FY23 state budget includes 6% boost for county revenue sharing

In the wee hours on Friday, the Legislature finished the FY 2023 budget, which is set to begin on Oct. 1 of this year. Below are the major highlights, including a 6 percent (5% in the base and 1% one-time) increase in County Revenue Sharing. In addition, they passed a supplemental budget for FY22, included in which are items of importance to counties. 

FY22 Supplemental

  • ARP – community policing grants for Wayne ($3M), Saginaw ($1M) and Genesee ($500,000) counties
  • ARP – community policing competitive grants – $11 million
  • Communication Radios and Tower – $1 million for radios in Midland County, $3 million for towers in Barry County and $4.8 million for towers in Isabella County
  • Requires that grants be used for the construction of new towers or the augmentation of existing towers and associated equipment to support the integration of the county into the Michigan Public Safety Communication System (MPSCS) or to expand the interoperability of all local public safety entities within the county
  • EMS scholarship and grant program – $30 million
  • Raise the Age Fund Increase – $4 million
  • Broadband equity, access and deployment – $5 million

FY23 Budget (by state department)

Agriculture

  • Local conservation districts – $3 million
  • Office of Rural Development Grants – $3 million for grants to rural communities, related to economic development, workforce development, affordable housing, infrastructure, education and high-speed internet access
  • County fairs – $500,000 for fair capital grant program (a reduction of almost $2 million from current year)
  • Economic development for food and agriculture industries – $50 million, of which $12 million is set aside for improvements to the Eastern Market in Detroit

Corrections

  • Jail reimbursement – $1 million to reimburse counties who housed felons in their jails due to the department’s closed intake of prisoners during COVID. (rate is $80 per offender per day; inmates paid for through the county jail reimbursement program are not eligible for this payment)

Energy, Great Lakes and Environment

  • Contaminated site cleanups – $10 million
  • Watershed Council grants – $600,000
  • Environmental health – $7.9 million for water supply oversight and support for local health departments in monitoring and testing drinking water
  • Municipal Assistance for FTEs to increase loan processing staff and access to federal water infrastructure loans for local communities – $5.1 million
  • Water State Revolving Funds – $120 million gross to continue funding the state’s water state revolving fund program
  • Private well testing – $5 million in one-time funding for grants to local health departments to provide free or low-cost water testing to private well owners

Labor and Economic Development

  • Michigan Infrastructure Grants – $212,800 for grants for infrastructure
  • Economic Development and Workforce Grants – $251.5 million
  • Blight Elimination Program – $75 million to address blighted properties across the State
  • Going Pro – $15 million
  • Pure Michigan – $40 million
  • Nonprofit Relief Grants to nonprofit community service organizations – $50 million

Treasury (General Government)

  • Revenue Sharing to Counties – $245.8 million, which is a 6 percent increase (1% is one-time increase, while 5 percent is designated as ongoing)
  • Pensions – $750 million for grants for local retirement systems that are less than 60 percent funded
  • ARP relief grants – $50 million 

Health and Human Services

  • Medicaid primary care rates – $56.1 million to increase them
  • Behavioral health capacity and access initiatives – $47.3 million
  • Medicaid reimbursement for Community Health Workers – $28.3 million
  • Child and adolescent health centers – $25 million to increase funding
  • Child care – $10.5 million to provide a 5 percent reimbursement increase for residential child caring institutions and a 12 percent increase to private residential juvenile justice providers
  • Guardian and conservator reimbursement rates – $5 million to increase them
  • Medicaid Mental Health Local Match – $5.1 million to replace a like amount of local funding used for Medicaid mental health supports and services (amount would reflect the third year of phasing out the local match portion over a 5-year period)
  • Behavioral Health Inpatient Capacity and Operations – $41 million and authorizes 87 FTE positions to increase capacity at Hawthorn and to reimburse private providers of intensive psychiatric treatments
  • Jail Diversion Fund – $10 million
  • Student loan repayment for behavioral health professionals – $10 million
  • Non-State Behavioral Health Facility Capacity – $178.6 million
  • Clinical and CMHSP Integration Readiness Initiatives – $50 million for grants to facilities and providers that wish to clinically integrate physical and behavioral health services and providers and to CMHSPs for system, IT, staffing, and administrative improvements for integration readiness (funds are not available for expenditure until legislatively transferred)
  • State Nursing Home Surveyors – $1.6 million and 10 FTEs for education and consultation activities to improve care at skilled nursing facilities

Judiciary

  • Statewide Judicial Case Management System – $150 million for the cost of developing a single, statewide judicial case management system (Currently, there are 242 trial courts using and funding more than 16 case management systems and 150 computer systems. The Trial Court Funding Commission recommended that the state provide all court technology needs for trial courts, including case and document management services, and the Supreme Court recently ordered that local trial courts submit all case data in a uniform manner. Funding would support data management efforts and consistent implementation of newer technologies among trial courts; prohibits funds from being used to supplant the current user fee system and administrative purposes unrelated to the system; requires the system to comply with all security measures and restrictions and to be hosted in a secure cloud by an experienced vendor; requires implementation status report.)

