Michigan Rural Task Force Conference

MDOT is pleased to announce the first annual Michigan Rural Task Force Conference. The conference will be held in Mt. Pleasant at the Comfort Inn located at 2424 S. Mission, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 on Thursday, March 30, 2017 beginning at 1:00 pm.

Please click on the following link for the conference agenda. RTF Conference 2017 Agenda

To attend please RSVP to Anna Swanson; swansona1@michigan.gov  no later than March 23, 2017. If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Pamela Boyd (517) 335-2803; boydp1@michigan.gov, or Andy Brush (517) 335-2534; brusha@michigan.gov.

For hotel information please click here.

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.

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.

House Committee Reports Bill Eliminating State Income Tax

 

A plan to eliminate the state’s income tax was voted out of a House committee Wednesday morning. The first full fiscal year impact of this plan would reduce the state’s General Fund by over $1.1 billion, or roughly 10%.  The Michigan Municipal League is actively opposed to this proposal as it could jeopardize the essential services that Michigan citizens rely on, such as police and fire protection, schools and roads.

We need your help to oppose this bill by contacting your State Representatives and letting them know how this proposal will hurt your community and their constituents.

The House Tax Policy committee reported House Bill 4001, a complete repeal of Michigan’s 4.25% personal income tax.  The state income tax brings in more than $9 billion towards the FY16-17 state budget…about 70% of the state’s current $10.8 billion General Fund and more than 20% of the $12.6 billion School Aid Fund.  While the bill would phase out the income tax by .1% per year over about 40 years, the initial reduction would move the rate to 3.9% on January 1, 2018.  The first full, fiscal year impact of over $1.1 billion would occur in FY18-19.

Supporters in committee cited the state’s current estimated budget surplus and previous statutory changes lowering the rate to 3.9% that were never implemented as reasons to move this bill.  It is expected that the House majority will propose an alternative to the Governor’s recommended budget that will reflect the cuts necessary to achieve the reductions that this change would require.

When a similar conversation took place in Lansing in 2015 as part of the road funding debate, MML commissioned a report to examine the impact of a proposed $350-700 million diversion of GF/GP dollars towards road funding would mean to the rest of the state’s budget.  The results of that analysis were not pretty and those same concerns hold true today…items of direct interest to municipalities like revenue sharing, PPT reimbursement dollars, PILT payments, fire protection grants, distressed community grants, and community development funding were all identified as programs that would be at risk in a scenario where the state General Fund undergoes this type of reduction. In addition, the final product of the road funding deal, which obligates an eventual $600 million of income tax dollars will never be able to be met if the income tax is eliminated.

Following opposition from the State Treasurer, the education community and the MI League for Public Policy, the MML joined in testimony against this proposal, urging the committee to consider the budget consequences of such a reduction.

Michigan’s broken fiscal model for local governments simply will not allow for any additional cuts to state support for municipalities.  The League continues to advocate for full restoration of revenue sharing.  This proposal would eliminate any ability for that reinvestment to occur.  While the legislature may view this as a policy debate, a decision of this magnitude will have real-life consequences for every resident of this state.

The bill passed committee on a 7-4 party line vote, with two Republican members abstaining.  It is very likely that the full House will move on this bill quickly now that it is on the floor, possibly ahead of any matching alternative budget proposal.  Please contact your State Representative today and let them know of your concerns about how such a drastic reduction in state revenues will impact the residents and services in your community.

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

 

Legislative Committee Orientation Event at Capitol Teaches Ins and Outs of State Politics

League staff John LaMacchia and Chris Hackbarth at the Legislative Committee Kick-Off Orientation Thursday.

League staff John LaMacchia and Chris Hackbarth at the Legislative Committee Kick-Off Orientation Thursday.

(View more photos here)

About 60 local municipal officials from throughout the state were at the state Capitol Thursday in Lansing for the Michigan Municipal League’s Legislative Committee Kick-Off Orientation. The first-time event for the League was highly successful as members from the League’s various legislative policy committees heard from state lawmakers, League staff and communications experts.

The League makes policy decisions based on the input from its five League policy committees that are broken into topics – energy, environment and technology (chaired by Brighton City Manager Nate Geinzer); land use and economic development (chaired by Lake Isabella Village Manager Tim Wolff); municipal finance (chaired by Howell City Manager Shea Charles); municipal services (chaired by Novi City Manager Pete Auger); and transportation infrastructure (chaired by Farmington Hills Public Services Director Gary Mekjian).

