House DCH Appropriations Subcommittee Report

Attached please find a summary of the FY 2015 MDCH budget recommendations as reported from the House MDCH Appropriations Subcommittee today. The format includes both changes from current year appropriations (columns) & differences from the Governor’s recommendations (numbered paragraphs). New & modified boilerplate sections are also included, beginning on page 5.

We will provide full text of the subcommittee’s reported bill and other detail documents when they become available in electronic form.

The Senate MDCH Appropriations Subcommittee will not be reporting recommendations until after the spring recess, on or around April 22.

The Legislature will begin a spring recess after tomorrow’s session ends, and will reconvene on April 22. 

2014-15-HB5296 (H-1) Draft 1 Report


House DCH Appropriations

The attached materials were presented and reviewed with the House DCH Appropriations Subcommittee on February 19th. The House Subcommittee will accept public testimony on Monday, February 24th, beginning at 9:00 a.m. in room 351 of the Capitol. Although afternoon hours are tentatively scheduled, those interested in providing testimony are strongly encouraged to attend the hearing in the morning. Public testimony will also be accepted on Monday, March 3rd.



FY2015 Budget Overview Presentation


This morning, MDCH Director Jim Haveman presented an overview of the department’s current initiatives and the Governor’s budget recommendations for FY 2015.  Below is a link to that presentation.  Director Haveman will present the same information to the Senate DCH subcommittee on Thursday (the Senate will also accept public testimony about behavioral health services on Thursday).



Governor Snyder Presents FY 2014-15 Executive Budget

Today, Governor Rick Snyder was joined by Lt. Governor Brian Calley and Budget Director John Nixon as he presented the FY 2014-15 Executive Budget Recommendation.

Governor Rick Snyder

Governor Rick Snyder

The Governor announced a plan to expand the Homestead Property Tax credit to provide $103 million in tax relief for low- and middle-income taxpayers.  This is expected to impact 1.3 million Michigan residents.

The highlights of the Executive Recommendation include:

  • $150 million increase in the foundation allowance (ranging between $83 and $111 per pupil);
  • $65 million for Great Start Readiness;
  • $80 million for Higher Education
  • $9 million for Community Colleges
  • $28 million for phased-in implementation of the recommendations from the Michigan Council on Educator Effectiveness;
  • $270 million for retirement liabilities;
  • $72 million to implement the Healthy Michigan Plan (Medicaid expansion);
  • $16 million to expand Healthy Kids Dental to Kalamazoo and Macomb counties;
  • $15 million to support recommendations of Mental Health Commission report;
  • $254 million to match federal aid for transportation;
  • $150 million in bonded funds higher education engineering programs and community college high-demand occupation training;
  • $120 million contribution to the Budget Stabilization Fund
  • $122 million to the Michigan Health Savings Fund (used to offset future Medicaid expenditures)

The Appropriations Subcommittees will begin reviewing the Executive Recommendations in earnest next week. 

Documents Released by the Governor:



Governor Snyder’s fiscal year 2015 and 2016 budget recommendation


Governor Snyder’s budget recommendations for FY 2015 will be presented to a joint hearing of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees on Feb. 5 at 11:00 a.m.


New Challenge

I have been presented with both a challenge and an opportunity to perform another tour of duty in public service. It is one that I feel I cannot pass up and do not want to pass up, as I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve.

Today, I was appointed to serve as Director of the Detroit Land Bank Authority and will be starting almost immediately.  The DLBA will play a major role in reducing blighted commercial and residential structures in Detroit, creating green space, and in preserving historic residential structures. The Authority, its staff, and its partners will play a major role in the reemergence of a vibrant Detroit.

Several weeks ago, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan asked if I were willing to assume this responsibility. Frankly, I was surprised to be asked, but then had to ask myself: am I willing and able to undertake one additional public service challenge?

I am.

As most of you know, I am a native Detroiter, a proud graduate of Emerson Elementary, Mumford High, Wayne State University, and the Detroit College of Law. Despite many years of private practice in Lansing and one additional tour in government service almost a decade ago, I am by heart a Detroiter, as Detroit provided me with the opportunities to succeed from a modest background. It can, and I believe will, provide those opportunities to future generations, but it faces the twin and related problems of blight and decreasing population. The Detroit Land Bank can and will play a pivotal role in reducing the number of blighted structures and thereby giving neighborhoods and the people that live in them hope. I am excited to be a part of it.

I will miss Wiener Associates and the people that make it happen. To those who are clients, I am honored to have enjoyed your professional and personal trust and buoyed by the professional successes that we have achieved together. I am confident that our paths will cross many times, but just in different ways.

I am proud that Wiener Associates enjoys an exemplary reputation for integrity, hard work, and both procedural and substantive excellence. That will never change: it is ingrained in the firm’s DNA. The partners and associates that remain care as deeply about those traits as I always have.

Raj Wiener will remain at Wiener Associates and I am grateful for her encouragement in undertaking this challenge. To those of my now former colleagues, I will miss you mightily but am grateful for your supportive voices of encouragement, both now and on previous occasions, both personally and professionally. To Betsy Weihl, Peter Ruddell, and Melissa Cupp, all partners and veterans at Wiener Associates, I take great joy in the attorneys you have become, greater joy in your friendship, and greatest joy in living the culture of excellence and integrity. To Brian Kandler and Deb Cook, newer teammates, you have greatness in your respective constitutions. You will achieve it.

