Legislative Update 1-19-24

Podcast team reviews MAC policy priorities for 2024

A long-sought policy to create a secure source of county revenue sharing dollars and changes in juvenile justice and court policies are discussed in the latest episode of Podcast 83, MAC’s podcast on all matters county-related in Michigan.

Host Stephan Currie led the Podcast 83 team of Deena Bosworth, Madeline Fata and Samantha Gibson through a review of MAC’s 2024 legislative priorities in Lansing.

Topping the list, said Bosworth, is the creation of a Revenue Sharing Trust Fund to hold dedicated state dollars to share with local governments.

“It might still be a little bit of an uphill battle because it does carve out a portion of the state sales tax and cuts into the unrestricted funds the Legislature uses … Hopefully we get some movement on it this spring,” she explained.

Bosworth also reviewed the legislative state of play on reimbursements for losses due to a property tax exemption for disabled veterans, while Gibson discussed the need to reset a legislative “sunset” on the authority of local trial courts to levy fees on defendants and Fata described the numerous challenges to infrastructure funding.

View the full video of the episode, recorded on Jan. 16, by clicking here.

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

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


MAC releases new tool to aid counties on opioid settlement investments

MAC has released a new tool to assist members with investing opioid settlement dollars to maximize public health gains.

The Michigan Opioid Settlement Funds: Steering Committee Development and Tips for Processing Requests for Funds guidance document came out on Jan. 4. This tool is intended to assist counties with the creation of steering committees to guide planning efforts around opioid settlement funds and review committees associated with funding requests. Attention is paid to who should be involved in the process, which practices should be formalized for purposes of clarity and sustainability, as well as where to consider conflicts of interest. The document also highlights no-cost technical assistance resources available to counties. Guidance around the topics of planning and review committees focuses on the crucial aspects of providing a fair and transparent processes for utilization of settlement funds.

The document is housed alongside other guidance documents and tools in the Templates section of the Michigan Association of Counties Opioid Settlement Resource Center.

For more information, contact MAC’s opioid settlement technical adviser, Amy Dolinky, at dolinky@micounties.org.


Webinar on Feb. 6 to explain federal program helpful to EMS entities

On Feb. 6, a webinar will brief local leaders on a federal program that could assist local emergency responders.

The Federal Ground Emergency Medical Transportation (GEMT) Program is overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). GEMT provides funding and support to eligible health care providers through state agencies, aiming to ensure individuals without reliable transportation can access emergency medical care. This program improves access to emergency services for Medicaid beneficiaries, bridging the gap between patients and health care facilities and facilitating timely care during emergencies.

To register for the webinar, which starts at 12:30 p.m. (Eastern), click here.

While Michigan doesn’t currently participate in the program, our state has the eighth-highest number of Medicaid enrollees in the nation. Local emergency services and ambulance providers are not fully reimbursed by Medicaid to cover the costs of medical transportation for this significant segment of our communities. The GEMT initiative in Michigan seeks to address health disparities, promote health equity and reimburse local agencies and emergency services providers for serving vulnerable populations.

County agencies that may benefit from this program include:

  • Central Huron Ambulance Service Association
  • Alcona County EMS
  • Alger County Ambulance Service
  • Benzie County EMS
  • Clinton Area Ambulance Service Authority
  • Eastern Huron Ambulance Service
  • Emmet County Emergency Medical Services
  • Grand Traverse Metro Emergency Services Authority
  • Gratiot Emergency Services Authority
  • Iosco County EMS
  • Lapeer County EMS
  • Livingston County EMS
  • Missaukee County EMS
  • North Oakland County Fire Authority
  • North Ottawa EMS
  • Northeast Ingham Emergency Services Authority
  • Northern Bay Ambulance
  • Northwest Wexford Emergency Authority
  • Office of Genesee County Sheriff – Paramedic Division
  • Ogemaw County EMS Authority
  • Osceola County EMS
  • Oscoda County EMS
  • Otsego County Ambulance Corps
  • Southwest Shiawassee Emergency Alliance

For more information on MAC’s work on health issues, contact Samantha Gibson at gibson@micounties.org.


Apply now for NACo’s Juvenile Justice Innovation Network

NACo’s County Juvenile Justice Innovation Network (CJJIN) aims to increase the practical understanding and capacity of counties to address the needs of youth involved in their local juvenile justice systems. NACo will facilitate a network that will learn about best practices and evidence-based resources to inform a strategic action plan that invests in the well-being and future of the youth within their community.

Counties selected for the network will have the opportunity to be featured in case studies highlighting innovation and lessons learned, a series of briefs on best practices and implementation and a webinar series. All resources related to CJJIN will be part of the forthcoming CJJIN Resource Hub and will be updated on this page

CJJIN is a nine-month opportunity for county teams to engage both virtually and in-person to share challenges and successes, learn from national and local experts, exchange ideas with other counties to achieve program and policy change that empowers and improves youth outcomes.

CJJIN will support a community of practice for up to five counties to identify challenges, strategies and an action plan to better support youth by strengthening county juvenile justice systems. Counties participating in the network will identify a core team of up to four champions working across youth-serving systems to join in-person CJJIN activities but are encouraged to invite additional stakeholders that can support the implementation of their strategic action plan. 

Applications to join the inaugural cohort will close on Feb. 2 at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) and can be downloaded here. Applicants will also submit the Team Composition Form, which can be accessed here

Please send completed applications and questions to Meg Siwek, program manager for justice, at msiwek@naco.org.


Start the new year off with leadership development!

MAC congratulates the September 2023 NACo Leadership Academy graduates from Michigan. They join more than 10,000 graduates and current participants from across the country benefitting from the 12-week online program enabling existing and emerging county leaders to achieve their highest potential:

  • Joe Porterfield, county administrator, Wexford County

Counties can celebrate the 10th anniversary of the High Performance Leadership Academy by utilizing a special deal: each county can enroll 10 leaders for $15,000 in 2024. The next cohort starts on April 22.

Click here to enroll and learn more.


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