Legislative Update 8-26-22

Juvenile justice reform bills would boost funds for counties

Earlier this summer, the Michigan Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform released its report and recommendations, including a higher reimbursement rate for counties on certain juvenile justice services. New legislation filed this week in Lansing would bring that recommendation into law.

Rep. Sarah Lightner (R-Jackson) has introduced a set of bills to raise reimbursement rates and adopt the task force recommendation for a statewide juvenile public defense system. Her House Bills 634445 would expand the state’s indigent defense system to include juveniles, ensuring juveniles are eligible to receive these legal services. HB 6345 would expand the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission to include representatives that are experienced and knowledgeable of the juvenile justice system, making certain that the best interests of youth within the juvenile justice system are accurately and adequately represented on the commission.

MAC supports the task force’s recommendations and efforts to better care for youth in the juvenile justice system. MAC has not yet taken a position on HBs 6344-6345, as we need to ensure adequate funding is provided to counties by the state to implement the juvenile indigent defense system. Conversations between MAC, the Legislature and other stakeholders regarding these bills are expected to take place in the coming months. 

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

 

Podcast 83 unveils expanded MAC advocacy team; details need for immediate action on court fees

MAC’s Podcast 83 returned from its summer hiatus with an expanded team this week as newly hired Governmental Affairs Associates Madeline Fata and Samantha Gibson joined the broadcast with Executive Director Stephan Currie and Governmental Affairs Director Deena Bosworth.

The team discussed a looming Oct. 1 deadline to renew the authority for trial courts to impose fees, a key funding source, and the upcoming 2022 Annual Conference in Port Huron, Sept. 18-21.

Watch a video of the session here.

Previous episodes in 2022 can be seen at MAC’s YouTube Channel.

And you always can find details about Podcast 83 on the MAC website.

 

NACo sets webinar on opioids settlement for Aug. 31

Join the National Association of Counties (NACo) on Aug. 31, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern), for a webinar updating the latest news on the national opioid settlement.

Click here to register.

“Counties across the nation are on the front lines of the opioid and stimulant crisis providing essential public services. To enhance these efforts, refine approaches, fill gaps and help counties achieve their goals, NACo has partnered with the Opioid Response Network (ORN). ORN is a coalition of over 40 national organizations working to address the opioid crisis and stimulant use across all U.S. states and territories. ORN, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provides free, localized education and training in evidence-based practices for the prevention, treatment and recovery of all substance use disorders. If you are in need of on-demand technical assistance, education, or training, ORN can help.

“In this webinar you will learn how ORN works and case examples of ways in which ORN has supported communities to explore, plan and implement locally designed strategies. Not sure where to begin? ORN can help. Participants will leave this webinar with an understanding of how counties can utilize this resource to support their work.”

Visit the event page for the most up-to-date information. Questions? Contact ahurley@naco.org.

 

Ottawa County teams up with local historian to commemorate original West Michigan highway

Local historian Blaine Knoll (left) and Ottawa County Land Use Specialist Andrew Roszkowski install a new West Michigan Pike sign in Holland earlier this month. (photo: Rich Lakeberg)

The West Michigan Pike was once the premier way to travel along Michigan’s western shores. This highway running along Lake Michigan was conceived of and built during the second decade of the 20th century to accommodate the “horseless carriage,” opening up the region to tourism and the development it would bring.

Eventually, the Pike was replaced by state and U.S. highway systems and was mostly forgotten. But now, thanks to local historian Blaine Knoll, the Ottawa County Department of Strategic Impact, and Grand Haven Area Community Foundation funds, the West Michigan Pike lives again. New signs commemorating this key piece of West Michigan tourism and automotive history are being installed along the original route.

“Beginning at the Ottawa-Allegan County line, the newly marked route stays as true to the original route as possible,” said Knoll. “It winds through the southwest side of Holland, follows a series of secondary roads, part of U.S.-31, then heads through Grand Haven and into Ferrysburg.”

The effort to recognize the original historic route doesn’t end with signs. Knoll and County staff are also developing a commemorative plaque to be placed where an original Pike marker from 1916 still stands along 152nd Avenue in Olive Township.

“The plaque recognizes the last known standing marker of the West Michigan Pike Historical Route. The installation of all the concrete pikes along the route was never completed due to the everchanging roadways. Witnessing this pike’s original location is significant to the route, and we are proud to highlight it,” said Ottawa County Land Use Specialist Andrew Roszkowski. …

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