109th Annual MACo Conference (2018)

Monday, September 17, 2018

Opening General Session

Commissioner Bill Barron, Lake County, MACo President

The 109th Annual Conference of the Montana Association of Counties opened at 8:30 a.m. President Bill Barron introduced the head table:

  • Bill Barron, Lake County, President
  • Jim Hart, Madison County, 1st Vice President
  • Shane Gorder, Richland County, 2nd Vice President
  • Todd Devlin, Prairie County, Immediate Past President
  • Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, Fiscal Officer
  • Andy Hunthausen, Lewis & Clark County, Urban Counties Representative
  • Joe Briggs, Cascade County, Parliamentarian

The Confederated Salish & Kootenai Veterans Warrior Society presented the Colors for the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem. Missoula County Clerk of District Court, Shirley Faust, sang the National Anthem.  The Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes Tribal Elder, Tony Inchoshola, conducted the Invocation.  The MACo Members were then welcomed to the 109th Annual Conference in Missoula, Montana by John Engen, Mayor of the city of Missoula.  Commissioner Jim Hart, Madison County, MACo 1st Vice President, responded with thanks.

Roll Call

Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, MACo Fiscal Officer

After Roll call was taken, Commissioner McGinley announced a quorum was present to conduct business (see roll call attachment, page 31, for members present).

Approval of the 2017 Minutes – 108th Annual Conference

Motion/Vote:  Don Seifert, Gallatin County, made a motion to approve the 2017 Annual Conference minutes. The motion was seconded by Laura Obert, Broadwater County.  The motion passed unanimously.

Resolution in Memoriam

Commissioner Jean Curtiss, Missoula County

Whereas, the members of the Montana Association of Counties, with great sorrow and a deep sense of loss, wish to remember and honor those members who have been taken by death since the last annual conference of our Association; and

Whereas, each of these county elected officials has rendered innumerable public services to his or her respective county, to the State of Montana, and to the people thereof; and

Whereas, the absence of these persons is keenly felt as a great personal loss to their families, friends and colleagues.

Now, therefore, be it resolved, by the Montana Association of Counties in conference duly assembled in Missoula, Montana, this 17th day of September 2018, that the Association does hereby pay tribute to the memory of County Elected Officials:

  • Joel Ottun – Treasure County Commissioner (4/14/2017)
  • Alfred “Bud” Miller – Fergus County Commissioner (7/28/2017)

(The above names were missed on last years’ list)

  • Lloyd Wolery – Hill County Commissioner (9/20/2017)
  • Roger Knapp – Treasure County Commissioner (9/22/2017)
  • Roy Aafedt – Cascade County Commissioner (11/12/2017)
  • Robert “Bob” Hovde – Pondera County Commissioner (11/28/2017)
  • Kathy Henry – Prairie County Justice of the Peace (12/11/2017)
  • Harold LaRon “Ron” Briggs – Beaverhead County Coroner (12/27/2017)
  • Kathleen Breuer – Missoula County Clerk of District Court (1/1/2018)
  • Mary Lou Eide – Valley County Clerk & Recorder (1/9/2018)
  • William “Bill” J. May – Pondera County Justice of the Peace from 1965-1973
  • & Public Administrator, 1983-2011 – (1/21/2018)
  • Julius “Jules” Waber – Powell County School Superintendent (1/31/2018)
  • Larry Gee – Stillwater County Commissioner (2/4/2018)
  • Howard Gipe – Flathead County Commissioner (4/29/2018)
  • Joe Brenneman – Flathead County Commissioner (6/10/2018)
  • Jeffrey LaVoi – Hill County Commissioner (7/12/2018)
  • Arthur Byron Bayers – Madison County Commissioner (7/15/2018)
  • Elaine Stutz Higgins-Homewood – Carbon County Justice of the Peace (8/8/2018)
  • William (Bill) Nyby – Sheridan County Commissioner (8/31/2018)

And on behalf of its members and the citizens of the State of Montana, the Montana Association of Counties does hereby express gratitude for their achievements and contributions to the public good of their counties and to Montana.

The assembly was asked if there were additional names to be added to the Memorial Resolution.  No further names were added to the list.

