MAC COVID-19 Update
MAC ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to back direct aid to counties via 'COVID 3.5' proposal

Michigan county leaders are urged to contact their members of Congress to endorse a new funding proposal that would direct $29.5 billion directly to counties to maintain fiscal stability during the corona crisis.
The proposal would:
  • Direct the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to directly distribute $29.5 billion to counties across the country.

  • Allow the funds to be used both to replace lost revenue due to the crisis and cover expenses generated by it.
“The reports we are receiving from members have two themes – rising costs, falling revenues,” said MAC Executive Director Stephan Currie. “Public health, public safety and key business support services must be maintained in this crisis, yet our members see funds dropping.”
NACo advises this is the best possible deal for counties right now, and leverage to enact it cannot be higher. Any delay puts vital rescue funds at risk for most Michigan counties, north and south, east and west.
Click on the link below to connect to our digital advocacy center to send your pre-drafted message of support.
Shirkey added to Virtual Conference for April 29 discussion on reopening Michigan
While COVID-19 will be with us for months to come, state leaders are offering plans on how to bring more businesses and workers back online. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey will join MAC on April 29 to present the Senate GOP plan and take questions from county leaders on the details and challenges ahead. All details about the conference can be seen here.

Workshop: Comments on Reopening Michigan
April 29, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The conference resumes Tuesday at 11 a.m. with a workshop on Michigan’s rising waters. If you have not yet registered for this event, click here.
Furloughs, layoffs still rare among Michigan counties
The vast majority of counties in Michigan are still not engaged in employee furloughs or layoffs due to the COVID-19 crisis, according to results from MAC’s latest survey.

With about 2/3 of counties reporting as of Monday afternoon, fewer than 10 counties had furloughs or layoffs in operation; and in most of those, the number of employees affected was small.

Responding to new questions in the survey on hazard pay, only Clare and Wexford counties said they were engaged in the practice, though others said it was under consideration. Most counties said they would be interested in a hazard pay plan if they were reimbursed for costs, presumably by the state or federal governments.

To see full results, click here .
House Republicans release economic ‘roadmap’

The concept is based on a tier system of counties, though only Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties are specifically mentioned in the current document.

Other counties would be assigned a status based on several criteria.
NACo continues push for 'COVID 3.5' plan; burdens on counties growing

The National Association of Counties (NACo), with backing from state associations like MAC and individual county leaders, continues to urge enactment of the “COVID 3.5” proposal, which would mean billions in direct payments to counties on the front lines of the crisis.

While Michigan does not rely on direct sales or income taxes, as do counties in some other states, MAC has received reports from members that substantial losses are expected in property taxes, the key to all county services.

As of mid-afternoon, more than 90 county leaders had sent messages to Congress via MAC’s Advocacy Center.

If you have not sent your message, please follow the link above or the one at the top of today’s Daily Update. Your congressional leaders need to hear from you.
Filing for a county office? Tomorrow is your deadline.

MAC confirmed with the Secretary of State’s Office today that the filing deadline for county offices for the 2020 elections is still April 21, tomorrow.

Members may have seen news about a federal court order on filing deadlines. That order affects only judicial offices where petitions are the only avenue to qualify for the ballot. It did not affect filings for regular county offices.

For full details on Michigan’s election calendar, see the SOS elections booklet.
State officials go over revenues, rules at webinar for local leaders

Officials from the Treasury, State Budget Office and State Police briefed nearly 1,000 local officials today on revenue and rules issues during a webinar jointly hosted by the Michigan Association of Counties, the Michigan Municipal league and the Michigan Townships Association.

Chief Deputy Treasurer Jeff Guilfoyle announced a projected $2.6 billion state shortfall for FY20, which will result in significant state financial strain without additional help from the federal government.
Treasury is also estimating a reduction in PA 51 dollars due to the estimated 50 percent decrease in traffic for April.

The good news is that revenue sharing for counties is being calculated now and is scheduled to go out on April 30. In addition, 9-1-1 quarterly payments and Personal Property Tax reimbursement payments are also scheduled to go out on time, unless the State has to do a negative supplemental budget bill and reduce those amounts.

Michigan also has seen more than 1 million people apply for unemployment.

State officials reminded local units to keep track of FEMA eligible reimbursable expenses and ensure they can prove the amount, the payment, overtime and overtime-related activities directly related to the response to the pandemic. Some qualifying expenses include public health and safety related expenses, disinfectants and additional cleaning protocol, and transportation of patients.

Treasury also reminded the participants of the information available on their website r egarding Executive Orders, Executive Directives, Numbered Letters and policy guidance. As noted previously, a county may apply to the Department for a 30-day extension for their year-end and audit reports but will not be granted an additional extension.

For those unable to attend the webinar, you can watch it here. MAC will continue to work to get answers to your questions. For more information on the webinar or on these matters, please contact Deena Bosworth at