Legislative Update 11-18-22

MAC leaders address SE Michigan summit on county cooperation

Chairs of Macomb, Wayne and Oakland pose next to their pledge of collaboration at the Nov. 18 Tri-County Summit: (l-r) Don Brown of Macomb, Alisha Bell of Wayne and Dave Woodward of Oakland.

MAC leadership joined county and expert leaders in Southeast Michigan today to present at the 2022 Tri-County Summit at the Detroit Zoo put on by the county boards from Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

In addition to remarks from MAC Executive Director Stephan Currie and Governmental Affairs Director Deena Bosworth, attendees heard presentations on broadband equity, water infrastructure and economic forecasts, plus comments from the county board chairs, Alisha Bell (Wayne), Don Brown (Macomb) and Dave Woodward (Oakland).

The boards of commissioners from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties set a theme of “Moving Forward. Moving Together.” Expanding on the issues discussed at last year’s event, this year’s event continued the discussions to “strategize ways to work together to improve and strengthen our region’s approach in these shared issues.”

MAC also was pleased to sponsor this annual event, designed to foster regional cooperation among the three largest counties in Southeast Michigan, home to more than 40 percent of Michigan’s population.


New Commissioner School gets under way with digital welcome

The 2022 edition of the New Commissioner School, a longstanding joint project of MAC and MSU Extension, got under way Friday with a digital welcome for participants.

Nearly 200 have registered for the school, which is an intensive briefing on the many and varied duties of a county commissioner in our state.

Please note that there’s still time to register to participate, as the four on-site locations (see below) do not start until Nov. 28. For more information about the program, click here.

This year’s program has on-site and digital elements that are designed to complement each other, so it is vital for the newly elected to utilize both:

Nov. 15-30 – Self-paced, Asynchronous Online Learning for all cohorts

NCS In-Person Sessions – 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

  • Nov. 28 – Bavarian Inn and Conference Center, One Covered Bridge Lane, Frankenmuth, MI 48734 (registration closes at 10 p.m. on Nov. 22)

  • Nov. 29 – BayPointe Inn, 11456 Marsh Road, Shelbyville, MI 49344 (registration closes at 10 p.m. on Nov. 22)

  • Dec. 5 – Landmark Inn, 230 N. Front St., Marquette, MI 49855 (registration closes at 10 p.m. on Dec. 1)

  • Dec. 12 – Kirtland College, 4800 W. 4 Mile Road, Grayling, MI 49738 (registration closes at 10 p.m. on Dec. 8)

County Commissioner Academy

Participation in the 2022 New Commissioner School will earn a commissioner 5 credit hours in MAC’s County Commissioner Academy, our continuing education program for county leaders. To learn more about CCA, click here.


FCC releases broadband availability map

The first rendition of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) broadband map is now available.

After an extensive data collection process, the FCC has shared what they believe to is an accurate depiction of internet availability across the country. Both public and private entities were involved in the initial phase of data collection. The Michigan High Speed Internet Office (MIHI) worked with the Department of Technology, Management and Budget to gather and share Michigan’s data with the FCC.

Consumers will now be able to type in their address to see which internet service providers claim to offer service at their location and at which speeds. The FCC is hopeful that this level of transparency will encourage internet providers to improve their coverage. The maps will also allow for grant dollars to be distributed more fairly. Michigan is projected to receive $1.5 billion in federal funding through the BEAD program in 2024, with unserved and underserved communities prioritized first.

County officials and consumers have been invited to challenge the map by submitting their own data before Dec. 1, 2022. While the MIHI Office and private internet providers worked to share accurate information, local officials have a unique opportunity to better understand the door-to-door coverage in their areas.

This will not be your only opportunity to challenge the map; MIHI and the FCC have indicated this will be an ongoing process with updates to the map being made regularly. MAC will continue to share these opportunities to challenge as they are made available.

For more information on this issue, contact Madeline Fata at fata@micounties.org.


Bosworth briefs incoming legislators on lobbying in Lansing

Fifty members of the incoming Michigan House of Representatives were briefed on key county activities and how to interact with lobbyists by MAC Governmental Affairs Director Deena Bosworth in Lansing this week.

Bosworth, joined by MAC Board Director Joe Palamara of Wayne County and others, participated in the traditional briefings that newly elected legislators attend after each general election, held in the Mackinac Room at the Anderson House Office Building, or “HOB,” in Lansing parlance.


Updated commissioner results don’t alter county control map

As final election paperwork is filed, Michigan will have at least 198 new county commissioners in 2023, according to a corrected MAC review of county-by-county results.

See list of 2023 county commissioners.

This tweak does not change the turnover rate for this election cycle of 32 percent. However, a recount has been requested in Midland County’s District 6 that could still alter final results.

Republicans will control boards in 67 counties in 2023, while Democrats will have majorities in 13. Neither major party will have a majority in Iron, Menominee or Presque Isle counties.


County millage results from 2022 General Election


NACo urges Congress to prioritize behavioral health

Last week, NACo members, including two Michigan counties, signed onto a letter urging Congress to prioritize counties’ behavioral health needs in a bipartisan legislative package.

The letter provides a list of five policies to improve local behavioral health services. These policies include amending the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy (MIEP), repealing the Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion, funding direct and flexible grant programs to counties for recruitment, training, and retention of their behavioral health workforce, sustaining federal funding to support local crisis response infrastructure through Medicaid, and enforcing policies that ensure equal coverage of treatment for mental illness and addiction.

Before the end of the year, Congress still has time to pass additional behavioral health measures that would improve services that counties currently provide. Both NACo and MAC support community-based treatment and services to those with behavioral health conditions.

For more information on this issue, contact Samantha Gibson at gibson@micounties.org.


Infrastructure Council seeks new ‘champions’ for asset management

The Michigan Infrastructure Council (MIC) is welcoming a new cohort of infrastructure leaders into the Asset Management (AM) Champion Program. This program will establish a network of talented individuals and organizations to help strengthen and “champion” best practice asset management across Michigan’s complex infrastructure environment.

The AM Champion Program is a fast-paced and interactive training curriculum that combines asynchronous education, facilitated discussion, peer interactions, and industry learning into a professional certification from MIC. The next iteration of the program will run Jan. 10-March 31, 2023, and will require approximately 25 hours to complete.

If you are a local, regional, or state government employee, public-sector asset owner or leader from an industry organization and would like to participate, please fill in the application form. The program is entirely funded by MIC and is free for participants.

Deadline for applications is Dec. 30, 2022.

For details, see the program flier.


MAC offices to close for Thanksgiving holiday

MAC’s Lansing offices will be closed Nov. 24-25 to observe the national Thanksgiving holiday.

Normal office hours will resume on Monday, Nov. 28 at 8 a.m.

MAC Executive Director Stephan Currie and the entire MAC team wish you and your loved ones a safe and pleasant Thanksgiving.


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