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Gary Macdonald, Roosevelt County, made a motion to adopt the Memorial Resolution.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Jerry Collins, Garfield County.  The motion passed unanimously.


Commissioner Bill Barron, Lake County, MACo President

  • Turn in commissioner bio sheets for committee appointments; this information also helps put together the MACo Directory.
  • Importance of Exhibitors: Visit with them and get your sheet signed.
  • Committee Meetings: Your attendance and input are important; the Resolutions & Policy Statements are in your conference bags.
  • American Hero Quilting Project
  • Raffle for Pictures

Nominations Committee Report

Commissioner Bill Barron, Lake County, MACo President

The Board of Directors, acting as the Nominations Committee, brings forth the candidates for the 2018 year as follows:

  • Office of Immediate Past President: Bill Barron, Lake County
  • Office of President: Jim Hart, Madison County
  • Office of 1st Vice President: Shane Gorder, Richland County
  • Office of 2nd Vice President: Doug Martens, Rosebud County
  • Office of Fiscal Officer: Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County

President Barron asked for any other nominations and noted that nominations would remain open until the Wednesday General Session. No further nominations were made.  Commissioner Martens was invited forward to speak:

  • Elected Commissioner in 2011; on my second term now.
  • Have some experience in Helena: School Board Association and President of the Fire Wardens Association
  • Chair of Energy Committee
  • Represent MACo on EELU at NACo
  • Excited to see the direction MACo is headed and making it more of an elected officials’ association.

Convention Site for 2019

Commissioner Jane Weber, Cascade County

Commissioner Joe Briggs, Cascade County

Commissioner James Larson, Cascade County

Great Falls, MT will be the convention site for 2019:  The Commissioners gave 10 reasons why Great Falls is the best place for the 2019 MACo Annual Conference. Some of the reasons included the Missouri River, a number of various breweries, an international airport, the CM Russel Museum, and possibly a tour of Maelstrom Airforce Base.

Presentation of Proposed Resolutions

Commissioner Jean Curtiss, Missoula County, Resolutions & Legislative Committee Chair

  • Work prior to a legislative session: some of our resolutions have legislative intent and others are more policy related. All committees have been assigned resolutions. Resolutions will be voted on by the membership on Wednesday. This is a very important part of our conference; it helps guide staff through the legislative session.

President’s Report

Commissioner Bill Barron, Lake County, MACo President

President Barron spoke to the MACo Membership about her past year as MACo President:

  • It’s been a fast year; and it takes a lot of time away from your county. I had great support from my commissioners back home.
  • Building a relationship with sheriffs was important to me: we put together a team and have made positive strides. We’ve had several meetings to discuss our issues. Our elected officials training will have a session just for sheriffs and commissioners.  The new President has assured me that I will be able to stay involved in this effort.
  • There has been a real advancement with our communication and the involvement of other elected officials since giving them a vote on our Board of Directors.
  • District Meetings were my favorite part. People are able to open up more in these meetings and discuss issues that they may feel uncomfortable brining up at our larger events. Also, you get to know the people you travel with.  Commissioner Hart will make a great president. Eric Bryson is a fantastic executive director.
  • Thank you for letting me serve.

Fiscal Officer’s Report

Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, MACo Fiscal Officer

Commissioner McGinley spoke to the MACo Membership about the recent audit from JPS.  It was a clean audit that can be reviewed by anyone; talk to staff.

