Legislative Update 5-13-22

Michigan voters to rule on changes to legislative term limits

The Michigan Legislature approved a ballot proposal this week that would let voters decide on term limit changes to House and Senate members in November. The House voted in favor, 76-28, of the proposal and the Senate voted in favor the same day, 26-6. Both chambers gave approval without debate or discussion.

Advocates would have needed to collect 425,000 signatures to move to the ballot had the Legislature not acted. The proposal also includes changes to financial disclosure requirements of the Legislature; however, language passed by both Legislature requires far fewer financial details than what has been called for by activists. 

Under the existing constitutional term limits approved by voters in the 1990s, an individual can serve a total of 14 years at the State Capitol, with a maximum of three 2-year terms in the House and two 4-year terms in the Senate.

Under the ballot proposal this fall, the total years would be reduced to 12; however, an individual could serve all of those years in a single chamber.

The proposal does not have any effects on the number of terms a person may serve as a county commissioner.

MAC is reviewing the approved language and has not taken a position on it.

For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at bosworth@micounties.org.


Medical care facilities win another round on key funding measure

The Senate Health Policy Committee, chaired by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Mason), unanimously approved this week a three-year extension to the county maintenance of effort (MOE) rate for county medical care facilities (MCFs), a key legislative priority for the Michigan County Medical Care Facilities Council (MCMCFC).

House Bill 5875, by Rep. Bronna Kahle (R-Lenawee), provides an extension to the MOE freeze until 2025, or until the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) implements a new reimbursement model, whichever is sooner.

MDHHS has been studying and contemplating a new reimbursement model and policies for long-term care facilities. Should a new approach be implemented prior to Dec. 31, 2025, MCFs would transition to the new system under the bill.

Other organizations supporting the bill alongside MCMCFC include MAC, the Health Care Association of Michigan and Leading Age Michigan.

The bill now heads to the Senate floor to await a vote by the full body.

For more information on this issue, contact Meghann Keit-Corrion at keit@micounties.org.


Clare, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Wayne claim NACo Achievement Awards

Five Michigan counties were among those honored recently by the National Association of Counties in its 2022 Achievement Awards. The Achievement Awards program is a non-competitive awards program that seeks to recognize innovative county government programs. One outstanding program from each category will be selected as the “Best of Category.”

Macomb County led with 12 citations, including seven in the criminal justice field alone.

Oakland County received 11 citations in six different categories for work that included vaccination promotional efforts, a school nurse program and a “Blueprint for Successful Aging.”

Clare and Wayne counties were honored for their work in community and economic development, while Washtenaw County was cited for financial management via its “sustainable investments to preserve natural areas.”

To see descriptions of Best of Category winners nationally and a searchable database of this year’s winners, click here.


Treasury to announce awards for first responder recruitment grants

Counties should learn early next week if they are among recipients of first responder recruitment grants issued by the Michigan Department of Treasury.

MAC has learned that awards will reach 44 of our 83 counties. The list of recipients should be available within the next two business days and follow-up letters will be sent out to all communities that applied for the funding.

Treasury received more than 400 applications from local units of government seeking a portion of the $5 million allocated by the Legislature in December 2021 for first responder recruitment and training grants. In total, applications requested more than $29 million, so the program is highly competitive.

Per legislative directive, the department reviewed and ranked all applications according to intended use of the funds and those communities most in need. Funding for recruitment and training was given the highest priority, then the applications were ranked based on those with the lowest taxable value per capita across the state. 

For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at bosworth@micounties.org.


Seven Michigan county staffers finish leadership academy

Seven Michigan county staff members recently finished their course work in the NACo Leadership Academy, a 12-week online program that empowers front-line county government employees with fundamental leadership skills. Across the country more than 4,600 county employees have participated; this includes 75 from Michigan.

Michigan county staff to complete the Academy this April are:

  • Rebecca Johns, county veteran service officer, Alger County
  • Patrick Mellon, jail administrator / sergeant, Alger County
  • Matthew Newton, deputy county administrator, Cass County
  • Michael Turisk, director of planning and zoning, Cheboygan County
  • Elizabeth Zabik, equalization director, Cheboygan County
  • Chris Roberts, system administrator-network/security, Grand Traverse County
  • Amber Weber, building official, Leelanau County

“At the beginning of the course I was actually struggling with the direction of my future,” said one course participant. “This course provided me with some very valuable insight and thought processes to empower me to be a better leader. The best part was today at lunch, a colleague mentioned that I was somber, and she didn’t like it. I simply told her that I do not see a need to get worked up over some things. This course has helped me to mature as leader.”

Congratulations to all these individuals who completed the program. To learn more about the Academy, click here. Registration for the next cohort is now open.


MAC interns end year with ‘modeling gig’

We said goodbye this month to our 2021-22 interns, Noah Peterson and Will Hansen, but not before assigning them one final task: modeling our new “83” brand T-shirt that soon will be on sale at MAC’s Lansing offices and MAC conferences.

If you are interested in an “83” shirt, send an email to dozier@micounties.org.


Free MDHHS webinar to focus on crisis response

A May 24 webinar, part of the Interdisciplinary Partnership Series led by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), will focus on crisis response collaboration efforts within the state of Michigan. Representatives from MCOLES, MDHHS, the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice, CIT International and The Cardinal Group II will share information related to crisis response partnerships, associated data and information and training opportunities for first responders, law enforcement and behavioral health staff.

The webinar, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., is free through MDHHS.

To register, go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1479027180761863696.

For information, contact J. Eric Waddell at jericwaddell@thecardinalgroup2.com.


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