The event was hosted by State Rep. Dan Lauwers in the Speakers Library in the Capitol across the street from the League’s Lansing office. Lauwers welcomed the group to the Capitol and was followed by League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin who thanked the members for their services on the policy committees and explained how important their work is to the League’s success as an organization.

State legislators speak at the Legislative Committee Kick-Off Orientation Thursday.

State legislators Rep. Christine Greig, Rep. James Lower and Sen. Ken Horn speak at the Legislative Committee Kick-Off Orientation Thursday. Kyle Melinn (left), co-owner of MIRS News Service, was moderator of the panel discussion.

Other event speakers were League staff members Chris Hackbarth, director of state and federal affairs; John LaMacchia, assistant director of state and federal affairs; Jennifer Rigterink, legislative associated; Emily Kieliszewski, member engagement specialist; and Shanna Draheim, policy director. There was also a panel discussion moderated by Kyle Melinn, news editor and co-owner of Michigan Information and Research Service (MIRS) and featuring State Rep. Christine Greig, House Democratic Floor Leader; State Rep. James Lower; and State Sen. Ken Horn.

Local officials listen to a presentation at the Legislative Committee Kick-Off Orientation Thursday.

Local officials listen to a presentation at the Legislative Committee Kick-Off Orientation Thursday.

Policy committee members from throughout the state attended representing the following communities: Village of Beverly Hills, City of Novi, City of Flushing, City of Gibraltar, City of Wyoming, Village of Copemish, City of Dexter, City of Center Line, City of Howell, City of Southgate, City of Grosse Pointe, Village of Chesaning, City of Livonia, City of Taylor,
City of Brighton, City of Charlotte, City of Westland, City of Woodhaven, City of Springfield, City of Dearborn Heights, City of Ann Arbor, Village of Mendon, City of Grand Blanc, City of Menominee, City of Midland, City of Berkley, City of St. Clair Shores, Village of St. Charles, City of Ovid, City of Monroe, City of Ann Arbor, City of Hazel Park, City of Douglas, City of Farmington Hills, City of Mt. Pleasant, City of Hamtramck, City of Alma, City of Hastings, City of Farmington Hills, City of Grandville, City of Dexter, City of Adrian, City of Rochester Hills, City of Orchard Lake, City of Cadillac, City of Rochester
City of Plymouth, City of Wayne, Village of Cassopolis, City of Dexter, City of Milan, City of Midland, Village of Sparta, City of Alpena, City of Saline, City of Gladstone, City of East Lansing, City of Clio, Village of Lake Isabella, Village of Blissfield, and Village of Quincy.

Dusty Fancher and Dave Waymire speak at the Legislative Committee Kick-Off Orientation Thursday.

Dusty Fancher and Dave Waymire speak at the Legislative Committee Kick-Off Orientation Thursday.

After lunch, the group heard about communications, public relations and the insider’s guide to lobbying from Dave Waymire, partner at Martin Waymire; and Dusty Fancher, partner with Midwest Strategy Group.

To learn about the latest legislative issues involving Michgian’s communities, subscribe to the League’s Inside 208 blog here: http://blogs.mml.org/wp/inside208/ (view subscribe box on right side of page). Learn more about the League’s policy committees here: http://www.mml.org/advocacy/committee/index.html. View additional photos from the event here.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org and 734-669-6317.

Governor Appoints Task Force on Legacy Costs

Governor Snyder’s office issued a release yesterday announcing his appointments to a municipal retirement benefits reform task force he alluded to during his recent State of the State address.  The 23-member task force includes representation from MML, MTA and MAC, along with representatives from a number of labor groups, legislators from each caucus in the House and Senate, health care and retirement system experts, among others.

The Task Force on Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government has been directed by the Governor to provide their recommendations later this spring.  The League views the Governor’s focus on this issue as a positive. We look forward to a fruitful and thoughtful partnership with all of the members of this task force. We are hopeful that as a group we will work toward sound fiscal policy that preserves benefits for our employees while at the same time allowing critical flexibility for communities.

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

Apply Now: Better Streets, Better Michigan Award

The Michigan Department of Transportation and the Michigan Municipal League are excited to announce the Better Streets, Better Michigan Award. This award recognizes Michigan cities and villages that have undertaken creative road projects. These projects should be aimed at improving the function and aesthetics of a busy street for a variety of transportation modes – cars, bikes, and pedestrians. Examples include road diets, complete streets projects, and similar investments within existing rights of way. The street must be one of the community’s main roadways that was primarily auto-centric at the start of the project.