Executive Director’s Report

Eric Bryson, Executive Director, Montana Association of Counties

  • Office Space and needs for facilities at MACo: We are running out of space. We know where to move people around for the time being, but that doesn’t solve our issue. We walked through the old Blue Cross Blue Shield building: 24,000 square feet. It would require significant remodeling. I’m not comfortable making an investment like this at this point in time, but I am going to continue to talk about space and our needs in the future.
  • Elected Official Training: We are trying to move our organization toward more of an organization for elected officials, not just county commissioners. We are going to revamp the curriculum and have breakout sessions. The next training is December 3-6 in Helena.  As of the primary elections, there will be 85 new elected officials. Because of the size of the group and the breakout sessions, we need additional space, so we are going to have the training at the Delta Hotel.  This is a unique opportunity for you to give input on the curriculum and encourage other elected officials to attend.  Training is a core mission of MACo.
  • Annual Survey: We had about 145 responses to our survey. We will modify the survey next year to get even more feedback. We are a member services organization, so your input is important to us.
  • We got the Clerk & Recorders contract for lobbying services.
  • Bridge & Road Safety & Accountability Act: Please allocate your funds by November 1st. We don’t want the legislature thinking that the money isn’t necessary. The resolutions are on our website.
  • Infrastructure Coalition: MACo has three voting seats as of now; I am the Vice Chair; Commissioner Gorder is voting member as is Jason Rittal, MACo Deputy Director.
  • Revenue & Transportation Interim Committee: We were asked to talk about infrastructure needs. I talked about money for economic development, not killing TIFs, and quoted one of our written goals: “To promote effective tax reform including consideration of general sales tax.”
  • I need your help you and your support; we are going to rely on our membership and your relationship with your legislators to help us during the legislative session. There will be times when we ask you to come to Helena. Please come if you can. Your presence is important. There is no other association that represents everyone in Montana more than MACo.

Presentation: What’s New at the National Association of Counties (NACo)

Brian Namey, Director of Public Affairs, NACo

From civic education and cybersecurity to leadership development for rising stars in county government, NACo delivers tools to support county efforts. Learn about NACo’s latest member services, publications, and other resources to help counties achieve results.

  • About NACo: Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy; empower county leaders with new skills and networks; advance exemplary county policies and practices; pursue transformational enterprise solutions; and enrich the public’s understanding of county government.
  • Vision: Achieve health, vibrant, and safe counties across America.
  • Mission: NACo unites America’s 3,069 county governments.
  • Montana is 100% membership (all 56 counties are members of NACo); 44 of 56 (79%) counties participate in the Nationwide Deferred Compensation Program; 32 of 56 (57%) counties participate in the Live Healthy Program. In the last year, Montana had 23 committee participants, 47 conference attendees, 1 webinar attendee, and 1 achievement award winner.
  • Live Healthy Program (Resident Rx, Health, and Dental Programs: County residents have saved over $3,955,152 on their prescriptions.
  • Nationwide Deferred Compensation Program: County employees and retirees have saved accumulated assets of more than $23,733,476
  • NACo and the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation hosted the Strengthening Economies in Montana: A Forum for Coal-Reliant Communities at the Billings Food Bank through the support of the US Economic Development Administration- Denver Regional Office. Visit http://www.diversifyeconomies.org for resources.
  • NACo Member Benefits: Representation in Washington; conferences and meetings; financial service center programs; Live Healthy U.S. Counties; County News; website and web-based education; networking with other county officials; County Solutions, innovations and best practices; data-driven research for counties; Grants Clearinghouse
  • 2018 NACo Legislative Priorities: Promote county infrastructure priorities; support the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) programs; support policies to promote mental health, substance abuse treatment and justice reform; protect the federal-state-local partnership for Medicaid; work towards a more effective definition of Waters of the U.S.; support county authority to collect existing sales tax; support programs that assist counties to prevents and reduce poverty; support a comprehensive long-term Farm Bill reauthorization
  • Summer Advocacy Toolkit: includes in-depth information, talking points, media guides and other exclusive NACo materials on key county priorities for your use during the August recess and midterm elections.
  • PILT Advocacy Toolkit: a tool for America’s public lands counties to help county officials educate Congress, the administration and the public on the importance of the PILT and SRS programs.
  • American County Platform: NACo’s permanent policy document. When necessary, it is amended at the annual meeting. Divided into substantive policy areas covered by ten policy steering committees, the platform reflects the philosophy and overall objectives of NACo’s membership.
  • NACo’s County Explorer is an easy to use interactive tool that features county and state level data for over 70 datasets which you can use to compare and learn about counties in the United States. The tool houses 15 different types of county and state profiles on topics such as PILT and SRS. The data comes from public and private sources, and has been analyzed by the data analytics team within the Counties Futures Lab.
  • NACo’s Stepping Up campaign works to reduce the number of people of with mental illnesses in jails, and our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Lewis & Clark County, Missoula County and over 450 counties nationwide have passed resolutions to join the initiative.
  • MS-ISAC is the US Department of Homeland Security’s key resource for cyber threat prevention, protection, response and recovery for state and local governments. Cybersecurity for counties provides real-time monitoring and early threat detections through MS-ISAC’s Security Operations Center and threat response with their computer Emergency Response Team. They provide 24X7 support and offer a professional ream to assist with cybersecurity incidents.
  • Disaster Services Contract: NACo members can sign a pre-disaster contract with IBTS, which is implemented upon action if the county faces an emergency or would like to use IBTS for disaster preparedness planning and mitigation programs; http://www.naco.org/DisasterServices
  • GOVmotus offers NACo member counties the opportunity to bring their permitting process online; the system manages, automates and tracks community development processes: http://www.naco.org/govmotus
  • Counties Work: Counties Work game and game guide; middle school County Solutions unit; high school County Solutions unit; elementary school My County Works activity book—this collection, created with the generous support of NACo, provides a great set of resources for teachers and educators in the community.
  • The NACo High Performance Leadership Academy is an online 12-week program that will empower frontline county government professionals with the most fundamental leadership skills to deliver results for counties and communities.

