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.

2017 Edition of Local Agency Programs Guidelines for Geometrics On Local Agency Projects

The MDOT Local Agency Program (LAP) has posted the 2017 Edition of the Guidelines for Geometrics on Local Agency Projects, as approved by FHWA and replacing the 2014 Edition. A summary of major changes is posted on page A-3 of the 2017 Edition for a quick reference. Designers are encouraged to become familiar with the new Guidelines as they will apply to all Local Agency Projects submitted for funding, beginning with Fiscal Year 2018 funds

The MDOT 2017 LAP Guidelines for Geometrics is posted on the LAP website and can be found by clicking here.

Please feel free to contact Mark Harbison, PE, Urban Program Manager, at 517-335-2744 or by email at harbisonm@michigan.gov with additional questions.

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.

 

Save the Date: 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.

A full agenda and registration information will be be coming soon. For additional information about hotel reservations, contacts and presentations, please click here for the Save the Date flyer.

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.

State Budget Signed By Governor

The Governor affixed his signature at the end of last week to the omnibus state budget bill.  This bill (HB 4323) includes a 2.5% ($6.2 million) increase to statutory revenue sharing. This spreadsheet from the House Fiscal Agency outlines the expected revenue sharing payments for each municipality based upon this increase.  These new dollars will flow strictly to communities that received a CVTRS payment in the current year and will be distributed to those units on a per capita basis.  Constitutional payments are expected to grow by approximately $40 million in the coming year, subject to actual state sales tax collections.

http://house.michigan.gov/hfa/PDF/Revenue_Forecast/CVT_Revenue_Sharing_Payments_FY16thruFY18_Conference_Report.pdf.

In addition to this welcome increase in revenue sharing, the budget also includes an increase above the Governor’s original proposal to fire protections grant funding of $1.4 million.  While not as high as the supplemental, one-time increase in the current year’s budget, this will be the second year in a row where fire protection grant funding has been higher than the baseline recommendation.  State PILT payments for purchased lands will also see a slight increase in this new budget.  The budget estimates $4 million in revenue coming in from the new medical marijuana law that will be distributed as grants to local units of government.  A new grant program has $500,000 available within Treasury that will provide reimbursements to local units that implement a financial data analytic tool.  Project Rising Tide will receive an additional $2 million to expand beyond the current 10 communities in that program.  The Michigan Enhancement Grant program will receive nearly $36 million to fund 20 projects in communities around the state.  Within the MDOT portion of the budget, an additional $49 million is anticipated being distributed from the MTF to cities and villages, along with additional revenue appropriated to transit and the TEDF.

From a broader level, the budget deposits another $150 million into the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund and $35 million into the Governor’s new Michigan Infrastructure Fund.

Supplemental budget language was added for the current (FY16-17) budget, as well. The Ambulance Quality Assurance Assessment Program (QAAP tax) was eliminated from the current year budget, but language allowing for its inclusion in the coming budget was retained, though it was amended in an attempt to tighten the revenue base upon which this new tax could be assessed.  Efforts will continue to keep DHHS from implementing this new tax and repealing the language in the Public Health Code.

New funding has been added to the current budget year aimed at providing reimbursement dollars for the under-development local Indigent Defense Commission standards to the tune of $5 million.  As these plans continue to be finalized within each county, the picture will become clearer as to how much more will need to be appropriated for full implementation of those plans.

New funding was also included in this supplemental section for the newly created Municipal Wetland Alliance for wetland mitigation banks ($3.9M) and for a Regional Infrastructure Asset Management Pilot ($2M), both of which could benefit communities around the state.

The Governor’s line item vetoes focused mainly on education or human services program additions and did not impact any of the items referenced above.  The new budget goes into effect on October 1, 2017.

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

Legislature Moves Into Summer Recess

The Legislature took a break from their summer break last week to return to session for one day (July 12th) to finalize action on a few bills.  Highlighting this one-day session was the Good Jobs for Michigan economic development bill package (SBs 242-244).  The proposal would incent a business to bring in large numbers of new jobs to the state by locating a new company in Michigan.  These bills are being pushed heavily by Governor Snyder and are supported by a broad coalition, including MML.  The Governor is pointing at these bills as a necessary tool to attract larger business investment projects (like the FoxConn flat screen manufacturing facility being discussed in the media), where Michigan is competing against other states that all offer some sort of tax or job creation incentive.  The bills were approved by large margins in both the House and Senate and are on the Governor’s desk where he is expected to sign them in the coming days.

Also during session on the 12th, two more bills were finalized that the League had been engaged in…Senate Bill 332 corrected a technical oversight from a change that occurred at the end of 2016 to medical waiver requirements for drivers of commercial motor vehicles. This year-end law change created an unintended negative impact on licensure requirements for municipal employees necessitating SB 332.  The language we supported in this bill will restore municipal employment licensing requirements and mirror the state law more closely to the federal guidelines for allowable exemptions. Another bill requiring our involvement is House Bill 4160.  This bill finished its winding way through the legislative process as a piece of legislation attempting to address the recent Attorney General opinion prohibiting non-profit organizations from fund-raising within road rights-of-way.  HB 4160 went through multiple proposed versions and saw MML’s position move from support, to opposition, to the eventual hold-our-nose neutrality.  SB 332 is on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature while HB 4160 has yet to be presented to Governor.

With last Wednesday’s session activity complete, the House and Senate are now back on recess, not expected to officially return for voting until September, following Labor Day.

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

Federal Budget: Fight the Cuts Toolkit, Take Action Now

The Fiscal Year 2018 budget process continued this May with the release of the administration’s full budget proposal. The proposal, which cuts more than $54 billion in funding for domestic programs that communities rely on, would have major consequences for every city and village in Michigan – regardless of size, location or economic outlook. The administration’s proposal is just the starting point. Congress is currently working to draft their budget and appropriations bills. Now is the time for leaders across this state to come together and send a unified message to Congress that we need a partner who understands the impact of continued federal investment in communities.

We are proud to be working with the National League of Cites to provide you with a Toolkit that includes the following:

The Michigan Municipal League, in partnership with the National League of Cities, is prepared to fight every step of the way — but we’re going to need your help. Use this action guide to learn how the proposed budget cuts could impact your community and how you can advocate for continued federal investments.

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.

Track Federal Funding for Programs Important to Cities and Villages

In its Fiscal Year 2018 budget plan, the administration proposed an unprecedented $54 billion in cuts to federal funding for domestic programs important to cities and towns. Since then, members of the House Appropriations Committee have met to debate funding levels to agencies and specific programs, with some important changes.

As of Monday, July 17, the Committee has finished work on half of the twelve appropriations bills needed to fully fund the federal government. We are very please that  funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was fully restored. The Committee trimmed CDBG funding by $100 million, down to $2.9 billion, which is a drastic reversal from the complete elimination the administration suggested. Other areas of concern still remain though as TIGER grants continue to face complete elimination.

Through our ongoing partnership with the Nation League of Cites they have put together a Federal Budget Tracker for FY18 that takes a detailed look at some of the most important federal programs to cities, and the current state of play for their funding.To learn more on each spending bill please click Federal Budget FY18 Budget Tracker.

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.

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.