Legislature Passes Medical Marihuana Law Changes
In a surprising move, the Legislature took up and passed bills to amend the voter-initiatied Medical Marihuana law.
HB 4834 allows the Department of Community Health to contract with a private firm to handle the processing of medical marijuana registration cards, easing a backlog that has frustrated medical marijuana users. The bill also would require DCH to appoint a panel, the majority of members being physicians, to consider petitions from residents asking that a particular medical condition qualify for medical marijuana treatment. The panel would make recommendations to DCH on whether such petitions should be approved or denied. And the bill would set up a dedicated fund from the fees paid by registered medical marijuana users that could only be spent to administer the law. Again the Senate amended the bill to have it take effect April 1. <MORE>
Massive Changes Made to Recall Law -- The Legislature has sent to the Governor bills that will change the recall process. They took a package of bills and condensed them into two bills - HB 6060 and 6063.
The bills will do the following:
- Change the maximum number of days to circulate recall petitions from 90 days to 60 days.
- Bar the submission of a recall petition against elected officials with terms longer than two years, such as senators who serve four years, in their first and last year in office. Currently, recall campaigns can win approval of the clarity of their petition from the county election commission and gather their signatures as soon as an elected official takes office, but cannot submit them until six months have passed. <MORE>
Township BID Tool Bill Passes, Limited to Only Kent County
Village Elections to Move to November
New Emergency Manager Bill Goes to Governor
Final Regional Transit Authority Bills Go to Governor
Fiscal Cliff Talks On/Off as Deadline Nears -- Municipal Bonds at Risk -- Speaker Boehner and the President had another meeting late last week, after a few days off and some intense rhetoric regarding their solutions on the fiscal cliff, the combination of the expiration of Bush-era tax credits and significant automatic budget cuts set to go into effect January 1. There have been increasing doubts that a deal will be made before the deadline. One of the growing concerns for municipalities is losing the federal exemption on municipal bonds, as was a target by this recent article in the Wall Street Journal. There are discussions on either capping it, in a paper from the National League of Cities, and eliminating it altogether. At this point, it is unclear which direction it will head. Please contact your Congressional leaders and let them know how important this issue is as they resolve the fiscal cliff.
Transportation Alternatives Grant Program
US Department of Transportation Seeking Local Feedback on National Environmental Policy Act
Tell Your Story: The FCC Wants to Hear About PEG in Your Community
MAP-21 Resources Available
21st Century Communities
Cultivating Talent -- Resources for Tackling College Attainment -- When people talk about placemaking, they always reference its necessity in the context of attracting and retaining talent. Everyone has seen statistics on per capita income and higher education, so the importance of education is not a question. However, the focus is often on the side of "attracting" talent rather than retaining. And to retain...implies that you have it to begin with. How can communities move the needle on cultivating talent in their own communities? We are starting to partner with the Michigan College Access Network on promoting tools to improve college attainment in local communities. And, the National League of Cities just released an Action Guide that helps communities get started as well. Because in order for all of our placemaking efforts to bear fruit, we need the talent to blossom. Stay tuned for more tools that your community can use to incease a culture of educational attainment!
Age Friendly Communities Conference
One Step at a Time
City of Sault Ste. Marie & Lake Superior State University Work Together to Form a College Town
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
The Fund Book - Free Federal Funding Resource