Lunch:  I-186 Mining in Montana – Factual Impact

During the lunch hour, Dave Galt, Ronda Wiggers, and Eric Bryson discussed the factual impacts of I-186 and mining in Montana.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

General Session

Presentation:  Medicaid Expansion—A Panel from All Sides

Dr. Bryce Ward, Co-founder of ABMJ Consulting and Research Professor/Associate Director at the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana:
‘The Economic Impact of Medicaid Expansion in Montana’ (Co-Author) April 2018

Dr. Dean French, CEO, Community Medical Center in Missoula:
Impact on facilities in urban communities.

Darcel Vaughn, Administrator for 2 care facilities in Madison County:
Impact on facilities in rural communities.

  • Background: HELP act passed in 2015 by MT legislature; effective 2016; expanded Medicaid eligibility to all Montanans at or below 138% of federal poverty level; required 2% of enrollee’s income as premium; SB 405 enacted with sunset of June 30, 2019
  • As of August 2018, approximately an additional 96,000 Montanan’s enrolled in Medicaid Expansion
  • 95% of cost covered by Federal dollars; 90% of cost covered by Federal dollars in 2020; traditional Medicaid, 65% of cost covered by Federal dollars
  • Results of Medicaid Expansion: In 2013 approximately 148,000 Montanan’s covered by Medicaid; uninsured rates at approximately 7-8% of population pre-expansion, some rural Counties exceeded 20% uninsured; 2018, greater than 250,000 Montanan’s covered by Medicaid; uninsured dropped to approximately 2%
  • Early Effects of Montana Medicaid: Increased access to care; initially increased ED visits; ED visits now trending down; CMC increased access to walk-in clinics with afterhours access.  40% of patients are Medicaid; population health strategies now embedded in Primary Care Access Points; LCSW in all Primary Care Clinics; RN Care Manager in all Primary Care Clinics; pharmacists assigned to ambulatory care platform
  • Better Access to Pre-natal Care: Early Identification of high-risk pregnancies; transfer of high-risk mothers to Missoula prior to delivery, decreased transfers of newborns from outlying areas directly to NICU; decreased Neonatal intensive Care Admissions; increased avg. gestational age by 1 full week at time of birth; shortened length of stay in NICU
  • Effects of DPHHS Cuts in 2018: Decreased Targeted Case Management for high risk populations; increased number of behavioral health visits to both CMC and SPH Eds; longer length of stays in acute care settings due to decreased availability of Medicaid beds in LTC facilities
  • At the margin, how does Medicaid expansion affect Montana?
    • Medicaid expansion insures over 90,000 Montanans and generates over $500M per year in health care spending.
    • Approximately, 70% of this ($350M-$400M) is new money circulating in Montana’s economy. As such, the direct impact of Medicaid expansion is approximately 133% the size of Montana’s beverage manufacturing industry (e.g., breweries, distilleries).
    • New Medicaid expansion spending supports a substantial amount of economic activity – approximately 5,000 jobs and $280M in personal income each year.
    • Medicaid expansion (and the associated HELP-Link program) appears to have led to a 6-9% increase in labor force participation among low income Montanans (ages 18-64 & 0-138% FPL).
    • Medicaid expansion is associated with increased health care access among low-income Montanans.
    • Other studies of the effects of Medicaid expansion find that Medicaid expansion:
    • Improves health outcomes among the Medicaid expansion eligible population
    • Improves financial health – reducing outstanding debt, reducing bankruptcy, and improving credit scores.
    • Reduces property and violent crime.
    • Medicaid expansion has a positive fiscal impact on the state budget. Medicaid expansion reduces state spending in some areas (e.g., traditional Medicaid).  It also increases economic activity and, as such, increases state revenue.  Combined, the savings and increased revenues are sufficient to more than cover the Montana’s share of Medicaid expansion costs (10% in 2020 and beyond).
  • Medicaid expansion directly reduces state spending in a variety of areas:
    • It reduces spending on traditional Medicaid (over $40M to date)
    • It reduces spending on health care for inmates ($7.66M in savings in FY2017)
    • It may reduce state spending on substance use disorders and mental health.
    • It may reduce state spending on uncompensated care.
    • Medicaid expansion also increases economic activity. Increased economic activity may positively impact the state budget by increasing revenues by more than expenses.
    • Combined, direct savings plus net impact of increased activity exceed the cost of Medicaid expansion to the state.

