigan Department of State also are promoting two other sessions in September that focus on cybersecurity challenges:
Risk in Focus: Phishing, Sept. 22, 3:30 p.m.
Phishing attacks remain a serious risk to the election infrastructure. This presentation describes what phishing is, signs an email may be a phishing attack, how it impacts state, local, tribal and territorial government entities, and specifically how it can impact election infrastructure. The session provides an overview of resources, services, and best practices to managing phishing-related risks.
Election Security: Building Trust through Secure Practices, Sept. 29, 1 p.m.
This presentation identifies election security best practices used by election offices to physically secure and ensure proper chain-of-custody for ballots, voting equipment and other sensitive election materials; ensure that voting equipment is functioning as intended; and help build public trust in elections and counter mis- and disinformation through related communications and transparency measures. The session will also include training on the Local clerk information sharing room we will continue to utilize on Election Day.
Supreme Court sets Sept. 22 hearing on court rules
The Michigan Supreme Court has scheduled a public administrative hearing on Sept. 22 to gather comment on a variety of proposed amendments to Michigan Court Rules. The hearing will be held at the Michigan Hall of Justice in Lansing, beginning promptly at 9:30 a.m. and adjourning no later than 11:30 a.m.
Link to proposed rules: http://legalnews.com/detroit/1503063/.
- A real opportunity in the fight against opioid use disorders (Pew Trusts)
- Can churches help to ease the affordable housing shortage? (Governing)
- The Future of Public Health – podcast episode (Kaiser Health News)
- Michigan hospital staffing shortage nears crisis point as COVID-19 patients rise (Detroit Free Press)