Veterans Affairs

  • Grand Rapids Home for Veterans – $6.5 million
  • Veterans Suicide Prevention Outreach – $1.2 million for an outreach campaign targeting current and former servicemembers and their families on reducing suicide incidents

Natural Resources

  • Off-road Vehicle Trail Improvement Grants – $6.4 million to increase funding for the off-road vehicle trail improvements initiative

State Police

  • Secondary Road Patrol Grant Program – $15 million

Transportation

  • County Road Commissions Restricted Fund – $56.3 million
  • Airport Safety Improvement Program – $33.9 million
  • Local Federal Aid Road and Bridge Construction – $15.2 million
  • IIJA Airport Infrastructure Grants – $2.2 million
  • Technical Assistance, Planning, and IIJA Match Grants – $25 million to help local units to plan and match resources for IIJA grants
  • Electric Vehicle Study – requires the department to study the impact on revenue resulting from the integration of electric vehicles on Michigan roadways

For more information on the state budget, contact Deena Bosworth at bosworth@micounties.org.

 

Governor signs another investment in water infrastructure

A second water infrastructure bill package using federal infrastructure dollars was signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this week.

House Bill 5890, by Rep. Beth Griffin (R-Van Buren), HB 5891, by Rep. David Martin (R-Genesee), and HB 5892 by Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette), will update Michigan’s State Revolving Fund to ensure dollars go to modern infrastructure needs of communities. Specifically, the legislation will ensure financing is equally distributed and communities will be able to easily access state financing for water infrastructure projects.

MAC applauds the bill sponsors and the governor for their continued investments in water infrastructure.

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

 

Flurry of county-related bills filed in hectic legislative week

Several pieces of legislation impacting local government were introduced this week during the Legislature’s marathon work days this week.

Senate Bill 1106, by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Mason), and SB 1107, by Sen. Kevin Daley (R-Lapeer), are solar payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) measures that would establish solar energy districts in local units of government and provide for an exemption of certain taxes.

House Bill 6283, by Rep. Julie Calley (R-Ionia), would bring changes to the current Open Meetings Act rules. The legislation will create procedures for conducting electronic meetings.

House Bill 6296, by Rep. Jeff Yaroch (R-Macomb), is legislation to create an early warning system for local units of government that are at risk for fiscal stress.

MAC has been working with lawmakers and staffers on these issues. A more in-depth analysis of these bills will appear in the July 8 Legislative Update.

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

 

Brush up on key county issues at July 27 Policy Summit

County leaders are cordially invited to attend, in person or via Zoom, the 2022 MAC Policy Summit on July 27 in downtown Lansing.

The Policy Summit replaces MAC’s Regional Summits, which were held at locations across Michigan in June, July and August.

Follow the link below to register. The fee is $50 for either in-person or digital registration.

The summit will include presentations on such issues as:

  • Addressing the workforce housing challenge
  • Understanding Michigan’s political landscape in 2022
  • The value of expanding Michigan’s trail network
  • Maximizing your infrastructure dollars

The day will begin at 8:30 a.m. with check-in and a continental breakfast. Policy presentations will continue until 3 p.m., with lunch provided and compliments of Enbridge. MAC also has arranged a discount rate of $139 at the Courtyard for members who wish to arrive on the evening of July 26. (To get this rate, make your reservation by July 19.)

Those who register to attend digitally will be provided a link and access codes on the day prior to the summit. In-person attendees will be provided parking information in the week prior to the event.

Register Now!

 

Feds announce $1B pilot program on transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for the first-of-its-kind Reconnecting Communities pilot program. The $1 billion program will help reconnect communities that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure.

Reconnecting a community could mean adapting existing infrastructure — such as building a pedestrian walkway over or under an existing highway — to better connect neighborhoods to opportunities or better means of access such as crosswalks and redesigned intersections. 

Eligible applicants for the Reconnecting Communities competitive grant pilot program include: 

  • States 
  • Local and Tribal governments 
  • Metropolitan planning organizations 
  • Nonprofit organizations 
  • Other transportation facility owners 

Preference will be given to applications from economically disadvantaged communities, especially those with projects that are focused on equity and environmental justice, have strong community engagement and stewardship, and a commitment to shared prosperity and equitable development. Of the $195 million available from the grant program this year, $50 million is dedicated to planning activities for communities that may be earlier in the process.

The Reconnecting Communities Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found here. Information on Reconnecting Communities technical assistance and other resources can be found here. Applications are due Oct. 13, 2022. Awards are expected to be announced in early 2023. The new DOT Navigator can be accessed here  and information on the Thriving Communities program can be found here.

The department will convene a series of stakeholder webinars to help potential applicants learn about the RCP grant program and what they need to know to prepare an application. The first one will be held Thursday, July 14 at noon EST.

 

Draft policy platforms now available for review prior to September vote

MAC’s Annual Business Meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. in the Blue Water Convention Center during the 2022 Michigan Counties Annual Conference.

County commissioners who are registered for the conference may participate as voting members in the business meeting, which includes review and approval of MAC’s 2022-2023 policy platforms.

