Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) Publishes Compliance Plan Application, Instructions for Submission, and Sample Plans

A guide for municipalities who are the court funding unit has been developed to assist with compliance of the first four standards issued by the MIDC. The document provides instructions for determining local cost share and illustrates a sample plan.

This spring the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs approved the MIDC’s first four standards for indigent criminal defense services. Those first four standards cover training and education of counsel, the initial client interview, use of investigation and experts, and counsel at first appearance and other critical stages.

The full text of the approved standards can be found on the MIDC’s website.

The MIDC has approved several documents to assist funding units with compliance planning for MIDC Standards 1, 2, 3, and 4. The Commission has published a detailed application with instructions for completing the form, a guide for submission of compliance plans, cost analyses, and local share calculations, as well as sample plans for a variety of systems to consider. The MIDC has Regional Managers working statewide to assist with compliance planning.  Application workshops will be conducted throughout September for work group members to attend via webinar.

Every court funding unit in Michigan is required to submit a plan for compliance with the first four standards for indigent defense, along with a cost analysis, to the MIDC no later than November 20, 2017. Contact your MIDC Regional Manager for questions or further information.

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

LARA Seeking Participants for Medical Marijuana Work Groups

The Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulations (BMMR), housed within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), is seeking participants for medical marijuana stakeholder work groups. The bureau is facilitating the five stakeholder work groups to discuss and provide suggestions on regulatory topics related to the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). The five work groups, one for each license type, are:

  1. Grower
  2. Processor
  3. Safety Compliance Facility
  4. Provisioning Center
  5. Secure Transporter

The work groups will gather information only and do not take the place of the licensing board nor the advisory board as provided for in the MMFLA. The purpose is to collect input on the various regulatory topics of each work group. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, September 5, 2017. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/medicalmarihuana.

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

MI Downtown Association Seeking Nominations for MDA Awards

The Michigan Downtown Association is asking for nominations for its first annual MDA Awards. Winners will receive their awards during the MDA’s annual Statewide Michigan Downtowns Conference in Bay City, October 18-19, 2017. The deadline for award nominations is August 25 via email to info@michigandowntowns.com with “MDA Award Nominations” in the subject or post-marked letters sent to to Michigan Downtown Association, PO Box 82369, Rochester, MI 48308.

There are six award categories. Nominees for categories 1 through 5 must be MDA members and/or from MDA member communities. There is a complete list of MDA members on their web site.

  1. Best Downtown Economic Development Project Under 1 Million Dollars
  2. Best Downtown Economic Development Project Over 1 Million Dollars
  3. Best Promotions & Marketing Project/Program: Small Town Under 10,000 Population
  4. Best Promotions & Marketing Project/Program: Mid-size and Large Communities Over 10,000 Population
  5. MDA Volunteer of the Year (a volunteer activity for MDA, not in a community)
  6. Lifetime Achievement (this person does not have to be an MDA member and can be anyone for any downtown in Michigan)

Nomination Information Required for all Award Categories:

  1. Community name
  2. Name of person or project being nominated
  3. Address of project or person
  4. Contact information for project or person
  5. Name and contact information of person making the nomination
  6. Project description/why do you feel this project or person should win this award? (250 words or less and 5-6 bullet points which best summarize the project or why the project or person should receive this award)
  1. Number of full and part-time jobs created (if applicable)
  1. Total project cost
  1. Names of the primary project architect, engineer, and general contractor
  1. Age of the building/project (if applicable)
  1. Architectural style of the building (if applicable)
  1. 3-4 photos (jpgs) of the interior and 3-4 photos (jpgs) of the exterior (if applicable)

NOTE:  All Nominations must be for achievements/projects within the past 1-3 years.

For more information or questions contact Tiffany Dziurman, MDA Assistant Director, at (248) 838-9711.

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

New Legislation Seeks to Eliminate Local Control in Zoning

Last week legislation was introduced in both the House and Senate to amend the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act. The bills eliminate a local unit of government’s ability to regulate short-term rentals. House Bill 4503 and Senate Bill 329, mirror each other in language, mandating all short-term rentals are a residential use of property and a permitted use in all residential zones. The League disagrees and believes short-term rentals operated as commercial business establishments are inconsistent with residential land use. 

In many places across the state, short-term rentals are taking over once vibrant residential neighborhoods and turning them in to areas transient in nature that go dark part of the year. This is having a detrimental impact on quality of life. An overabundance of short-term rentals can potentially remove affordable homes and housing units off the market leading to decreased enrollment in neighborhood schools. If enacted, this legislation will undo regulations municipalities have put in place to negate these negative impacts and prohibit other communities from regulating in the future. 

