Podcast 83 is a regular look at the news, stories and trends related to Michigan’s 83 counties from Keweenaw to Monroe, Chippewa to Berrien.
Hosted by MAC Executive Director Stephan Currie, the podcast features:
Regular reports from MAC staff on legislative activities
Updates and opportunities through MAC services
Happenings from across Michigan’s 83 counties
Episode 1 – released 8/24/18
Host: Stephan Currie
Guests: Deena Bosworth, MAC; Meghann Keit, MAC
Topics: Raise the Age legislation (1:00 mark); Indigent Defense (5:40); Personal Property Tax (7:05); Property Assessment Rules (14:42)
Posted in Uncategorized
Michigan counties will receive $221.4 million in revenue sharing payments from the state via a fiscal 2019 budget bill approved by a legislative conference committee this week. The full Legislature is expected to approve the plan next week and send to Gov. Rick Snyder.
The fiscal 2019 figure will be $1.3 million higher than the FY18 number.
“These figures have been unsettled for weeks,” said Deena Bosworth, MAC’s director of governmental affairs. “It’s important to remember the debate started in Lansing this year with the governor proposing a 1 percent cut from FY18 levels. We are now leaving the Legislature with a 0.5 percent increase, relative to FY18.
“On behalf of our members, we extend our appreciation to the members of the Appropriations Committees in both chambers for making this the fourth consecutive budget year with an increase in revenue sharing payments,” Bosworth added.
Built into the revenue sharing figures is a $1 million in one-time appropriation that counties are directed to use toward pension or OPEB obligations or debt.
Antrim, Keweenaw and Mackinac counties return to the formula in FY19 with partial-year payments. That leaves only Emmet and Leelanau still drawing from their Revenue Sharing Reserve Funds that began in 2004 as counties pulled ahead local property tax revenue in an agreement with the state to provide significant state budget relief by temporarily ending revenue sharing payments.
“We are pleased, obviously, that the Legislature has again increased the amount,” said Stephan Currie, MAC’s executive director. “However, as our members know all too well, the money committed is not nearly enough to cover the mandates the state has placed on counties for local public services. MAC will continue to educate legislators on that point and build on the momentum we have gained in recent years.”
In additional budget news:
Health, Human Services, Courts
County hold harmless on foster care agency per diem is retained, which is an $8 million savings for counties. The budget implementation bill (SB 988) that is likely to pass next week will eliminate the sunset on the county hold harmless.
$5.5 million for administrative rate payments and $9.9 million in per-diem payments for unlicensed relative foster care providers per the Glisson federal court decision.
Boilerplate language to require the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to maintain the federal foster care appeals process in place as of Sept. 30, 2017, rather than the DHHS proposed policy to remove ability for locals to formally appeal.
$4.5 million general fund (GF) increase for essential local public health services and $4.4 million from the General Fund for emerging public health threats.
$5.5 million GFT for non-Medicaid mental health services to hold harmless Community Mental Health agencies (CMHs) that may be hurt by the new FY19 GF funding formula.
$11 million GF increase for growth in caseload for Healthy Michigan plan mental health services and substance use disorder services.
Section 298 language was removed that would have allowed Medicaid Health Plans in the pilot regions to receive all the Medicaid funds without contracting with the CMH in that pilot community.
$750,000 in a one-time increase specialty court grant.
$700,000 retained to comply with the juvenile lifer without parole court decision. The executive budget removed this, which would have shifted cost to counties. Legislators later revised the recommendation to include the funds.
Additional $121.3 million to local road agencies, bringing total local road agency funding to $1.37 billion for fiscal 2019. County road agencies will receive $77.9 million of the increase.
$300 million in one-time GF distributions to road agencies, of which counties will receive $117.3 million. This yields a combined increase of $195.2 million year-over-year for county roads.
Additional $2.5 million for local transit operating costs to the 81 local public transit agencies.
Additional $525,700 for grants to eligible county fairs, shows and expositions.
Each summer, MAC offers a series of one-day “mini conferences” at key locations around Michigan. These are designed for busy commissioners and administrators and include intensive briefings on trending issues in county governance.
This year’s schedule and locations are:
June 6: Escanaba, Quality Inn
June 11: Grand Rapids, Crowne Plaza on 28th Street
June 18: Gaylord, Treetops Resort
July 23: Frankenmuth, Bavarian Inn
Each summit starts at 9 a.m. and finishes at 3 p.m. Cost is $25 and includes snacks and a lunch. CLICK HERE to register.
Topics this year are wide-ranging, offering something of interest to every county and commissioner:
Tips for Running Efficient, Effective Meetings (all sites)
Time is a precious resource, especially for elected officials. Each minute spent in an unproductive meeting is a lost minute of community outreach and engagement. Fortunately, there are tips and tricks to running an efficient and productive meeting, helping lead to optimal governance. In this session, learn about ways to handle unexpected scenarios at a county meeting, as well as best practices for chairs and vice chairs. With solid objectives, a tight agenda, and a commitment to preparation, you will be well on your way to chairing great meetings. (This session is part of MAC’s “Better Commissioner” program of continuing education for county officials.)
Managing Liability and Risks in County Government (all
An attorney working with the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority, the largest provider of property and casualty insurance to counties in Michigan, will give an overview of best practices and points to consider on sexual harassment in the workplace and how public leaders can combat it.
The Mechanics of Millage Elections (all sites)
In this session, attendees will learn from Grassroots Midwest, a Lansing-based consulting firm, on the five key elements of a successful millage or bond proposal:
-Define the needs of the community
-Craft the core message
-Develop a media/communications campaign
-Contact/educate relevant stakeholders
-Get out the vote
Grassroots specializes in strategic planning to assist associations, municipalities and corporations organize and manage contact with policymakers, interest groups and voters. (This session is part of MAC’s “Better Commissioner” program of continuing education for county officials.)
The Issues of a Statewide Septic Code (all sites)
Michigan’s groundwater, rivers, lakes and streams are vulnerable to E. coli, in many cases due to failing on-site sewage treatment systems. Many counties have programs to address the inspection and the integrity of the septic tanks, but many do not. Bills in the Legislature would enact a statewide system for the approval and evaluation of these on-site sewage treatment systems. This presentation will discuss the environmental and health problems associated with the failure of these systems and the potential solutions for addressing the shortfalls.
Broadband Policies and Rural Michigan (Escanaba and
This session will focus on rural development with an emphasis on rural connectivity. Due to the natural barriers that exist in our rural areas, access to services such as rural broadband presents an uphill challenge to our rural communities in retaining and attract businesses to create vibrant economies. Learn about ideas and ongoing initiatives and programs that may be available to help local communities be part of the global economy.
Building a Better Community “Habitat” (Grand Rapids and
Habitat Oakland County teamed up with a local partnership from the church community, the chamber of commerce, a local marketing business and schools to create a community-based service project. In this session, learn from representatives on how they worked to obtain foreclosed properties and renovate them, thereby leading to higher property values and healthier neighborhoods. Presenters also will explain how any community can use their collaboration model to create a better “habitat.”