The platform process begins with MAC’s policy committees, which meet during the year to address key issues. Their drafts are then submitted to the MAC Board of Directors for review. The MAC Board then advances the drafts to the membership for final approval.

Those Board-vetted drafts are now available on the MAC website here. (Please note that this is a password-protected page. Each member county has a set of access credentials, which are shared each year with your county administrator. If you do not have your credentials, contact Hannah Sweeney at sweeney@micounties.org for them.)

According to MAC’s By-laws (Article III, Section 6):

“A member wishing to submit an amendment to the MAC Platform shall submit the amendment to MAC at least five (5) days prior to the opening day of the MAC Annual Conference. Such amendment will require a majority vote at the annual meeting to be adopted.

“An amendment to the MAC Platform may be presented from the floor during the annual meeting. Such amendment will require a 2/3 majority vote of the members at the meeting at which a quorum is initially established to be adopted.”

To submit a platform amendment in advance, draft your preferred language and email to sweeney@micounties.org no later than Sept. 13, 2022.

 

MAC offices closed on July 4

MAC’s Lansing offices will be closed on Monday, July 4 to observe the Independence Day holiday.

Normal office hours will resume on Tuesday, July 5 at 8 a.m.

See a full transcription of the Declaration of Independence, issued on July 4, 1776, by clicking here.

 

Debate continues on legislation to weaken local control on gravel sites

A rigorous debate on aggregate mining legislation occurred this week in the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee.

The set of bills would change the oversight and permitting responsibilities of aggregate mining. Testimony was heard from several stakeholder groups and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) on whether the permitting process should be in the hands of locals or the department.

House Bill 4875, by Rep. Julie Alexander (R-Jackson), aims to create a clear process of mining regulations all the while keeping control in the hands of local government. This is the preferred approach supported by MAC. 

Senate Bill 429Senate Bill 430 and  Senate Bill 431, by Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Genesee), would place all oversight and responsibilities in the hands of EGLE. The set of bills were introduced last year and had passed the through the Senate. MAC remains opposed to this approach.

MAC will continue to monitor the legislation as it moves through the legislative process.

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

Senate OKs Personal Property Tax exemption reimbursement

Bills to fully reimburse local units for their losses associated with the Legislature’s 2021 Personal Property Tax exemption that is estimated will hit locals with a $75 million loss annually has passed unanimously out of the Senate. The bill package now moves to the House for consideration.

Senate Bill 1060, by Sen. Mark Huizenga (R- Kent), Senate Bill 1061, by Sen. Kimberly LaSata (R-Berrien), and Senate Bill 1062, by Sen. Michael McDonald (R-Macomb), would create a Local Government Reimbursement Fund into which the state would deposit $75 million annually.

The reimbursement package is a result of the House Bill 5351, by Rep. Steve Johnson (R-Kent), passed in December 2021. The bill lifted of the PPT exemption threshold for small taxpayers from $80,000 to $180,000 in true cash value. Lawmakers did also vote for a $75 million reimbursement for the first year of this exemption scheme (which starts in 2023), but they did not provide for the years beyond.

Deena Bosworth, MAC’s director of governmental affairs, previously testified in support of the package in the Senate Finance Committee. MAC helped develop the process in SB 1060-1062 alongside other local government groups.

MAC will continue to support the bill package and monitor its progress through the legislative process.

For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at Bosworth@micounties.org.

Draft policy platforms now available for review prior to September vote

MAC’s Annual Business Meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. in the Blue Water Convention Center during the 2022 Michigan Counties Annual Conference.

County commissioners who are registered for the conference may participate as voting members in the business meeting, which includes review and approval of MAC’s 2022-2023 policy platforms.

The platform process begins with MAC’s policy committees, which meet during the year to address key issues. Their drafts are then submitted to the MAC Board of Directors for review. The MAC Board then advances the drafts to the membership for final approval.

Those Board-vetted drafts are now available on the MAC website here. (Please note that this is a password-protected page. Each member county has a set of access credentials, which are shared each year with your county administrator. If you do not have your credentials, contact Hannah Sweeney at sweeney@micounties.org for them.)

According to MAC’s By-laws (Article III, Section 6):

“A member wishing to submit an amendment to the MAC Platform shall submit the amendment to MAC at least five (5) days prior to the opening day of the MAC Annual Conference. Such amendment will require a majority vote at the annual meeting to be adopted.

“An amendment to the MAC Platform may be presented from the floor during the annual meeting. Such amendment will require a 2/3 majority vote of the members at the meeting at which a quorum is initially established to be adopted.”

To submit a platform amendment in advance, draft your preferred language and email to sweeney@micounties.org no later than Sept. 13, 2022.

Webinar to focus on rail grants on June 28

A webinar on June 28 will provide county leaders a review of the numerous grant opportunities involving railroads.

There are more than a dozen grant programs with rail funding availability offered through the U.S. Department of Transportation. In particular, the new Grade Crossing Elimination Program offers $3 billion in appropriated funding for grade crossing projects that improve the safety and mobility of people and goods.

GoRail is hosting the webinar so local officials can learn more about USDOT’s grant process and how best to approach their own applications.