Presentation:  Simplification in the 21st Century a.k.a. The Big Bill – The Entitlement Share History & What It Means to You

Robert Story, Chair, Local Government Funding & Structure Committee

Harold Blattie, Vice Chair, Local Government Funding & Structure Committee

  • Entitlement Share Origins/Purpose: To Institutionalize the reimbursements for legislative property tax reductions; and to simplify revenue exchanges between state and local governments
  • Local Government Funding and Structure Committee: We are dedicated to a partnership among state, county, city and school districts that is based on mutual trust and respect for local authority.
  • Primary Committee Goals: Simplify billing, collection, accounting, distribution and reporting of revenue; de-earmark revenue and eliminate expenditure mandates for local government; create a rational, dependable, stable funding structure for cities and counties
  • Establishing Mutual Trust: Provide significantly more local government financial flexibility and authority; exert less legislative control over local government; offer an Entitlement Share of the state general fund without specific revenue or expenditure requirements
  • Major Recommendation Areas: Revenue and expenditure changes; Entitlement Share; property tax limit; TIFs, countywide school funds; schools K-12; budget and accounting; de-earmarking and mandate guidelines; local option sales tax; local option realty transfer tax; state and local government relationship committee
  • Revenue Transfers: Streamlining of revenue collections and distributions at both the state and county level
  • Summary: The Entitlement Share Payment concept was born in HB 124 (2001) as a vehicle to provide payments to counties for lost property tax revenue due to the re-direction of a number of different revenue streams for both counties and the state. A portion of various fees used to be sent with those dollars being split a multitude of different ways and some of it being sent back to the county to be distributed to various funds.  The result was that there were many chances of errors being made.  The dollar amounts that counties received in 2001 under the old collection and distribution formulas became one of the components of the Entitlement Share “Base.” The “Base Entitlement Share Payment” included additional fees and taxes that were re-directed to simplify the process and revenues such as DNRC PILT payments for counties having over 6% state land, Aircraft Registration Fees, video gaming revenue, Coal Tax Apportionment, Beer, Liquor and Wine Tax Apportionment, Corporate License Tax and others.  Most significantly, it also included reimbursements for lost property tax revenue caused by SB 184 (1999) that reduced the tax rate on business equipment from 6% to 3%.  All of those different revenue offsets became the “Base Year Component” for Entitlement Share Payment calculations. During the same legislative session, legislation was passed that removed counties obligations for most district court and welfare costs and transferred the responsibility for funding those programs to the state.  Those program costs had been rising at rates far beyond most counties’ ability to continue funding. Counties actual FY-2001 costs for those programs was used as an offset to the base-year component, which effectively froze county’s financial obligation.  When all those factors were calculated, the actual Entitlement Share Payment was established.  Counties relinquished some revenues and were relieved of some obligations with the net of these things becoming the actual payment amount. The Entitlement Share Payment was also intended to serve as a “vehicle” to adjust payments to counties in the future due to legislative changes. The first occurrence of this took place when the state assumed the responsibility for providing public defender services.  The county’s actual prior year costs were deducted from the Entitlement Share Payment, because counties no longer were required to provide public defenders for indigent defendants in criminal cases.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