We need your help to stop this legislation! The Michigan Realtors Association assisted in writing the bills and are aggressively pushing for quick action. They have been contacting Representatives and Senators in an attempt to say municipalities are overstepping on private property rights, prohibiting property owners from maximizing the value of their property. We know this isn’t accurate, but need you to contact your State Representative and Senator today to urge their opposition for HB 4503 and SB 329! Even if short-term rentals are not an issue in your community, you should be very concerned about the impact of preempting local zoning efforts. If enacted, this legislation would set a dangerous precedent undermining decision-making at the local level. 

Also, please contact the committee chairs where the legislation has been referred urging them to not take up the bills. HB 4503 was referred to the House Committee on Tourism & Outdoor Recreation chaired by Representative Holly Hughes. SB 329 was referred to the Senate Committee on Local Government chaired by Senator Dale Zorn.

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

House Committee Deadlocks on Physically Present to Vote Bill

Legislation that would ban elected government officials from voting remotely through Skype or conference call failed to get majority support in the House Committee on Oversight this week.

House Bill 4184 is a reintroduction of legislation which passed the House and Senate last term, but died after the House declined to vote on a Senate change. The legislation, as introduced, amends the Open Meetings Act to require an elected member of a public body be physically present to vote on an issue in order for a meeting to be considered open to the public. There is one exception that allows one remote video vote a year for a “good cause” such as a serious illness or a family member death.

The committee deadlocked 3-3 on moving the bill to the House floor when one Republican member joined the panel’s two Democrats in voting no. The vote was reconsidered and essentially tabled for the day.

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Senate OKs Brownfield Redevelopment Bills

On Wednesday the Senate passed a five-bill package (SB 111, SB 112, SB 113, SB 114 & SB 115) which would allow “transformational” redevelopment projects to capture state tax when a gap is identified between the financial viability of a development project and the cost of building that development.

The legislation requires a certain level of private investment from each project based on the population size of the community the project will be located in. The League worked closely with the bill sponsor and stakeholders to have the investment threshold lowered for the lowest population group so more communities would have the opportunity for a transformational project if the legislation is enacted.

In addition to the private investment, a project must show a net economic benefit and get approval from the local unit of government, where the project will be located, before it would be eligible for state tax capture. Only one project could be approved in a community per year, and the total tax capture the state authorizes cannot exceed $40 million per year.

The legislation now moves to the House and has been referred to the Committee on Tax Policy.

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

New MSHDA Grant to Fund Neighborhood Placemaking

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) recently announced a request for proposals (RFP) for a new “Neighborhood Enhancement Program” which provides communities an opportunity to fund placemaking projects in priority neighborhoods. MSHDA worked with the League and other statewide partners to develop the program, and they are eager to receive creative and innovative proposals in three main categories: beautification, public amenities and infrastructure enhancement. MSHDA, in the first year of this program, is interpreting those categories broadly.

Cities must work through a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to apply. Proposals are due March 15. For complete details, visit the MSHDA website.

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Proposals Sought for Beach Water Quality Monitoring Projects

Local governments and nonprofit entities now have the opportunity to apply for $200,000 in support for inland beach water quality monitoring projects. Applications are due by Feb. 28, 2017.

The funds, to be used in fiscal year 2017-2018, are available from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) under the Clean Michigan Initiative-Clean Water Fund. Local government and nonprofit entities are eligible for funding and are encouraged to apply either individually or as part of a group. Successful applicants will be required to share the resulting data with the MDEQ.

The request for proposal is available at www.michigan.gov/waterquality.  The application contains detailed instructions on developing a proposal, MDEQ funding priorities, criteria by which proposals will be evaluated, and the items that should be included with your application. 

For questions regarding the inland beach grants, please contact Shannon Briggs, Water Resources Division, at 517-284-5526, or briggss4@michigan.gov.

 

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Governor Vetos School Billboard Bill

After strong opposition from the League and working with partner organizations MTA, Scenic Michigan and Michigan Association of Planning, as well as direct member outreach, the Governor vetoed SB 953 today! This legislation would have amended the Highway Advertising Act to exempt private commercial uses from zoning when located on a school owned property .

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Update – TIF Library Opt Out Package

After a full court press by the League, working with the Michigan Downtown Association and Michigan Townships Association, all day and in to the night, Senate Bills 619-624 were taken up for a vote by the House and passed in the wee hours of this morning. The Senate then concurred the bills after going in to session at 10:00 a.m. today.

Thank you to all who contacted your Representative and encouraged your colleagues to do the same! The package of bills is now headed to the Governor. We will be asking him to look at the negative impacts this legislation has on local economic development before he decides to sign or not to sign them in to law.

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.