William Thompson, chief engineer at the Association of American Railroads, has worked closely with the CREATE program in Chicago and will offer lessons learned from his experience, including building connections between public and private partners and project organization as well as CREATE’s approach to grant writing. We hope this will help officials begin to approach and navigate their own grant proposals.

The webinar runs from 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. on June 28.

To register or for more information, click here.

Staff picks

Senate passes big supplemental bill tied to mental health privatization

The Senate passed a mental health supplemental budget this week, but tie-barred a portion of the funding to the passage of Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey’s mental health integration package.

Senate Bill 714, by Sen. Shirkey (R-Jackson), provides $565.5 million in funding for the current fiscal year to the behavioral health system. $548.7 million would come from what the state received from the American Rescue Plan Act and $17.5 million would be directed from the state’s General Fund.

However, the following line-item appropriations are conditional upon the passage of Senate Bill 597 and  Senate Bill 598, two bills that MAC and others strenuously oppose due to the loss of local control they would create:

  • Requires Medicaid Mental Health Services be used to replace local match with GF/GP.
  • Requires the Clinical Integration Fund be used to provide grants to facilities and providers that integrate their setting with physical and behavioral health services and providers.
  • Requires the funding for Community Mental Health Services Program (CMHSP) Integration Readiness be used to support CMHSP efforts to make information technology, staff, and administrative improvements for integration.
  • Requires the funding for DHHS integration readiness be used to make one-time investments to support implementation of SBs 597-98.
  • Directs the Department of Health and Human Services to appropriate $15 million of part 1 funding for Integrated Care Center to the Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network to implement a centrally located integrated service center to provide physical and mental health services.
  • Directs the funding for Jail Diversion Fund be allocated to the Jail Diversion Fund, which would be administered by the Mental Health Diversion Council. Directs the Council to distribute grants to local entities to establish or expand jail diversion programs, with 50.0% going to community-based mobile crisis intervention services that include full integration with 911 dispatch centers, include both co-responder clinicians and peers, have access to residential treatment facilities, include telehealth response and follow-up services, and employ mental health professionals independent of law enforcement. Directs that the other 50.0% go to pre-arrest or post-arrest diversion programs for individuals with behavioral health needs, with priority given to nonurbanized areas.

MAC will continue to oppose any move to shift toward privatization of our local public mental health system. A total of 62 counties have voiced their opposition by passing resolutions in opposition to the mental health integration plan. We also encourage commissioners to use our Advocacy Tool to voice your opposition to your senator.

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

 

Treasury releases new guidance on P&E reports for July deadline

The National Association of Counties reported this week that, “Treasury released updated reporting guidance for the Project and Expenditure (P&E) Reports and a new template for the Recovery Plan Performance Report (Recovery Plan) ahead of the July 31, 2022, reporting deadline. The new requirements outlined below will impact all counties regardless of population size and award amount.

“Key updates to the compliance and reporting guidance outlined by Treasury include:

  1. Additional programmatic data for capital expenditures: When using Recovery Funds for capital expenditures projects, counties need to report the type of expenditure based on a list of enumerated uses. Examples of enumerated uses are COVID-19 vaccination sites, job and workforce training centers, and public health data systems. A full list of enumerated uses is available on pages 27 to 28 of the updated guidance.
  2. Written justification for capital expenditures: Counties are required to provide a written justification for capital projects of any category that cost at least $10 million and for projects in the “other” (i.e., project not explicitly enumerated by Treasury) category that cost at least $1 million. Previously, counties needed to create a written justification for these projects but were not required to submit them as part of regular reporting.
  3. Description of labor requirements for capital expenditures: Counties are required to provide additional labor reporting. For projects that cost at least $10 million, counties will need to report on the strength of the project’s labor standards, including information on the presence of a project labor agreement, community benefits agreement, prevailing wage requirement, or local hiring. This new required information is outlined under Infrastructure Project on pages 30-31 of the updated guidance.
  4. Project information for broadband projects: The updated guidance requires counties to provide detailed project information for broadband infrastructure investments. Counties need to report what kind of technology is involved in the project (i.e., fiber optic cables, coaxial cables, etc.), the total miles of fiber deployed over the project, and the total number of funded locations served broken out by both speed of connection and type of location (i.e., residential, business, or community). This new required information is outlined under Broadband Projects on pages 32-33 of the updated guidance.
  5. Moving of Recovery Plan Performance Report data into P&E Report: Under the updated guidance, some of the data that was previously only required for the Recovery Plan Performance Report (Recovery Plan) is now required for large counties (i.e., populations above 250,000 and/or above $10 million in awards) on their quarterly P&E Report. For example, large counties investing in housing security programs must now report the number of households receiving eviction prevention services. A full list of changes to programmatic data requirements for large counties is available on page 33 of the compliance and reporting guidance.
  6. Updated template for Recovery Plan: The updated guidance also provides a template for the Recovery Plan due for large counties on July 31, 2022, reflecting the expenditure categories and other changes made by the Final Rule.”

