Governor Signs Fix for Local Candidate Filings

Governor Snyder signed House Bill 4892 (Chatfield) on Monday morning, just in time for the affected communities to print and prepare their November ballots for mailing.

Now known as Public Act 118 of 2017, HB 4892 will allow any community that inadvertently followed candidate filing deadlines outlined within their charter, as opposed to the uniform filing date established within Michigan election law (15th Tuesday prior to the election), to place all otherwise eligible candidates back on the November ballot.

One provision was added to this bill in the House that differentiates this language from a similar fix that was done in 2015 for the city of Flint.  The House amendment now includes a $2500 penalty/reimbursement of costs for any community that utilizes this extension in 2017 and adds a $5000 penalty for any community that misses the state filing deadline in the future.

The League worked with the cities of Sault Ste Marie and Tecumseh to develop the original language in HB 4892 (and the companion SB 526-Schmidt) and move the bill through both the House and Senate in a matter of weeks to ensure implementation in time to meet federal ballot deadlines for military and overseas voters.

The League will continue working with member communities, the Legislature and the Secretary of State to guard against similar situations occurring in the future.

Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and chackbarth@mml.org.

House Moves Bill To Correct Local Candidate Filing Deadline Errors

The League's Chris Hackbarth (center) testifies in Lansing Wednesday along with Sault Ste. Marie City Manager Oliver Turner (left) and Tecumseh City Manager Dan Swallow (right).

The League’s Chris Hackbarth (center) testifies in Lansing Wednesday along with Sault Ste. Marie City Manager Oliver Turner (left) and Tecumseh City Manager Dan Swallow (right).

The Michigan House voted 92-13 on Wednesday afternoon to send the League-supported House Bill 4892 (Chatfield) over to the Senate for their consideration.  The bill had moved out of the House Elections & Ethics committee earlier Wednesday morning and is on a tight schedule for completion in order to be effective during the current election cycle.  This bill provides an avenue for local candidates, who relied on incorrect filing deadline information and were subsequently prevented from appearing on the upcoming November election ballot, to have the filing deadline extended to include their names.  Officials from the cities of Sault Ste. Marie and Tecumseh were in Lansing to testify with the MML and their local State Representatives, Rep. Lee Chatfield and Rep. Bronna Kahle, in support of the bill.

Recent situations in these two communities brought this issue to the forefront when they discovered that their city charter deadline provisions were no longer in compliance with recent state law changes.

Rep. Lee Chatfield meets with Sault Ste. Marie City Manager Oliver Turner and City Clerk Robin Troyer in Lansing Wednesday.

State Rep. Lee Chatfield (right) meets with Sault Ste. Marie City Manager Oliver Turner and City Clerk Robin Troyer in Lansing Wednesday.

Legislation passed in late 2012 moved all candidate filings from the 12th week prior to the election back three weeks to the 15th week prior to the election.

Officials in these two communities -Tecumseh and Sault Ste. Marie – realized this discrepancy too late and a number of candidates for city council and mayor were precluded from appearing on the ballot. In working with their local legislators and the League, we were able to craft language in HB 4892 (duplicated in SB 526-Schmidt) that is a mirror image to what was done in 2015 when the City of Flint encountered a similar situation and needed a change in the state election law to get that city’s mayoral candidates back on the ballot. Today’s action moves the bill forward as a way to allow a community that utilized an incorrect filing deadline to work with the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections to accommodate those candidates that otherwise would have qualified for the November ballot.

Swift action is needed in the Legislature to ensure that all ballots are printed and military and overseas ballots are mailed by September 23rd.

The Michigan Municipal League will be working to get the bill brought up and acted upon next week in the Michigan Senate.

Communities utilizing filing deadline or other election dates within their charter need to be aware of state election law changes and make the necessary adjustments to their internal processes or charter amendments to protect themselves from encountering this same issue.  The Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections publishes an election calendar each year with all of the relevant filing and election process dates outlined. Communities are encouraged by the Bureau to track these dates closely to avoid being out of compliance with state law.

The League will be working with the Bureau of Elections and the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks as we move forward from HB 4892 to promote a more robust level of communication and education on key election deadlines and law changes.

Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and chackbarth@mml.org.

Full Agenda Released for Transportation Asset Management Council’s Fall Conference

Michigan’s Transportation Asset Management Council will be having their annual fall conference in Marquette on October 5th.This conference presents critical information for League members and we encourage all of those that are able to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.

The full agenda and registration information has been released and can be found here. Additional information about hotel reservations is also provided.

John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State and Federal Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

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.

MSP Announces Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Opportunity

Attached is the official Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) announcement for the open application period for two Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mitigation grant programs for FY 2017.  This funding announcement includes the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program and the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Program.  Both of these FEMA hazard mitigation grant programs are now under one umbrella known as Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA).  FEMA has unified all of the mitigation grant programs under one set of guidance documents.  The two guidance documents (linked below) are dated 2015 because there have been no changes to the guidance since last year.

