Legislative Update 5-10-24

Check out documents, videos from MAC conference

Deena Bosworth gives the MAC Legislative Update at the 2024 Legislative Conference on April 30. (Rod Sanford Photography)

Resources from the 2024 Michigan Counties Legislative Conference are now available to members who were unable to attend the event, held April 29-May 1 in Lansing.

The conference resources page includes presentations slides, related documents and links to photos and videos.

“Those Revenue Sharing Trust Fund bills say we want to carve out 8 percent of the first 4 percentage points of the state sales tax, put that into a fund and then pay our revenue sharing payments out of that,” explained Governmental Affairs Director Deena Bosworth in her Legislative Update to the conference. “And that’s exactly what the House did. We couldn’t have asked for better. Until we get to the Senate.

“Then the Senate made their recommendations just a couple of days later. And in the Senate recommendations that is very much like a trust fund that we’ve been asking for. But they did it a little differently. … What they did was take 9.1 percent of (first 4 percentage points of) the state sales tax and dedicate that. … The Senate recommendation says whatever you are getting in fiscal year 24, you will always get because that’s your base amount. And then this additional $52.5 million would be distributed out on top of that base amount to counties in a way that is an inverse relationship to your taxable value in your county.”

See Bosworth’s full slide deck by clicking here. And MAC’s Issue Brief on the revenue sharing issue is found here.

Among videos available at the resource hub are ones from county leaders reporting on their work to deploy opioid settlement dollars to bolster services for those with substance use disorders. And more video segments will be added to the list in the days ahead from the Legislative Panel discussion on May 1 and other conference presentations.


Prisoner productivity credit bills introduced in Senate

A package to allow certain prisoners to earn productivity credits to reduce their sentence was introduced in the Senate this week.

Senate Bills 861864 would only apply to future sentences in allowing prisoners to receive productivity credits. Under the legislation, prosecutors would be required to notify victims at the time of sentencing that an earlier release date is possible ― if the offender completes productivity credits.

While completing productivity credits would deem a prisoner eligible for early release, the parole board will still recommendations regarding release dates, with final decisions remaining with judges and prosecutors.

SBs 861-864 would remove truth-in-sentencing, leaving many victims of crime with uncertainty regarding the minimum sentence their offender would serve.

The bills have been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

MAC has joined the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office in opposing this legislation.

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


MAC-backed bill to expand drug courts passes House

Legislation to expand drug treatment court availability was voted out of the House this week. For several months, it remained on the House floor, needing a majority to be reinstated after the special elections in mid-April to receive enough votes.

House Bill 4525, by Rep. Graham Filler (R-Clinton), would allow certain offenders to be admitted to a drug treatment court with the approval of the judge, prosecutor and any known victim.

HB 4525 is part of a three-bill package, including HBs 4523 and 4524, by Reps. Kara Hope (D-Ingham) and Joey Andrews (D-Berrien), respectively. The package would expand the use of mental health and drug treatment courts, which are currently limited to nonviolent offenders, to include certain violent offenders ― but again only with approval from a judge and prosecutor and consent of any victim.

The bills now move to the governor.

MAC supports this legislation.

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


House moves court data collection bill

Crucial legislation to promote court funding reform was concurred by the House on Thursday and sent to the governor for her signature.

HB 5534, by Rep. Kelly Breen (D-Oakland), would require the State Court Administrative Office to complete data collection and turn over to the Legislature by May 1, 2026, for advancement towards implementing the 2019 Trial Court Funding Commission recommendations.

HB 5534 was originally “tie-barred” to HB 5392, which extended the sunset on court fee authority to Dec. 31, 2026, and was signed by the governor last week.

MAC supports HB 5534 and long has supported adoption of the funding commission’s recommendations.

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


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