For questions regarding COVID funds reporting, visit NACo’s information hub at https://www.naco.org/resources/featured/arpa-fiscal-recovery-fund.

 

PPT reimbursement plan moves to full Senate

Bills to fully reimburse local units for their losses associated with the Legislature’s massive Personal Property Tax exemption that was estimated to have hit locals with $75 million loss annually passed out of the Senate Finance Committee this week. The MAC-backed bill package now awaits a vote from the full Senate.

Senate Bill 1060, by Sen. Mark Huizenga (R- Kent), SB 1061, by Sen. Kimberly LaSata (R-Berrien), and SB 1062, by Sen. Michael McDonald (R-Macomb), would create the Local Government Reimbursement Fund, to which the state would deposit $75 million annually.

The reimbursement package is a result of the House Bill 5351, by Rep. Steve Johnson (R-Kent), passed in December 2021. The bill lifted the PPT exemption threshold for small taxpayers from $80,000 to $180,000 in true cash value. Lawmakers did also vote for a $75 million reimbursement for the first year of this exemption scheme (which starts in 2023), but they did not provide for the years beyond.

MAC’s Deena Bosworth, director of governmental affairs, previously testified in support of the package before the committee. MAC had helped develop the process in SBs 1060-62 alongside other local government groups.

MAC will continue to support the bill package and monitor its progress through the legislative process.

For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at Bosworth@micounties.org.

 

Road agency liability measures get hearing in House

Bills to apply immunity to county road agencies from liability for failure to maintain highways in their jurisdiction received a hearing in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week. The bills previously passed the Senate.

Senate Bill 39 and SB 43, by Sen. Roger Victory (R-Ottawa), clarifies language in county road law regarding the liability of counties for failure to maintain highways to ensure provisions of the governmental immunity law apply to county road commissions.

MAC supports the bills and will continue to monitor the legislation.

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

 

Resolution opposing wilderness expansion clears Senate committee

A resolution to oppose the designation of 65,000 acres of additional national wilderness areas in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula passed out of Senate Natural Resources Committee this week.

Senate Resolution 150, by Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Dickinson), expresses concern over the effort to designate new wilderness areas in the Ottawa National Forest. The designation would significantly limit access to recreational areas, thereby decreasing tourism and economic returns to the community and local government.

The resolution urges the Michigan Legislature to recommend Congress not to designate more national wilderness areas. MAC supports the resolution, which is now on the Senate floor.

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

 

MAC-backed measures on mental health transportation advance

A MAC-supported bill to allow county mental health transportation panels passed out of the House Health Policy Committee this week. The bill now awaits a vote on the House floor.

Senate Bill 101, by Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Dickinson), would allow the panels for the purpose of alternative transportation services for individuals needing involuntary psychiatric hospitalization.

The bill would set forth a description and responsibilities of the panel, should a county choose to establish one, and outline contract and liability requirements. Any private security company considered to provide the transport services must meet certain requirements in order to enter into contract, including maintaining certain insurance coverage and providing to security transport officers a specialized training program for best practices when working with an individual with severe mental illness.

The bill also creates the Mental Health Transportation Fund, which, if funded by the Legislature, could help counties carry out functions of these mental health transportation services.

House Bill 4414, by Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Dickinson), is identical to SB 101 and passed out of the House Health Policy Committee and now awaits a full vote from the House.  

MAC supports both bills as an important tool for counties to secure alternative transportation services, so county law enforcement staff and resources are not tied up in long transport times.

For any questions on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at bosworth@micounties.org.

 

House approves set of bills to bolster crime victims’ rights

Bills to better protect victims in the criminal justice system passed out of the House this week and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.

House Bill 5679, by Rep. Graham Filler (R-Clinton), HB 5680, by Rep. Ken Borton (R-Otsego), HB 5681, by Rep. Greg Wan VanWoerkom (R-Muskegon), and HB 5560, by Rep. Julie Rogers (D- Kalamazoo), would require the expansion of offenses that would count as a serious misdemeanor, allow public video recordings of court proceedings to blur victims faces and allow victim impact statements to be made remotely.

MAC supports these bills to modernize and strengthen the rights of victims. MAC will continue to monitor the legislation as it moves through the legislative process.

For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at Bosworth@micounties.org.

 

MAC-backed bill on opioid treatments gets Senate hearing

A bill to create a standing order on the distribution of opioid treatment medication received a hearing in the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee the week of June 6. The bill previously passed the House.

House Bill 5166, by Rep. Mary Whiteford (R-Allegan), allows the state’s chief medical executive to expand the ability of community organizations to dispense FDA-approved medication for the treatment of a drug overdose to an individual. Any community organization providing substance use disorder prevention, treatment, recovery, or harm reduction services would be allowed.

MAC supports HB 5166 and will continue to push for its passage in the Senate.

For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at Bosworth@micounties.org.

 

Justice Department conducting ADA reviews of courthouses in Pennsylvania

The association of counties in Pennsylvania has advised MAC that the U.S. Department of Justice has been visiting courthouses in the Keystone State to conduct assessments of Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.

According to the Pennsylvania report, one of these incidents involved “DOJ (sending) in an ADA expert who literally took a tape measure to check how far the sinks were off the floor, elevator buttons and much more.”