General Session

Presentation:  Public Information Officers & Emergency Communications

Donnell Preskey Hushka, Public Information Officer, North Dakota Association of Counties

  • Planning for Crisis Communications Starts NOW
  • Importance of Identifying & Training YOUR Communications Person
  • The Role of a Public Information Officer (PIO)
    • Represents and advises leadership
    • Manages on-scene media and public inquiries
    • Works with audiences and partners to ensure unified messaging (One Voice)
    • Uses various tools for messaging including media interviews, news releases, news conferences, social media
  • Establish Key Talking Points: Wrap message around talking points; stick to message – go back to those key messages
  • Communication Challenges: Communications between field & PIO; bombarded with calls and request; less nimble than protesters; utilizing multi-media resources; barriers in getting pictures & videos from field; constantly evolving situation; managing media on-scene; media credentialing; timely media releases; addressing “fake news” & other accusations
  • Develop a Timeline of Events
  • Necessity of Communication Plan: Counties MUST think about communications BEFORE crisis happens; identify and train individual as PIO; establish and maintain social media presence; discover assistance/training opportunities between counties & state; NACo Media Guide (download on NACo website and/or request hard copies); NACIO membership

Congressional Visit

Congressman Greg Gianforte

Congressman Gianforte spoke to the membership.

Presentation:  Cross-systems Partnerships in Criminal Justice

Nicole Rowley, Missoula County Commissioner

A brief update on the progress of Missoula’s Jail Diversion Master Plan and the current work being done to form a Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee; applying for a multi-million-dollar MacArthur Foundation grant; and address system issues encountered by individuals involved in dependent-neglect cases.

  • Jail Diversion Master Plan Update
    • Sheriff’s Office: Four recs on CIT; access to Rx, healthcare navigator, re-entry assistance (~$350K increase in jail medical contract); social workers at MCDF; execute non-violent warrants during court hours; increase programming at MCDF; including Native Outreach Project
    • Justice of the Peace: Evidence-based DUI court; prioritize court dates for jailed defendants; $15/hr credit for community service; pre-trial pilot program; evidence-based risk assessments; text court reminders
    • Native Outreach Project (MacArthur Foundation Funded): This 15-month project included TA from the Urban Institute; interviews with inmates; cultural training for MCDF staff; culturally based programming (Regaining the Warrior; Mending Broken Hearts; Wellbriety Group)
    • Partnerships: Emergency detention beds; housing navigation for returning citizens; recs on funding and standards for providers of correctional services
    • Ongoing related efforts: Frequent utilizer systems engagement grant (social detox, drop-in center, and permanent supportive housing); collaborative care plan; justice alliance for behavioral health; partners for re-integration; housing policy steering committee
  • Jail Diversion Master Plan Next Steps
    • Continue efforts on ongoing and unaddressed items
    • Prosecution-led diversion – County Attorney Kirsten Pabst (Secondary-trauma group)
    • Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
    • For the appropriate populations, reduce the number incarcerated, reduce length of stay, increase links to community treatment, and reduce recidivism to
      • Enhance the quality of life so people can thrive and realize individual and collective potential (vision)
      • Promote a healthy, safe, and vibrant community (goal)
    • Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee: MacArthur Foundation, Safety and Justice Challenge Grant Application
      • Six key strategies: Implementing front-end jail diversion with law enforcement; supporting prosecutor-led diversion efforts; increasing use of the Public Safety Assessment; providing post-booking stabilization; providing diversion/re-entry legal services to low-income and indigent clients with civil disputes; providing outreach and education about indigenous cultures and racial disparities
      • Key staff would include: Project director; diversion coordinator; cultural liaison; jail diversion/re-entry attorney; LCSW to provide mental health treatment in the jail and post-release; LAC to provide evaluations for individuals in the criminal justice system; case management while incarcerated and post-release; data analyst (trauma awareness and implicit bias training for staff)
    • Kindness, Elegance, and Love Project (KELP) for Dependent Neglect Cases: NACo Cross-systems Partnership Leadership Lab
      • Dependent Neglect Cases: MT removes avg ~7.5 children/10K population/month; over 250% the national average monthly removal rate of 3 per 10K; #1 in the nation for removal rate;
        • A Montana child is 6x more likely to be removed to foster care than a child living in Illinois (#50 in nation)