The award will be judged on:

  • Employing creativity
  • Achieving a positive impact on the community’s economic development and placemaking
  • Partnering with transportation agencies and stakeholders
  • Developing a street project replicable by other communities

Projects accomplished through a team effort between a city or village and MDOT or a local or regional transportation agency are eligible to receive this award. The MDOT Performance Excellence Section will be accepting applications for the award through Feb. 15, 2017. To be eligible, a project must be substantially complete and ready for use between Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2016. The 2017 award will be announced at the Michigan Municipal Capital Conference in Lansing on March 22, 2017.

  • Better Streets, Better Michigan Award brochure.
  • Better Streets, Better Michigan Award entry form.

Submit the completed entry form in PDF format. Please note: The application system can only accept one PDF file. If you wish to include photos, they must be within the PDF file.

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.

New House Committee Membership Announced

With the kick off of the 99th Legislative Session this month, House Speaker Tom Leonard recently unveiled committee assignments for that chamber.  Of the 110 House members, 22 have backgrounds in municipal government.

A number of these former municipal officials have been appointed as chairs for the Communications & Technology, Local Government, Natural Resources, and Workforce & Talent Development committees, as well as to the vice chair position for the Appropriations committee and as chair of the General Government budget subcommittee with jurisdiction over revenue sharing.

The list below gives the name of the committee, partisan split and the last name of the committee member. Legislators with municipal background are indicated with an asterisk.

Agriculture (7-5 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Barrett, Vice Chair Alexander, Albert, Calley, Howell*, Frederick*, Lauwers

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Elder*, Kivela*, Phelps, Sabo, Sneller

Appropriations (18-11 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Cox, Vice Chair VerHeulen*, Afendoulis, Allor, Bizon, Brann, Canfield, Hernandez, Inman, Kelly, LaSata, Marino, Miller, Pagel, VanSingel, Victory, Whiteford, Yaroch*

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Durhal, Cochran, Faris, Hoadley, LaGrand*, Kosowski*, Pagan, Peterson, Rabhi, Santana, Yanez

Commerce and Trade (9-6 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Leutheuser, Vice Chair Garcia, Frederick*, Hornberger, Hughes, Iden, Kesto, McCready*, Rendon

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Schor*, Byrd, Camilleri, Cook Scott, Geiss, Greimel

Communications and Technology (7-4 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Hoitenga*, Vice Chair Griffin, Glenn, Lower*, Runestad, Sheppard, Tedder

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Phelps, Hertel, Lasinski, Jones*

Education Reform (10-5 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Kelly, Vice Chair Hornberger, Alexander, Crawford*, Garcia, Griffin, Lilly, Noble, Reilly, Roberts

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Zemke, Brinks, Camilleri, Chang, Sowerby

Elections and Ethics (6-3 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Miller, Vice Chair Calley, Garcia, Kesto, Lilly, Webber*

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Guerra, Moss*, Zemke

Energy Policy (12-7 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Glenn, Vice Chair Hauck, Barrett, Bellino, Cole, Farrington, Griffin, Johnson, LaFave, Lower*, Reilly, Tedder

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Lasinski, Camilleri, Dianda, Elder*, Garrett, Green*, Kivela*

Families, Children and Seniors (7-4 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Rendon, Vice Chair Noble, Farrington, Hughes, Kahle, McCready*, Roberts

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Liberati, Gay-Dagnogo, Ellison*, Robinson

Financial Liability Reform (6-3 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Albert, Vice Chair Reilly, Leutheuser, Lucido, Maturen, McCready*

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Wittenberg, Cook Scott, Sneller

Financial Services (5-4 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Sheppard, Vice Chair Farrington, Lilly, McCready*, VanderWall

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Gay-Dagnogo, Clemente, Green*, Zemke

Government Operations (3-2 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Chatfield, Vice Chair Lauwers, Barrett

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Singh*, Greig
Health Policy (11-6 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Vaupel, Vice Chair Tedder, Calley, Farrington, Garcia, Graves, Hauck, Hornberger, Kahle, Noble, Sheppard

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Brinks, Hammoud, Hertel, Garrett, Neeley*, Schor*

Insurance (11-6 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Theis, Vice Chair Vanderwall, Barrett, Bellino, Glenn, Hoitenga*, LaFave, Runestad, Vaupel, Webber*, Wentworth

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Banks, Gay-Dagnogo, Greimel, Lasinski, Phelps, Wittenberg

Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (3-2 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Johnson, Vice Chair Reilly, Hernandez

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Schor*, Banks

Judiciary (6-4 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Runestad, Vice Chair Theis, Cole, Hornberger, Howrylak*, LaFave