MAC is working to gather more information on the scope of this federal inquiry, but members are advised to be ready to respond promptly to such inspections.

For questions on this issue, contact Stephan Currie at scurrie@micounties.org.

 

MAC offices closed on Monday, June 20

MAC’s Lansing offices will be closed on Monday, June 20 to observe the federal Juneteenth holiday.

Juneteenth “has its significance in 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued the Order Number 3, which stated the freedom of all slaves by the issue of Emancipation Proclamation, by Abe Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863. The people of Galveston did not know they were free and found out after the order was issued by Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, two years after the original date of proclamation. Texas was the last state to recognize the proclamation and hence June 19th or ‘Juneteenth’ became the official day. The law was ratified after all the states agreed to free all forms of slavery within the Union of America which was completed on June 19, 1865.”

MAC’s normal office hours will resume on Tuesday, June 21 at 8 a.m.

 

Important conversations held during the Mackinac Policy Conference

The Detroit Regional Chamber hosted its annual Mackinac Policy Conference this week on Mackinac Island. The event brings together business, community, and policy leaders in Michigan to have conversations on the biggest issues facing the state.

Steve Currie, MAC’s Executive Director and Deena Bosworth, MAC’s Director of Government Affairs, were also on the island having meetings with key legislators and county commissioners to ensure the interests of all Michigan’s 83 counties were a part of the conversation.

The legislature did not hold any committee meetings or votes this week because of the Mackinac Policy Conference. MAC is gearing up for a busy few weeks as the Legislature reconvenes to reach a consensus on the state budget before the deadline on July 1.

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

Michigan Treasury releases 2022 PPT millage rates

Counties are encouraged to review 2022 millage rates just released by the Michigan Treasury as part of the Personal Property Tax (PPT) reimbursement system.

The 2022 Millage Rate Comparison reports are available on Treasury’s PPT reimbursement website: www.michigan.gov/pptreimbursement.

Under state law, Treasury (Treasury) must issue these reports so municipalities can verify the eligible millage rates to be used in the 2022 PPT reimbursement calculations.

The eligible millage rates to be used in the 2022 PPT reimbursement calculations are calculated based on the eligible millage cap and 2021 millage rates and may be prorated as required by the Local Community Stabilization Authority Act (LCSA Act.  Therefore, the calculated eligible millage rates to be used in the 2022 PPT reimbursement calculations may not reflect the actual 2021 millage rates levied by the municipality.

Municipalities should review the 2022 Millage Rate Comparison reports for accuracy.

  • If the millage rate data is correct, the municipality does not need to take any further action.
  • If there are any errors in the millage rate data, the municipality is required by the LCSA Act to notify Treasury of the error(s) by submitting Form 5613Millage Rate Correction for the 2022 Personal Property Tax Reimbursement Calculations no later than Aug. 1, 2022 (MCL 123.1358(4)).

Below is a list of the reporting forms related to millages that are available on Treasury’s PPT Reimbursement website under Forms for Calculation of PPT Reimbursements.

  • Form 54512022 School District and Intermediate School District (ISD) Debt Millage Rate for the 2022 Personal Property Tax Reimbursement Calculation
    • Optional form to be used by eligible school districts and ISDs to report the debt millage rate levied in the current year specifically for the payment of debt obligations approved by voters or incurred before 2015.
    • DUE DATE: Aug. 1, 2022
  • Form 5608Portion of 2021 Essential Services Millage Rate Dedicated for the Cost of Essential Services
    • Optional form to be used by counties, cities, villages, townships, and local authorities that levy an extra-voted millage rate that partially funds the cost of essential services (for example a Fire/Cemetery millage). For extra-voted millage rates where the name of the millage would imply that the millage was partially dedicated for the cost of essential services, Treasury has identified the millage type as “PARTIAL ESSENTIAL SERVICE” on the 2022 Millage Rate Comparison reports.
    • DUE DATE: Aug. 1, 2022
  • Form 56092022 Hold Harmless Millage Rate for the 2022 Personal Property Tax Reimbursement Calculation
    • Required form to be used by the 24 school districts that levy a supplemental hold harmless millage rate in 2022.
    • DUE DATE: Aug. 1, 2022
  • Form 5613Millage Rate Correction for the 2022 Personal Property Tax Reimbursement Calculations
    • Optional form to be used by municipalities that identify an error in the 2022 Millage Rate Comparison reports.
    • DUE DATE: Aug. 1, 2022

Direct any questions regarding the PPT reimbursement calculation or correction process to TreasORTAPPT@michigan.gov or 517-335-7484.

 

June conference to focus on environmental emergencies

Is your community prepared to handle environmental emergencies such as fires, floods, oil spills, etc.? The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is hosting the Environmental Emergency Management Conference at the Lansing Center in Lansing June 29-30, 2022. to help communities with preparedness and mitigation, response, and recovery related to incidents impacting the environment and public health. Participants may include federal, state and local emergency response personnel, public health officials, facility emergency managers, contractors, consultants, academia or anyone within the emergency response community. 