The Problem:  Medicaid cuts and health funding rule changes; 2-3 months to receive a MHE or CDE; up to 9 months waiting for resulting treatment; permanent removal possible if child is out of home 15 of 22 months; system backlog increases failure rates and removals; barriers to success for these parents (housing, transportation, education, child care, mental health and primary care access and education, employment, parenting and financial skills, economic and family instability, complicated lives and relationships, drug use, discrimination, trauma)

  • Outcomes (Hopefully): Decreased time to mental health and chemical dependency evaluation completion; increased rate of successful court plan completion; increased self-sufficiency (employment/income, housing); identification of traumatized children and linkage to services; decreased relapse incidence for parents in recovery; increased health outcomes; increased reunification of families

MACo Committee Reports

MACo Agriculture Committee

Committee Chair, Commissioner Larry Hendrickson, Liberty County

  • Mark Peterson discussed a cell telephone tower project and the Sage Grouse Oversight Committee recommendation of $1.8 million mitigation. Mark asked the Ag Committee members to contact the Sage Grouse Oversight Committee members with the committee’s concerns about the proposed mitigation fees.
  • Montana Mesonet: The beginnings of a drought early warning system and precision agriculture network across Montana, Kelsey Jencso, Associate Professor of Hydrology, Montana State Climatologist, Franke College of Forestry & Conservation
  • Beginnings of Precision Agriculture; Montana Mesonet is a densely spaced network that serves landowners and managers with local soil moisture and weather information required for daily to seasonal decisions.
  • Review Assigned Resolutions: The committee had two resolutions assigned for review and recommendation to the membership:
    • Noxious Weed Management Funding, Agriculture Committee
    • Revise Definition of Wild Buffalo & Wild Bison, Garfield County
  • Committee Policy Statement Review: There were no changes recommended by the Ag Committee.
  • Montana Weed Control Association Update, Amy Adler, MWCA Representative: Amy Adler gave an MWCA update.  There will be a Commissioner Weed Board Training in Glasgow on October 25.
  • Ag Updates from Members: The Ag Committee members gave updates concerning agricultural issues in their respective areas of the state.

NACo Agriculture & Rural Affairs Steering Committee

Committee Member, Commissioner Maureen Davey, Stillwater County

  • The 2018 National Association of Counties Annual Conference was held in the Tennessee capital city of Nashville. This area is known for its spicy chicken, country music, church communities, barbecue and whiskey. Farmland covers about 44% of the state of Tennessee and the top five agricultural products are beef cattle and calves, broilers (young chickens), soybeans, greenhouse and nursery products, and cotton.
  • The Agriculture and Rural Affairs Steering Committee (AgRA) met in two sessions on the first day of the conference. In the first session Arthur Scott, NACo associate Legislative Director and Political Outreach Manager, gave Capitol Hill updates and addressed the comprehensive analysis of key AgRA committee priorities within the current Farm Bill deliberations. He broke down the AgRA Committee Platform to highlight jurisdictional provisions for both subcommittees within the current farm bill that affected key county priorities. NACo uses the AgRA platform policies when commenting on national issues. Several platform changes were introduced and discussed.
  • The specific changes were not to change the original intent of platform but to remove individual names referenced at the time of the platform adoption.
  • The second session had two speakers. The first, Ken Barbic Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations US Department of Agriculture, presented updates from the US Department of Agriculture on the reauthorization of the Farm Bill. NACo staff and the USDA work together to ensure the programs designed to help rural counties provide critical services remain a priority. He provided insight into the relationship between USDA and Congress and discussed how county officials can help leverage the intergovernmental narrative during the Farm Bill debate. The second speaker, from the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, explained how the Bureau regulates the offering and provision of consumer financial products and services under the federal consumer financial laws and educates and empowers consumers to make better informed financial decisions.
  • After the speakers, the AgRA committee conducted their final business by voting on the proposed platform changes and proposed resolutions. The three platform changes all passed. They were basically language cleanups. Of the three resolutions considered, two passed.
    • One urged the U.S Department of Labor to reform existing H-2A administrative rules to modernize and simplify the H-2A application and certification processes and expand farm worker flexibility to ensure that a reliable and capable workforce is available for the nation’s farmers and ranchers. I’ve heard from our farmers how difficult the process is to get foreign labor.
    • The second resolution passed urged Congress to strengthen sustained funding for rural broadband deployment and support cooperative deploying telecommunications services by leveraging and streamlining key federal programs; the Federal Communication Commission Connect America Funds; the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service; U.S Economic Development Administration grant program; and the Rural Infrastructure Program.
  • The single resolution voted down was asking that the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQUIP), the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Conservation Innovation Grants Program (CIG) include more specific soil health/regenerative soil projects in the programs that increase water retention and productivity of soil. This resolution by far had the most debate. A majority of the AgRA committee considered this resolution adding more government regulations on soil for these programs – including myself. I was relieved there were enough members on the committee that understood the ramifications of adding more regs to these programs. It was defeated by a narrow margin. The AgRA Committee seemed to have more members at the conference involved in agriculture. That’s a really good move.
  • This was my last NACo Annual Conference. It has been an honor representing Montana counties nationally on the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. Thank you.

