Yesterday afternoon the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee unanimously reported on Senate Bills 495-498, a package of bills that seek to induce heavier enforcement of the constitutional prohibition on unfunded mandates for local units of government.
The bills require the legislature to appropriate money in accordance with the Headlee Amendment. They also create a Local Government Mandate Panel to create a fiscal note to determine the financial impact on local units of government before legislation passes each chamber.
Among other requirements the legislation creates a Special Master in the Court of Appeals to specifically assist in Headlee cases. The legislation specifically states that local units would not have to comply with state mandates unless the legislature appropriates money to fund the mandate.
The legislation now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org