Conference highlights will include:

  • Plenary presentation on the Coast Guard Great Lakes Center of Expertise for Oil Spill Response
  • Special breakout session on Natural Disaster Debris to Increase Community Resiliency
  • Additional breakout sessions on themes of Preparedness and Mitigation, Initial Response and Response and Recovery
  • Networking Reception with exhibitors and hundreds of emergency response professionals

View the agenda and session descriptions

General admission fee: $125 for both days.

Registration deadline: June 17, 2022.

Lodging block deadline: June 7, 2022.

For registration questions, contact Joel Roseberry, RoseberryJ@Michigan.gov, or Alana Berthold, BertholdA@Michigan.gov.

 

Staff picks

MAC-backed safety bills advance from Senate committee

Three bills on local public safety were approved by the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee this week that MAC supports.

House Bill 4719, by Rep. Robert Bezotte (R-Livingston), a former sheriff and county commissioner, would require a person convicted of first-degree murder be immediately committed to the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) in a state correctional facility, pending sentencing. The county sheriff will have to transport the convicted person for final sentencing from the facility to the county and back again.

HB 4887, by Rep. Mike Mueller (R-Genesee), would also allow for transports of a juvenile under the age of 18 with an adult in limited circumstances. A transport could occur if all of the following apply in the situation: the juvenile was 16 or older; the adult was 25 or younger; the juvenile and adult were taken into custody at the same time; the juvenile and adult were taken into custody for the same offense or both occupied the same vehicle at the time the offense was committed; and the juvenile was taken directly to the appropriate location and then was separated from the adult at the earliest available time.

MAC supports both bills to ensure officer and public safety and save county time and resources.

MAC also supports HB 4173, introduced by Rep. Kara Hope (D-Ingham) that would delete the cap on the amount of a reward that a county may offer for the arrest and conviction of a person who committed a crime or escaped from a penal institution. Current law limits the amount a county board of commissioners could offer and pay out for the arrest and conviction at $2,000. The bill would change that limit and leave it to the county’s discretion.

For more information on this issue, send an email to Hannah Sweeney at sweeney@micounties.org.

 

Details released on getting second batch of federal ARP funds

The U.S. Treasury has begun the process of allocating the second tranche of ARP Recovery Funds.

The process for counties to receive the second installment of funding is provided below with the new SAM.gov registration requirements:

Section 603 of ARPA provides payments to eligible local governments in two tranches, with the second tranche payment being made no earlier than 12 months after the first payment.

Consistent with this requirement, Treasury expects to provide second tranche payments to local governments approximately 12 months after their first payment.

In the coming weeks, Treasury will open the submission portal in a phased approach, allowing counties to access the portal for 30 days prior to their second tranche payment date.

Counties will receive a notification from Treasury by email letting them know that they can enter the portal — it is very important to make sure that the assigned point of contact is still available to receive future communications.

The point of contact is the individual designated in the portal during the first tranche submission who will receive email notifications on submission status, including any issues found during the verification and communication regarding payments.

The individual entering the portal for the second tranche submission will be the same individual with the registered ID.me who submitted for the first tranche allocation.

If that individual is no longer with the county and you need to designate a new individual, email COVIDReliefITSupport@treasury.gov with the subject line “Entity Name – Update to Designated Individuals” and include the role that needs to be updated along with the full name, title, email and phone number of the new person designated.

After the email is received by the county, the point of contact will be able to update their entity information to include banking information in the portal.

In preparation for the second tranche payment, counties should ensure their SAM.gov entity registration is still active — all counties are required to have a SAM.gov registration to receive their second tranche payment.

Note that on April 4, 2022, the federal government changed service providers and stopped using the DUNS Number and began using the Unique Entity ID (UEI) in SAM.gov to identify entities.

All counties, even those already registered in SAM.gov, must validate their entity information through the new service provider.

Counties may need to provide additional supporting documentation through the new system.

The General Services Administration (GSA) released FAQs to support counties through this new process.

Counties are required to renew their SAM.gov registration every 12 months. If a county’s SAM.gov registration expired (12-month coverage) before it is due to receive its second tranche (and after April 4, 2022) the county is required to reactivate their SAM.gov registration, which will require them to adopt UEI (instead of a DUNS number) PRIOR to receiving their second installment.

 

Keit-Corrion departs MAC government team

Meghann Keit-Corrion, MAC’s governmental affairs associate with specific responsibilities for court, health, human services, public safety and other issues, departs MAC on Friday, May 27.

The Michigan State University graduate will be joining the Dykema law firm in Lansing.

Keit-Corrion joined MAC in September 2017 from the office of Sen. Jim Stamas. She also worked for Stamas when he served in the Michigan House and for the Midwest Strategy Group in Lansing, where she was a legislative analyst.

“Meghann has played an important role at MAC working on health and judiciary issues. We wish her the best of luck in the future,” said Stephan Currie, MAC’s executive director.

 

Bill for nonpartisan county elections introduced

Some county boards of commissioners would have the ability to create nonpartisan elections for countywide offices under a new bill introduced in the Senate.

