Legislative Update 7-2-21

Legislature leaves unsettled FY22 budget as summer begins

The Michigan House and Senate came together on a small piece of the budget this week — unfortunately not one that includes revenue sharing payments for counties or an additional $110 million for nursing facilities. All that the Senate and House could agree on prior to a July 1 deadline for delivering an FY22 state budget, was a bipartisan deal to close per pupil foundational allowance gap so each school will see a $8,700 per pupil base amount.

That leaves the bulk of the FY22 budget bills for all state departments and agencies, higher education and community colleges still to come. Still to be addressed are billions in federal coronavirus relief dollars for the current and upcoming fiscal years, as legislators head back to their districts, with only a handful of legislative session days scheduled between now and Labor Day.

The School Aid Fund budget cleared the Senate 33-1 and the House 106-3. The governor commended the Legislature on this action.

Due to the delay on the rest of the budget agreements, the Legislature formally missed the new statutory deadline to present a budget to the governor on or before that date; however, there is no real penalty in the statute for missing it. That means the traditional deadline is in play, which is on the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Jackson) told the Gongwer News Service that work to complete the new fiscal year budget will likely take until late summer and he plans on the Senate returning to the Capitol in August.

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


Registration is now open for 2021 Michigan Counties Annual Conference

The Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) and Michigan County Medical Care Facilities Council (MCMCFC) are pleased to welcome attendees back to in-person events for the 2021 Michigan Counties Annual Conference held on Mackinac Island from Sept. 26-28. The event will provide attendees with trending policy briefings, networking with colleagues and specialized breakouts designed for MCMCFC members to earn Continuing Education credits.

The Annual Conference will feature:

  • Three plenary sessions with state newsmakers and reports on MAC activities (speakers will be announced soon)
  • 12 breakout sessions for MAC members and 4 workshops for MCMCFC members
  • A Welcome Reception on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 26, sponsored by CoProPlus
  • A lavish President’s Banquet on the night of Monday, Sept. 27
  • Plenty of free time in the afternoons for attendees to enjoy Mackinac Island or just relax

To begin your registration, for more details on events and for updates on conference speakers and presentations, please visit the event page on MAC’s website.

If you register by Aug. 18, the member rate for the entire conference is just $375. The member rate is open to all county commissioners, administrators, countywide elected officials and county employees of MAC member counties, plus employees and board members of MCMCFC facilities.

MAC and MCMCFC also secured highly competitive room rates that begin at $205 per person for double occupancy. All room reservations must be made via Grand Hotel’s digital portal found on this page. The room block deadline is Aug. 26.


UP legislator files MAC-backed bills for local tourism tax

Two bills were introduced this week to help local communities deal with providing increased public safety measures specific to exponential increases in tourism. Several regions across the state, not just Northern Michigan, are draining their taxpayer public safety funds to take care of large increases in tourism in their areas that require increased police road patrols, search and rescue missions, patrolling of municipal campgrounds, etc.

House Bills 5172-73, by Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette), allows all 83 Michigan counties to put a local excise tax on a ballot for voter approval of a 3 percent local excise tax on transient housing, the proceeds of which can only be used for increased funding for public safety. Transient housing will include hotels, motels and short-term rentals. 

Hotels in the Upper Peninsula are currently being taxed 11 percent, with 5 percent going to the state, 5 percent going to local convention and visitor bureaus, 1 percent going to the UP-wide Convention and Visitor Bureau Fund and nothing going to local communities to help manage tourists.

This issue is one of MAC’s legislative priorities this year. We are working to engage our members and legislators for support. Many counties in Michigan are draining their taxpayer public safety funds because of large increases in tourism to ensure both residents and tourists are safe. Michigan does not allow a local taxing authority, as is found in many other states, so it is necessary for the Legislature to allow Michigan counties to tax transient housing in their communities.

MAC asks counties to add their voices to this effort by passing resolutions of support. Please see a sample resolution here. If you pass such a resolution, please send a copy to Hannah Sweeney at sweeney@micounties.org.

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


June edition of Michigan Counties now in the mail

County commissioners across the state should know be receiving the June edition of MAC’s bimonthly magazine, Michigan Counties. This edition focuses on federal American Rescue Plan funds and the ongoing threats to county property tax revenues.

Also in the June edition, learn about the considerable resources available to counties for cybersecurity and how Midland County is using map technology to help honor its military veterans.

For those who do not receive a complimentary magazine in the mail, you may enjoy the digital version at this link.

If you are a county commissioner and not receiving Michigan Counties in the mail, contact Derek Melot at melot@micounties.org.


Infrastructure is focus of Podcast 83 interview

In the first of a special series of interview episodes for the summer, Podcast 83 welcomes Jessica Jennings of the National Association of Counties to discuss infrastructure spending and federal aid.

The taped episode, released June 28, is available for on-demand viewing at this link.

Jessica Jennings serves as associate legislative director for transportation and infrastructure. In this role, Jessica staffs NACo’s Transportation Policy Steering Committee and works with county officials from across the nation to set organizational priorities and policies for transportation and infrastructure issues that affect local governments.

Next up in the Podcast 83 interview series is Eric Lupher, president of the nonprofit Citizens Research Council of Michigan. His discussion with MAC Governmental Affairs Director Deena Bosworth will be released on July 12.

All video episodes of Podcast 83 in 2021 are now available on MAC’s YouTube channel for on-demand viewing.


MAC offices to close for holiday; Legislative Update will skip July 9

MAC’s Lansing offices will be closed on Monday, July 5 to observe the Independence Day holiday. Normal office hours will resume at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6.

Also, MAC’s weekly Legislative Update email will not be published on July 9. It will resume its weekly schedule on July 16.


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