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Greimel, Guerra, Robinson, Sowerby

Law & Justice (7-5 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Kesto, Vice Chair Lucido, Albert, Graves, Howrylak*, Roberts, Theis

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Chang, Guerra, Liberati, Robinson, Wittenberg

Local Government (7-4 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Lower*, Vice Chair Crawford*, Alexander, Frederick*, Hauck, Howell*, Runestad

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Green*, Ellison*, Moss*, Sabo

Michigan Competitiveness (6-3 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Chatfield, Vice Chair Lilly, Cole, Rendon, Vaupel, Wentworth

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Geiss, Hammoud, Neeley*

Military and Veterans Affairs (8-5 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Wentworth, Vice Chair Graves, Albert, Barrett, Glenn, Hoitenga*, Hughes, Johnson

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Sabo, Brinks, Byrd, Elder*, Jones*

Natural Resources (6-3 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Howell*, Vice Chair LaFave, Bellino, Maturen, Rendon, VanderWall

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Kivela*, Chang, Sowerby

Oversight (4-2 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Graves, Vice Chair Howrylak*, Iden, Johnson

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Hertel, Chirkun*

Regulatory Reform (10-6 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Iden, Vice Chair Bellino, Crawford*, Griffin, Hauck, Hoitenga*, Leutheuser, Reilly, Theis, Webber*

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Moss*, Chirkun*, Dianda, Jones*, Liberati, Love

Tax Policy (9-4 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Tedder, Vice Chair Maturen, Howrylak*, Johnson, Kesto, Lower*, Lucido, Kahle, Vaupel

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Byrd, Hammoud, Ellison*, Neeley*

Tourism and Outdoor Recreation (3-2 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Hughes, Vice Chair VanderWall, Sheppard

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Dianda, Clemente

Transportation and Infrastructure (9-5 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Cole, Vice Chair Webber*, Alexander, Calley, Howell*, Lucido, Maturen, Noble, Roberts

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Chirkun*, Banks, Clemente, Love, Sneller

Workforce and Talent Development (6-3 GOP)

Republicans: Chair Frederick*, Vice Chair Kahle, Crawford*, Iden, Leutheuser, Wentworth

Democrats: Minority Vice Chair Love, Cook Scott, Geiss

 

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

FCC Threatens to Limit Local Land Use Authority on Wireless Siting

The National League of Cities is requesting the help of Michigan Communities.

Late last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a public notice seeking comment on two topics that could shape the future of city control over their rights-of-way. The FCC’s Wireless Bureau requested public comment on how to streamline the deployment of small wireless facilities, primarily through potential changes to local land-use ordinances, and comment generally on a petition filed by infrastructure company Mobilitie regarding local government rules and procedures.

The public notice raises several major concerns for cities. The first is that the FCC wishes to use this proceeding to reexamine the facts of the decisions made in its 2009 and 2014 rule-makings on local wireless facilities siting, questioning whether the evidence presented by local governments during those proceedings is still valid. Specifically, the notice questions the amount of time needed by local governments to process wireless siting applications for small-cell facilities, particularly when submitted in large quantities. The notice requests feedback on streamlining local regulations when similar applications are submitted as batches. The notice also questions the amount and structure of fees charged by local governments for applications and access to rights-of-way.

NLC will comment on this notice, in collaboration with other local government groups and state municipal leagues, and is calling on cities nationwide to help craft our response. Click here to provide important data on your city’s wireless facility siting process by January 27 and to request a comment template for your city to use in providing your own comment.

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.

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.

22st Annual Michigan Traffic Safety Summit Local Agency Scholarships

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is pleased to announce the availability of funds for local agency use to attend the 22st Annual Michigan Traffic Safety Summit. The Summit will be held at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Michigan, from March 21 to 23, 2017.

MDOT will provide reimbursement for local agencies to send one employee to the Summit. Expenses eligible for reimbursement include registration, lodging, meals, and mileage costs associated with attending the Summit. There is a maximum of 50 scholarships available to all municipalities, county road commissions and tribal agencies in the State of Michigan. 10 of the Scholarships will be saved for Traffic Incident Management participants.

The Summit is designed to bring together representatives from all areas of traffic safety – Enforcement, Engineering, Education, and Emergency Medical Services (the 4 E’s). The Summit presents a mix of general session speakers and breakout sessions aimed at the many areas of traffic and safety and traffic incident management.

For more information on the Summit and how to apply for reimbursement please click on the following link. Traffic Safety Summit Local Agency Scholarships

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.