Under Senate Bill 1050, by Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Dickinson), counties with a populations below 75,000 may adopt a resolution to create nonpartisan elections for the following offices: clerk, treasurer, register of deeds, prosecutor, sheriff, drain commissioner, surveyor, coroner and elected road commissions.

Incumbents will be noted on the ballot and the two candidates with the most votes in a primary would move on to the November general election. Counties will have the option to adopt this change within three years of a census.   

MAC will continue to monitor the bill as it moves through the legislative process.

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

 

Fuel tax suspension bills clear full Senate

Bills to suspend state fuel taxes in a bid to lower prices at the pump advanced out of committee this week. A Senate committee and the full chamber this week reviewed and approved:   

  • Senate Bills 972, 973, 974, by Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Eaton), Sen. Aric Nesbit (R-Cass), and Sen. Dan Lauwers (R-St. Clair) respectively, suspend the collection of taxes on gasoline by exempting motor fuel from sales and use tax for the period of June 15-Sept. 15.
  • Senate Bill 1029, by Sen. Roger Victory (R-Ottawa), which specifies that between June 15 and Sept. 15 the rate of tax on gasoline would be zero. The bill would appropriate $192.6 million from the state’s General Fund to county road commissions and $107.4 million to cities and villages to backfill any lost revenue from the sales and use tax suspension.

The package now moves to the House. MAC will continue to track the legislation.

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

 

Key measure for medical care facilities heads to governor

After months of steady progress, House Bill 5875 has cleared the Legislature. This week, the full Senate approved the three-year extension to the county maintenance of effort (MOE) rate for county medical care facilities (MCFs), a key legislative priority for the Michigan County Medical Care Facilities Council (MCMCFC).

HB 5875, by Rep. Bronna Kahle (R-Lenawee), provides an extension to the MOE freeze until 2025, or until the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) implements a new reimbursement model, whichever is sooner.

MDHHS has been studying and contemplating a new reimbursement model and policies for long-term care facilities. Should a new approach be implemented prior to Dec. 31, 2025, MCFs would transition to the new system under the bill.

MCMCFC had partners in support, including MAC, the Health Care Association of Michigan and LeadingAge Michigan. MCMCFC greatly appreciates the work of bill sponsor, Rep. Kahle, and her staff for championing this important issue for facilities.

The bill now heads to the governor for final approval.

 

Report outlines options on spending opioid dollars

In late 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) contracted with the Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT) to analyze results from a survey of key Michigan respondents about the best ways to use opioid settlement dollars within state and federal guidelines.

CHRT’s team analyzed qualitative and quantitative survey results in collaboration with state partners then reported back to MDHHS to share its analysis, which is the first step toward making recommendations to support policymakers’ decision process.

Respondent priorities for the use of settlement funds included:

  • Recovery support services, including peer support and wrap-around services for individuals with substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health diagnoses
  • Prevention programming
  • Expanding access to medications used to effectively treat opioid use disorder (MOUD) and other opioid-related treatment

The full report can be found here.

 

Two counties earn green recognition from state group

Two counties were recognized by the Michigan Green Communities program for taking the Michigan Green Communities Challenge. The program is designed to promote environmental sustainability and development in communities across Michigan.

Local units of government that chose to participate in the challenge completed actions in 2021 related to energy efficiency, climate adaptation, resilience, recycling and environmental justice. Ten communities received bronze certification, 12 received silver certification and 22 received gold certification. Among them were:

  • Oakland County, receiving silver certification
  • Monroe County, receiving bronze certification

The program is open to all local governments in Michigan at no cost.  For more information, contact Danielle Beard, Michigan Green Communities program coordinator, at dbeard@migreencommunities.com or Hannah Sweeney at sweeney@miounties.org.

 

State looking for foster care volunteers

Michigan needs more loving foster families to temporarily care for children while the state works to reunify them safely with their biological parents, a point made by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in proclaiming May as Foster Care Month in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is recognizing foster families for their contributions while raising awareness of the need for more foster homes. There are about 10,500 children in foster care in the state. There is a particular need for families to foster older children, sibling groups and youth with special needs.

“We are facing an increased need for foster families to provide stable and safe care for children due to the department’s commitment to provide family homes for children and reduce the use of congregate care settings, as well as a significant loss of foster homes during the pandemic,” said Demetrius Starling, executive director of the MDHHS Children’s Services Agency. “I want to thank the 4,928 foster families in Michigan who have stepped up because they want to help children who deserving loving homes.”

In most cases, MDHHS’s goal is to reunify the children with their families after providing resources to them. If that’s not safe, MDHHS looks to find them permanent homes through adoption.

Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent can call a Foster Care Navigator at 855-MICHKIDS or visit www.fcnp.org. Navigators are experienced foster care parents who can answer questions and guide prospective foster parents on their journey. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/hopeforahome.

 

MAC offices closed on Monday, May 30

MAC’s offices in Lansing will be closed on Monday, May 30 to observe the Memorial Day holiday.

Normal office hours will resume at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31.

MAC joins our members and the rest of the United States in honoring the sacrifice of the men and women who gave their lives in service of their country.

 

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