Legislative Update 10-8-21

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 bosworth@micounties.org.

 

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 keit@micounties.org.

 

NACo hosting webinar featuring Michigan’s 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!
 

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 bosworth@micounties.org.

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