MAC COVID-19 Update
Podcast 83 answers your questions on COVID aid

Millions of dollars are available to counties for reimbursements for public health and safety workers and it’s important to begin filing for aid quickly, MAC Governmental Affairs Director Deena Bosworth said during the latest episode of Podcast 83 .

Bosworth and Executive Director Stephan Currie discussed the aid streams now available under Senate Bill 690, then took questions from viewers of the webinar taped on Monday.

Regarding $100 million in hazard pay for first responders, Bosworth said, “It’s available on a first come, first served basis, so those who apply first are more likely to get the money. … I don’t know how fast it will go.”

On hazard pay, a local unit can receive only a maximum of $5 million, regardless of the amount requested.
On payroll taxes associated with hazard pay, Bosworth said MAC has requested additional guidance on whether state aid will cover those costs to counties.

Bosworth noted that forms and other details can be found on the Michigan Treasury website.

A second sum, $200 million, is to help counties with public health and public safety payrolls. It will have two rounds of payments, with the first applications due by the end of this week (July 17).
If funds are left from round 1, Treasury will announce a round 2 in August.

“This can come overtime, normal leave, long-term leave, benefits … you can lump it together and apply for reimbursement,” Bosworth said. If available funds are not sufficient to claims, reimbursements will be prorated.

Podcast 83 is now sponsored by DTE Energy.

The state Treasury Department has developed a website with numbered letters, communications and resources regarding COVID-19 information for local governments and school districts. This website was created to ensure that Michigan communities have access to the most up-to-date guidance and will be updated frequently with information and resources as they become available.

For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at .
Legal memo reviews county responsibilities under EO 147

Counties would be interpreted as a “business” under Executive Order 147 issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, advises a new legal memo shared with counties.

Under the mandatory mask order, “To protect workers, shoppers, and the community, no business that is open to the public may provide service to a customer or allow a customer to enter its premises, unless the customer is wearing a face covering as required by this order.”

A memo from the firm of Cohl, Stoker and Toskey says governmental entities would fall under the business description.

Also, “ Consistent with MCL 10.33 and MCL 30.45(3), a willful violation of this Executive Order is a misdemeanor subject to a $500 criminal penalty, but no term of confinement may be imposed for a violation of Section 1 of the Executive Order.”

Upcoming events with MAC

  • Camp Counties Webinar on Election Security (July 15): Rita Reynolds of the National Association of Counties will discuss election security in a COVID environment, starting at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. To register for the event, click here.

  • Webinar on COVID Aid for Jails (July 23): Learn about options and details for gaining federal help to respond to COVID-19 in your jails during a digital Town Hall at 1:30 p.m. co-hosted by MAC, the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration. To register for the event, click here.