MAC COVID-19 Update
MAC ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to properly fund counties in Phase 4 bill

Congress is now debating the details of the Phase 4 rescue bill on the corona crisis. The current version of the legislation, however, does not properly address county funding.

Specifically, the CDBG allocation formula in the Phase 4 proposal was not developed to respond to a public health crisis. If implemented, it would give a disproportionate share to cities and does not reflect the front-line response efforts being led, and paid for, by county governments.

In support of NACo's efforts on Capitol Hill, MAC urges all county leaders to send an email to their members of Congress that details how the bill can be fixed to ensure proper county funding.
Virtual meeting option is extended through May 12

As was indicated in yesterday’s daily update, county boards may continue to hold virtual meetings that would ordinarily violate the Open Meetings Act (OMA) after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a new Executive Order late Tuesday.

Executive Order 48 supersedes the previous EO 15, which had been authorizing virtual sessions for local government boards. The new EO is effective immediately and continues through May 12, 2020.

New order mandates ‘regional hubs’ for long-term care patients

On Tuesday night, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 49 to “to provide limited and temporary relief from certain regulatory requirements to enhance the operational capacity and efficiency of health care facilities.”

The order states, “The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will work with long-term care facilities across the state to establish COVID-19 designated regional hubs. These hubs will provide higher levels of care and services to treat patients with increased needs. All other nursing facilities will continue providing care in a traditional manner which may include the care of patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, but do not require specialized care and services.”

Michigan counties are a key provider of long-term care services via the 34 county-owned facilities that are members of the Michigan County Medical Care Facilities Council. Those facilities operate more than 4,600 beds in locations from Houghton to Hillsdale counties.

Chief justice opens virtual conference Thursday at 10 a.m.

Registration continues for the free webinars MAC is putting on in lieu of the physical 2020 Legislative Conference this year.

Michigan Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack will deliver the opening keynote at 10 a.m.

Please visit the conference page for all details on registering for events. You must register for each event you wish to attend. All these events are free of charge.

Treasury sets webinar on April 20; are you registered?

The Michigan Department of Treasury, in partnership with the Michigan Association of Counties, the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Townships Association, will hold a joint webinar, COVID-19 Updates and Resources for Local Governments, on April 20 at 2 p.m.

Topics will include local government economic impacts, state resources, and federal funding information. Additionally, there will be a question and answer period.

Please submit your questions to Deena Bosworth at by Thursday, April 16.

‘Historic’ low interest rates possible on rural loans

Small rural communities and rural nonprofits are eligible for “historic low interest rates” via the Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program, noted Jason Allen, state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Office.

Until June 30, the interest rate on such loans is 2.375 percent.

“Funds can be used to purchase, construct, and/or improve essential community facilities, to purchase equipment, and to pay related project expenses.

“Examples of essential community facilities include:

  • Health care facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics, nursing homes or assisted living facilities
  • Public facilities such as town halls, courthouses, airport hangars or street improvements
  • Community support services such as child-care centers, community centers, fairgrounds or transitional housing
  • Public safety services such as fire departments, police stations, prisons, police vehicles, fire trucks, public works vehicles, or equipment

For application and other details, visit the program’s website .

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