Legislative Update 2-4-22

Breakout topics released for 2022 Legislative Conference

Attendees at the 2022 Legislative Conference will have a dozen breakout sessions to choose from on trending issues in county governance, MAC announced this week. Each breakout session will be approximately one hour long and include time for questions from the audience of the experts and policymakers presenting at them:

  • What’s Coming on Mobility
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in County Government
  • Opioid Funding from the National Settlement
  • The Future of the County Workforce
  • Trial Court Funding
  • Cybersecurity Threats and Trends
  • Primer on the Headlee Amendment and State Taxation
  • How Counties Are Investing ARP Funds
  • How to Win Millage Elections
  • Open Meetings Act Update (joint with MCMCFC)
  • Stress Management in Stressful Times (joint with MCMCFC)
  • Cultivating an Agribusiness Economy

County commissioners who attend the conference will receive credit in MAC’s County Commissioner Academy.

Click here to start your registration process.

The Michigan County Medical Care Facilities Council (MCMCFC) is offering its members the following additional workshops (all MCMCFC events come with continuing education credits for its members):

  • Strategies for Success in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Stress Suppresses Success: SHAPE Your Stress Blueprint
  • Regulatory Updates and Other Sizzling Topics Speaker: Vickie Burlew
  • State Licensure and Federal Certification Regulatory Update

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will keynote the 2022 Michigan Counties Legislative Conference, addressing a plenary session of the event on Wednesday, March 23.

The conference also will feature:

  • A plenary session address by Larry Johnson, president of the National Association of Counties
  • A MAC Legislative Update, led by Deena Bosworth, director of governmental affairs
  • Remarks from MAC President Phil Kuyers of Ottawa County and Executive Director Stephan Currie
  • A Legislative Reception on the evening of Tuesday, March 22, during which MAC will present its County Advocate Awards for legislative service in 2021

The conference will be an in-person event, though MAC plans to livestream select breakout sessions on Facebook. For the latest conference news, visit the MAC conference page.

 

MAC member directories arriving soon

County commissioners, administrators and board offices around the state will soon be receiving their 2022 MAC Membership Directory in the mail.

This annual directory carries contact information for all elected county officials in Michigan and background information on MAC and its activities on your behalf.

A searchable digital version of the directory can be found at this link or via a link on the MAC homepage. The password for the digital version will be on the Table of Contents page of the printed directory coming to your mailbox soon.

MAC also will have available a limited number of printed directories for sale for $40 each (which includes shipping). To order one, contact Derek Melot at melot@micounties.org.

If you need to update or correct information found on your county page, please send an email to melot@micounties.org.

 

AG issues opinion on OMA; MAC calls for legislative hearings on remote participation

In an opinion released Friday, Attorney General Dana Nessel said state entities could provide remote meeting participation to board members and the public under provisions of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), even though the state’s Open Meetings Act (OMA) does not allow remote participation for any board member except those members absent due to military duty.

The AG’s Office noted that the opinion, however, is not binding on local entities. “(I)t is my hope that local boards will use this guidance and ensure fair access to public meetings for those who require appropriate accommodations as we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic,” Nessel said in a statement.

MAC, as always, advises members to consult with their counsel on any questions or issues arising out of the state’s Open Meetings Act.

Meanwhile, MAC has joined with other local government groups to urge the chairs of the House and Senate committees on local government to expedite hearings on the OMA to address the remote participation issue.

“Prior to OMA changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a member could participate and vote remotely when a quorum was physically present. County and local board members have used this option when the need arose. Other bodies created their own rules that disallowed members to participate and vote remotely, regardless of the option. Local and county governments were responsible and responsive to their constituents and adopted rules according to what served their boards and their communities. At minimum, our organizations seek to re-establish local control over their meetings and remote participation, with the same caveat of requiring a quorum to be present, if they choose to allow the option of remote participation and voting,” the letter sent to Rep. Julie Calley (R-Ionia) and Sen. Dale Zorn (R-Monroe) states.

For more information on MAC’s work on the OMA, contact Meghann Keit-Corrion at keit@micounties.org.

 

Michigan Green Communities Challenge is under way

The Michigan Green Communities Challenge is now live! Create your account and take the Challenge now at www.migreencommunities.com/challenge.

Michigan Green Communities is a statewide network of local government staff and officials that collaborate with one another, through peer learning and information sharing, to promote innovative sustainability solutions at the local, regional, and state level.

The annual Michigan Green Communities Challenge is a key part of the program and allows participants to track and benchmark their sustainability progress. Communities can log their sustainability actions using the MGC Challenge to achieve bronze, silver, or gold recognition.

Get ready to complete the challenge by reviewing the action items, looking at the getting started guide, and emailing info@migreencommunities.com with any questions you have.

You can also register for a Feb. 10 MGC webinar at 3 p.m. on guidance on accessing the Challenge portal and recording your community’s actions. To register, click here.

For more information contact Hannah Sweeney at sweeney@micounties.org.

Water and sewer issues are focus of next NACo webinar on ARP funding

On Jan. 6, the U.S. Department of Treasury released the Final Rule for the $65.1 billion Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund). Under the Final Rule, counties have broad flexibility for uses that strengthen the public health infrastructure, including workforce support, new eligibilities for capital expenditures, public health data systems and more.

Join NACo for the fifth in a series of information sessions where we will walk through key features in Treasury’s Final Rule for the Recovery Fund and how counties can effectively invest these dollars to enhance their water and sewer infrastructure.

 

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