Michigan Municipal League Legislative Committee Work Underway

Posted on February 13, 2023 by Matt Bach

The League’s John LaMacchia and Herasanna Richards talk with the MML’s internal legislative committee members at the State Capitol Feb. 9, 2023.

The Michigan Municipal League had a tremendously successful kickoff orientation meeting Thursday at the state Capitol for our member-driven internal legislative committees. The work by these legislative committees is critical to guiding the MML for the next two years on legislative issues.

League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin and League Board President Barb Ziarko, Sterling Heights city councilmember, started off the meeting that took place in the new Heritage Hall welcome center at the State Capitol. The event was attended by nearly 60 local leaders from throughout Michigan and included presentations by League staff, an overview of the committee work that lies ahead, a tour of the State Capitol, and a panel discussion with State Senators Michael Webber, R-Rochester Hills, and Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, that was moderated by Kyle Melinn, news editor and co-owner of MIRS News. The Capitol tour included recognition of the League members on the floor of the state House.

“You all are the heart and soul of this process,” Ziarko told the League committee members. “You represent the communities that will be impacted by various proposed legislation, so your voice is vital to our work. What is done by these legislative committees will be used by our lobbying team to advocate for policy that benefits communities across Michigan. Your input and voice are essential to this work, so when you have thoughts and opinions on the issues that come up, please share them. Don’t be shy. We want to hear from you because the League couldn’t do this work without you.”

Gilmartin added, “When it comes to our legislative work, the secret sauce is you. It’s your involvement in this process that makes us the best grassroots lobbying organization in Michigan.”

MML Board President Barb Ziarko (left) tours the state Capitol with fellow MML members.

The MML legislative committees and the specific areas they will follow during this two-year legislative term are:

  • Municipal Finance: Revenue sharing, property taxes, local revenue sources, personal property tax changes, and state budget
  • Energy and Environment: Renewable energy, such as solar and wind; emerging contaminates, such as PFAS; municipal electric utilities; and natural resources
  • Municipal Services: Open Meetings Act, Freedom of Information Act, public notices, cyber security, elections, labor, parks and recreation, public safety, municipal workforce, and job training
  • Economic Development and Land Use: Workforce/attainable housing, community development, placemaking, historic tax credits, entrepreneurship, strategic local investment, Zoning and Enabling Act, home rule, and local decision making
  • Transportation, Infrastructure and Technology: Roads, bridges, and transit; water, sewer, and stormwater; broadband; electric vehicles; Act 51 road funding; and mobility

The committee members also heard from the League’s Kelly Warren, director of membership and affiliate engagement, and our legislative advocacy team – John LaMacchia, director of state and federal affairs; Jennifer Rigterink, assistant director of state and federal affairs; Herasanna Richards, legislative associate; and the newest team member – Dave Hodgkins, legislative associate. Hodgkins joined the MML at the start of February and is very familiar with the League’s work having served the MML as a member of the firm Midwest Strategy Group. With Midwest he worked closely with several municipalities on their specific needs and local government groups, including the League, on the broader impact state government has on Michigan’s communities.

MIRS News Editor Kyle Melinn (left) talks with State Senators Mallory McMorrow and Michael Webber during the Feb. 9 legislative committee kick-off event.

The 2023-24 State Legislature took office in January and much work is underway including multiple legislative committee hearings and bills being considered in the House and Senate, including work on Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed 2024 fiscal year budget (read our blog about the budget proposal here).

In fact, the League’s advocacy team were invited to speak to multiple Legislative committees in recent days, including the House and Senate local government and municipal finance committees and the House transportation committee.

The hearing with the House Local Government and Municipal Finance was recorded and the MML team did an excellent job sharing MML’s story and our goal to work with the Legislature over the next two years. You can watch the hearing here and the League staff begin speaking around the 5-minute mark. The presentation gives a good summary of what the MML is all about and it’s worth your time to watch.

Matt Bach is the Michigan Municipal League’s assistant director of strategic communications. He can be reached at [email protected].

1675 Green Road,
Ann Arbor MI 48105
Capitol Office
208 N. Capitol Ave.,
1st Floor Lansing, MI 48933
©2022 Michigan Municipal League LLC. All rights reserved