To Mary VanHalst, our first hire almost two decades ago: I tried to find the right words to say thank you for all that you have and continue to mean to me. I couldn’t find them when we had dinner, and I can’t now, so I won’t even try. A simple, heartfelt thank you will have to suffice.

As I was growing up, I walked by a quotation of Ralph Waldo Emerson at the entrance of Emerson Elementary. It said: “The reward of a job well done is to have done it.” I hope that you feel I have earned my reward. I look forward to earning the next one.


Michigan Mental Health and Wellness Commission Report


As you know, over the past year the Mental Health and Wellness Commission has been working to detail the findings and recommendations they believe are necessary to improve both the lives of and the outcomes for individuals and families living with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders in our state.

Through the process of reviewing previous reports, studying our current system, developing workgroups, and conducting public hearings, the Commission has constructed their recommendations around three overarching goals:

1. Advancing more opportunities for independence and self-determination for persons living with a mental illness, substance use disorder or developmental disability.

2. Better access to high quality, coordinated and consistent service and care between agencies, service providers and across geographical boundaries.

3. Measuring outcomes and establishing meaningful metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of services provided and to assess the progress of goals set by the individual, state, locals and service providers.

Each Commission member is dedicated to ensuring that every person with a mental illness, developmental disability, or substance use disorder is treated with respect and integrity. As a result, we are pleased to provide you a copy of the Commission’s complete report with recommendations that were unanimously agreed upon by the members.You can access the report by visiting

We believe this report provides first steps in a long-term road map of actionable recommendations to policy makers and stakeholders that if executed will increase independence, promote self-determination and ultimately improve the quality of life for those Michiganders affected by mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders.

Thank you to each of you who participated in any of the workgroups and public hearings throughout the state. You provided invaluable insight that helped shape these recommendations. We look forward to continuing to work together in the coming years to improve Michigan’s mental health and wellness system.




Public Health Code Review Project Underway


The Michigan Public Health Code review project is currently underway and provides a unique opportunity for all interested parties to submit their input on all topics included in the Public Health Code.  The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and Public Health Code Advisory Committee will use the feedback to develop a set of recommendations for MDCH Director James K. Haveman and Governor Snyder.

As a valued member of the health care community in Michigan, your input is very important. I encourage you and your membership base to participate in this important project. We ask that you forward information related to this project to individuals throughout your organization.

The feedback is being collected in an electronic format which can be accessed by going to the Public Health Code review project website and submitting your input via the form found on the website. Conciseness and clarity in the responses is appreciated. The deadline for submitting feedback is December 13, 2013

Feedback may also be mailed in by sending to the following address:

Public Health Code Review Project
Capitol View Building7th floor
201 Townsend Street
Lansing, MI, 48913

For additional information about the Public Health Code Review Project and to submit feedback electronically, visit,4612,7-132-2946-312416–,00.html. For questions related to this review project, email    

Thank you for your part in this important initiative.

Lawrence Burns
Public Health Code Advisory Committee




State Submits Waiver for Healthy Michigan Plan

Governor Rick Snyder

Governor Rick Snyder

This afternoon, Governor Rick Snyder announced that the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has submitted the waiver for the approval of the Healthy Michigan Plan – Michigan’s Medicaid expansion/reform plan – to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  The waiver requests that CMS allow Michigan residents with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty limit to join the state’s expanded Medicaid program.

Earlier this fall, Governor Snyder officially signed the Healthy Michigan Plan into law and MDCH Director Jim Haveman publicly expressed hope that the state’s waiver would be approved before Christmas.  Haveman has reiterated that Michigan has worked closely with the federal government throughout discussions on the waiver.  Once this first waiver is approved, residents up to the 133% level could receive coverage in April 2014.



Election 2013 Recap – Southeast Michigan


Mike Duggan

Mike Duggan

The 2013 Election had its greatest impact in Southeast Michigan, where the Detroit Mayoral and city council races began to reshape the region.  Mike Duggan cruised to victory over Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon by a 55%-45% margin to become Detroit’s first white mayor in 40 years.  In the aftermath of the race, Duggan’s impressive victory has dominated media coverage with city council elections receiving sparse attention thus far.  However, the 2013 Detroit City Council races were historic as the first elections with council districts for members in decades.  The new districts will give the council more geographic representation across the city and present a new political frontier for the city in the years ahead.  Yet, lack of media coverage of the council races is understandable as all city leaders lack immediate authority once they are seated in January with Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr still in charge.  It is important to note, however, that Michigan’s Emergency Manager law does give the council the power to booth the Emergency Manager in the fall of 2014.  This power exists regardless of the bankruptcy proceedings and is not lost on Orr, who hopes to move the city through the bankruptcy process swiftly.  Orr’s opponents and the city’s creditors also realize this and are working to delay the bankruptcy process.

Full results of the mayoral and city council races can be found below, as well as links to other election results across the state

Detroit Mayor

  • Mike Duggan – 55%
  • Benny Napoleon – 45%

Detroit City Council Winners

Detroit City Council Districts - Courtesy

Detroit City Council Districts – Courtesy




Complete Election Results