MICHIGAN...the HEADLEE Amendment of 1978..unfunded Mandates

Real Estate Agent

For those unfamiliar with the Headlee Amendment:

here it is in a Nutshell: NO, not that kind of nutshell
...1978, Richard Headlee, tax advocate & Insurance Co. EXEC.
...amended Article IX of the Michigan Constitution; in the following manner

...From all of its taxes, fees and other sources, the state's total revenue cannot exceed 9.49 % of
   personal income in Michigan
...If the state mandates that local governments provide any new or expanded programs, the state must
   provide full funding.
...Local governments cannot add new taxes or increase existing ones,or increase certain bonded
   indebtedness, without securing approval of voters
...The state cannot reduce the portion of its outlays that goes to local governments below 41.62%, the
   level where it was when the amendment passed.

As late as 2004, in a report from the President of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy [at the time 2004}
quote: " Without the restrains on government provided for in the Headlee Amendment, Michigan workers and families would be struggling today to make do with less.  Both the tax burden and the Lansing bureaucracy would be larger at the cost of an exodus of people and their businesses from Michigan....In keeping with the spirit of the amendment, the Legislature should act to prevent subterfuges intended to get around it."
That was in 2004,  In 2007 -a  Legislative Commission on Statutory Mandates was formed to review implementation of the Headlee Amendment.  On Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010 / www.macombdaily.com / pg1A & 19A / article by Staff Writer--Frank DeFrank " Unfunded mandates--Michigan politicians continue to create programs without funding"; an article that covers the topic of non-compliance to Headlee Amendment.
This 2-year panel concluded it's work and presented it's findings recently.  "Our findings paint a stark picture of noncompliance with..the Michigan Constitution."....The panel's charge was simple: Focus on the section of the Headlee Amendment that prohibits the state from mandating local governments to provide new services--or expand existing ones--unless the state reimburses the municipalities for costs incurred by the mandates."
Check out the story for yourself, if interested. Michigan has not followed Article IX Sec.24-34 AS Amended: ...Sec. 26 establishes an overall limitation on total state spending each fiscal year.
...Sec. 29 prohibits the state from reducing its share of existing state-mandated programs and requires
   the state to reimburse local governmental units for any new state-mandated programs.
...Sec. 30 prohibits the state from reducing the proportion of total state spending paid to all units of
   local government as a group below the proportion in effect in fiscal year 1979.
...the state Legislature be called on this...
...the state Legislature stand up and correct this...

MACOMB COUNTY difficulties with DROP

what is DROP ...a controversial retirement plan that allow [s/ed] Macomb Co. employees to simultaneously collect a paycheck and a pension check' ; The Deferred Retirement Option Program [DROP] began 2004;
...First Blush--? Maybe ? OK let's see...
...Second Look--conclusion--"fat cat officials" only ones to benefit
...Questions--what is it ---employees can begin collecting a monthly pension check while continuing to work
    for 5 Years.  The pension money is deposited into a special account and the 5-year accumulation is
    collected in a lump sum at retirement.
...Ques.--Who took part--elected officials and department heads.
...Ques.--How is this a 'money-saving' program for the County?--Health Care is the Answer !
   A. an employee reaching retirement age 'STAYS-5 more years'--the County pays for one Health Care
       policy, BUT
   B. if said employee does retire then, the County pays for [retired] employee, plus the New Hire.

...It must be noted here, the Health Care Coverage is called "very generous"; is a life-time coverage for
    the retiree and the spouse under a policy that fills the gaps left by Medicare.
...it also guarantees a 401[k] plan--provides a 'mandated' 3.5% interest payment during each of the 5-yrs

As we here in Macomb Co. are aware, in November 2010 the vote to change our form of County government will be begun--with actual implementation in January 2011; so the now County Commissioners has established a panel to 'spell-out' the impact of DROP for the future. The  Macomb Co. Commissioners
have already  [2009] placed a freeze on DROP.
...Question--will the new Macomb County Government --13 Commissioners + County EXEC.-change
                  Mandate as 1st. act of 2011.
...Question--will the new Macomb County Government --as listed above--maintain the Law of Headlee?
...Question--will not the ACRONYM dictate the DIRECTION [for this program]???

See:  article by Staff Writer Chad Selweski / www.macombdaily.com /Monday, January 11,2010 / pg 1A &
        7A/ "County targets double-dipping" 


Finally---it is mildly cold today--22*
             low snow-fall
            down right FREEZING tonight

Keep the smiles coming--just make them lips only these days--don't want teeth to Freeze shut.   unless, you are looking for a quick diet-trick. LOL  

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Live, Learn, Love, & always remember to Laugh!

a Keyless start....a Forward Looking VIEW from the DASH; Join the RIDE 

Barb & Sal


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Very good explalnation of this amendement.  Reading todays (4-14-10) Free Press , Warrens Mayor Jim Fouts proposed a 0.9-mill increase, which he states DOES NOT NEED the approval of the voters, to avoid laying off 23 police officers.  He furthers indicates that he only needs the approval of the "City Council"

How can that be?


Concerned Citizen


Jerri Hert

Apr 14, 2010 02:25 AM #1
Barb & Sal Dragotta
Macomb, MI
Macomb County Michigan

Jerri...., let me state that I am sorry this took long to answer--had no Internet until late on the 15th;
second--i am NOT a constitutional lawyer first & foremost, it does appear that one should be employed in this situation you relate.  Did see that article, we both questioned the proposal by the [your?] mayor. Over the years this has been tried by others--if memory suits me--they were all stopped or overturned.  We do need to watch carefully that which happens here in Macomb now that we are 'growing up politically' via the November Vote for County Exec. Your concern is topically important.  If any information on a legal challenge appears in the local papers--you can plan on our posting on it.
Thank you for being a concerned citizen. Have a great weekend.
Barb & Sal    

Apr 16, 2010 04:05 AM #2
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Barb & Sal Dragotta

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