The information contained in the announcement below include limited time lines and requires a timely response.

Deadlines:
· NOIs must be submitted to the MSP/EMHSD by no later than September 1, 2017.
· eGrants applications (initial draft) are due to the MSP/EMHSD for review by October 13, 2017.
· After review and revision, eGrants applications are due to FEMA by November 14, 2017.

HMA funds can be used for the implementation of hazard mitigation projects as well as the development or update of local hazard mitigation plans.  Many of the FEMA approved local mitigation plans across Michigan will be expiring within the next two years.  The available HMA funding offers an excellent opportunity for communities to use grant dollars to update their local hazard mitigation plans.

IB 17-01 – HMA Funds Available
HMA_Guidance_022715_508
HMA_Addendum_022715_508

Joel Pepper
Asst. State Hazard Mitigation Officer
Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division
Michigan State Police
TX: 517-284-3955

Physical Address:
7150 Harris Drive
Dimondale, Michigan 48821

Mailing Address:
PO Box #30634
Lansing, Michigan  48909

 

Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and chackbarth@mml.org.

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.

Rural STP obligation balance at $19.5 million: Complete biddable packages must be received by August 1!

Local road agencies should be aware that the Rural STP balance is unusually high for this time of year. As of June 27, approximately $19.5 million of local rural obligation authority remains. With the August redistribution right around the corner.

This total includes about $4 million in bid savings on projects already let.

Please submit projects promptly. The RTF Program’s new policy is that all complete biddable packages received by August 1 will be funded.

It is very important that locals spend the full amount of the STP, as only 5 percent may be carried over – about $2 million for this year. If you can identify federal aid projects that could be let this year, your next step will be to identify obligation authority – whether in your own Rural Task Force or another.

If you will not spend your remaining STP obligation dollars, please notify your entire RTF immediately, as well as your planner. We are hopeful that other county and local road agencies have projects that could spend down the funds.

Click here to see the most recent (June 26) spreadsheet that shows obligation remaining (“Unsub Amt”) in the various RTFs. This data will also soon be posted on MDOT’s Local Agency Programs web page.

MDOT cautions the figures are not perfect, as the agency transitioned one of its financial databases earlier this year. You may wish to contact the regional planner for a RTF to determine if they truly have obligation remaining before you proceed.

Obviously, local road agencies do not wish to leave STP dollars on the table but the time is very short to get a project approved!

If you have questions on whether a project is moving forward or need to arrange additional obligation, please contact MDOT: Either Jim Sturdevant at (517) 335-2603 and sturdevant@michigan.gov; or Mark Harrison at (517) 373-2286 and harrisonm@michigan.gov. An alternate contact is Bruce Kadzban at (517) 335-2229 and kadzbanb@michigan.gov.

John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State and Federal Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

2017 METRO Maintenance Fee Sharing Payment

On June 14, 2017, the Local Community Stabilization Authority (LCSA) issued the 2017 METRO Maintenance Fee-Sharing payments to cities, villages, and townships, as required by the Metropolitan Extension Telecommunications Rights-of-Way Oversight Act (METRO), 2002 PA 48.

Total amount to be distributed $24,580,726.72
   
25% allocation (Townships) $6,145,181.85
75% allocation (Cities & Villages) $18,435,544.87
Total $24,580,726.72

Specific municipality distribution amounts can be found at the following link. 2017 METRO Payment. Should you have any questions please contact the LCSA at (517)335-5448.

John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State and Federal Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

PPT Equipment Exemption Deadline Moving

Senate Bill 359 was recently introduced in the Michigan Senate, proposing to extend the late February deadline for eligible manufacturing equipment to file for an exemption from personal property tax assessment.

The sponsor introduced this bill in an attempt to address a situation where a business within his district encountered postal issues mailing the requisite form to the local unit.  The hard deadline within the act does not allow for any exceptions, necessitating an amendment to the act to provide an extension of the deadline.  As reported from committee, SB 359 would mimic the extension that occurred in 2016, allowing businesses with eligible manufacturing personal property to file for the exemption on that property by May 31st of this year.

With Senate floor action expected this week, House action would be needed next week for the bill to get to the Governor and allow any time for businesses to actually file under this extension.  Such a narrow window will hopefully result in very few new filings and little disruption at the local level.

Treasury also testified that this extension will likely require the October local unit PPT reimbursement checks be delayed until November, similar to what took place last year. A separate bill is being introduced this week and will likely be voted on next week in Senate committee for this purpose.  The bill sponsor did commit, in his committee testimony, to work with MML and Treasury on a mechanism that could be added to the act to allow for local corrections to filing issues or mailing delays so that there will no longer be a need to amend the law for the whole state to address a correction in one community.  This discussion will likely occur later this spring, with legislation to follow.

Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and chackbarth@mml.org.