TASK FORCE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES AND FISCAL STABILITY
WHEREAS, Section 1 of Article V of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 vests the executive power of the State of Michigan in the Governor;
WHEREAS, Section 4 of Article V of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 authorizes the establishment of temporary commissions or agencies for special purposes;
WHEREAS, Section 17 of Article V of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 empowers the Governor to present to the Legislature information as to the affairs of the state and recommend measures that the Governor considers necessary or desirable;
WHEREAS, under Section 1 of Article VII of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 each county in Michigan is a body corporate with powers and immunities provided by law;
WHEREAS, under Section 17 of Article VII of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 each township in Michigan is a body corporate with powers and immunities provided by law;
WHEREAS, under Section 21 of Article VII of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, the Legislature must provide by general laws for the incorporation of cities and villages;
WHEREAS, the health of local government is a critical issue for the State of Michigan as local governments deliver vital services for Michigan residents;
WHEREAS, because of the interdependent relationship between the State of Michigan and its local governments, healthy local governments are a key element in Michigan’s prosperity;
WHEREAS, many residents of this state, businesses seeking to locate or expand in Michigan, and entities lending money to this state perceive the financial heath of Michigan’s local governments as a measure of the financial health of the State of Michigan;
WHEREAS, local governments in Michigan face increasing demand for public services from citizens while at the same time the cost of providing the services is increasing and revenues to provide new and existing services are constrained;
WHEREAS, state laws, regulations, and programs sometimes hinder the cost-effective delivery of public services by local governments;
WHEREAS, state policies and competition for diminished resources can serve as a barrier to greater cooperation among local governments, favoring inefficient independence over efficient interdependence;
WHEREAS, the relationship between the state and its local governments and the system of financing local government should be reexamined to identify policies that encourage fiscal stability, cooperation, service efficiency, and regional economic growth;
WHEREAS, it is important that local governments have a forum to discuss and attempt to address services provided by local governments and local government finances;
WHEREAS, it is appropriate for local governments in Michigan to seek innovative and flexible options that will allow local governments to better meet the needs of their citizens and that allow the state and local governments to more effectively work together;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of the State of Michigan, by virtue of the power and authority vested in the Governor by the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and Michigan law, order the following:
As used in this Order:
A. “Department” means the Department of Treasury, a principal department of state government created under Section 75 of the Executive Organization Act of 1965, 1965 PA 380, MCL 16.175.
B. “Task Force” means the Task Force on Local Government Services and Fiscal Stability created under this Order.
II. CREATION OF THE TASK FORCE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES AND FISCAL STABILITY
A. The Task Force on Local Government Services and Fiscal Stability is created as an advisory body within the Department as a forum for the discussion of issues relating to local government services and fiscal stability by representatives of local governments in Michigan.
B. The Task Force shall consist of 15 members appointed by the Governor, including each of the following:
1. 4 members representing cities or villages.
2. 4 members representing counties.
3. 4 members representing townships.
4. 3 members representing special purpose local districts or authorities serving more than 1 local unit of government or other intergovernmental entities created by more than 1 local unit of government other than a school district or intermediate school district.
C. In addition to the members appointed under Section II.B, the State Treasurer and the State Budget Director, or their designees, shall serve as ex officio, non-voting members of the Task Force.
D. Members of the Task Force appointed by the Governor under Section II.B shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
E. A vacancy on the Task Force shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
III. CHARGE TO THE TASK FORCE
A. The Task Force shall act in an advisory capacity and shall do all of the following:
1. Examine existing sources of revenue for local governments in Michigan.
2. Review services provided by local governments in Michigan, including mandated and non-mandated services, and how those services are funded.
3. Identify state laws, policies, regulations, and funding formulas that contribute to any of the following:
a. Imposition of, or contribution to, fiscal constraints on local governments.
b. Inhibiting the ability of local governments to attract economic development and encourage vibrant communities.
c. Hindering the ability of local governments to deliver services effectively.
d. Restraining the ability to maintain an acceptable quality of life for citizens served by local governments.
4. Identify policies or practices that negatively impact cooperation among local governments for efficient delivery of services and recommend incentives for local governments to work cooperatively.
5. Discuss potential changes in policy that would allow local governments to better provide essential services, improve efficiency, support cooperation among local governments, contribute to a more effective relationship between state and local government in Michigan, and spur economic growth.
B. The Task Force shall provide other information, recommendations, or advice as requested by the Governor or the State Treasurer.
C. The Task Force shall complete its work and issue a final report and recommendations, including any proposed changes in law, to the Governor by November 30, 2005.
IV. OPERATIONS OF THE TASK FORCE
A. The Task Force shall be staffed and assisted by personnel from the Department as directed by the Governor, subject to available resources and funding. Any budgeting, procurement, and related management functions of the Task Force shall be performed under the direction and supervision of the State Treasurer.
B. The Task Force shall adopt procedures consistent with Michigan law and this Order governing its organization and operations.
C. The State Treasurer or his or her designated representative shall serve as the Chairperson of the Task Force.
D. The Department shall assist the Task Force with recordkeeping responsibilities.
E. A majority of the members of the Task Force serving constitutes a quorum for the transaction of the Task Force’s business. The Task Force shall act by a majority vote of its serving members.
F. The Task Force shall meet at the call of the Chairperson.
G. The Task Force shall establish subcommittees to study specific issues and report recommendations to the Task Force. The Chairperson may designate members of the Task Force as Subcommittee Leaders. The Task Force and its subcommittees may request public participation on workgroups as the Task Force deems necessary. The Task Force may also adopt, reject, or modify any recommendations proposed by a subcommittee or a workgroup.
H. The Task Force may, as appropriate, make inquiries, studies, investigations, hold hearings, and receive comments from the public. The Task Force may also consult with outside experts in order to perform its duties, including, but not limited to, experts in the private sector, organized labor, government agencies, and at institutions of higher education.
I. Members of the Task Force shall serve without compensation. Members of the Task Force may receive reimbursement for necessary travel and expenses according to relevant statutes and the rules and procedures of the Department of Management and Budget and the Civil Service Commission, subject to available funding.
J. The Task Force may hire or retain contractors, sub-contractors, advisors, consultants, and agents, and may make and enter into contracts necessary or incidental to the exercise of the powers of the Task Force and the performance of its duties as the State Treasurer deems advisable and necessary, in accordance with this Order, and the relevant statutes, rules, and procedures of the Department of Management and Budget and the Civil Service Commission.
K. The Task Force may accept donations of labor, services, or other things of value from any public or private agency or person.
L. Members of the Task Force shall refer all legal, legislative, and media contacts to the Department.
A. All departments, committees, commissioners, or officers of this state or of any political subdivision of this state shall give to the Task Force, or to any member or representative of the Task Force, any necessary assistance required by the Task Force, or any member or representative of the Task Force, in the performance of the duties of the Task Force so far as is compatible with its, his, or her duties. Free access shall also be given to any books, records, or documents in its, his, or her custody, relating to matters within the scope of inquiry, study, or investigation of the Task Force.
B. Any suit, action, or other proceeding lawfully commenced by, against, or before any entity affected by this Order shall not abate by reason of the taking effect of this Order.
C. The invalidity of any portion of this Order shall not affect the validity of the remainder of the Order.
This Order is effective upon filing.
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Michigan this 18th day of April in the year of our Lord, two thousand and five.
JENNIFER M. GRANHOLM
BY THE GOVERNOR:
SECRETARY OF STATE