MACo Community, Economic Development & Labor Committee

Committee Chair, Commissioner Joe Briggs, Cascade County

  • The committee reviewed assigned MACo Resolutions and recommendations to the membership:
  • Allow Counties to Establish a Coal Trust Fund – recommended “Do Pass”
  • Creation of Gateway Counties Local Option Tax – recommended “Do Pass”
  • Ensure Consistency for Making Assessments or Imposing Fees for Costs & Expenses of All Improvement Districts – recommended “Do Pass”
  • Committee Policy Statement Review:
    • Brian Obert and Sarah Converse of the Montana Economic Developers Association spoke to the committee regarding the importance of the Economic Development programs that will sunset in 2019 and asked that MACo policy include support for an extension of those programs.
    • Proposed Policy: MACo supports the continuance of existing Montana economic development programs included in MCA 15-35-108 and identified by the Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA) as critical to Montana’s competitiveness.  MACo also encourages the development, by MEDA and with participation from MACo, of a long-term strategy for Montana that includes analysis of the existing programs and opportunities for improvement.
    • Policy Statement in Support of Mining: Chairman Briggs explained the request of the Resolutions Committee that the CEDL committee include language in support of mining in their policy statement. The two policy statements suggested by the Resolutions committee were discussed.
    • Proposed Policies: MACo believes that responsible mining is a cornerstone of Montana’s economy and passage of laws that unduly and negatively impact mining operations or encourage unnecessary litigation will harm the economic interests of Montana communities.
    • MACo believes that changes in permitting processes or rulemaking necessary to address environmental concerns associated with mining activity are better done in an open, participatory, public process where meaningful public input can be considered when making decisions impacting this vital component of our economy.
    • Requested inclusion of Rural Airports into policy statement: Commissioner Devlin introduced concerns about the lack of funding for rural airports to meet Federal and State Grant match requirements. The committee provided language to the Transportation Committee for review to possibly include in their policy statements (which they approved).
      • MACo supports airport infrastructure funding that addresses the needs of both primary and non-primary airports due to the economic importance of a strong system of airports. A new motion was made by Commissioner Siefert moved and Commissioner Macdonald seconded that if Transportation doesn’t include the language in their policy statements that, it will be included in CEDL policies, motion passed.
    • USDA Rural Development Agency: Lad Barney, Lyle Coney and Diana Mattis from the Kalispell office that covers western Montana, provided an overview of USDA programs and the types of projects that they could assist with.
    • Other Business: Commissioner Crago brought forward his concerns regarding the lack of a practical matter to create impact fees on development other than wind farms.  He requests that MACo undertake an effort to address this shortcoming in the MCA. Chairman Briggs said that he would relay the request to MACo Leadership.
    • Sarah Converse was voted in as permanent Secretary of the Committee as long as she is active in MACo and a member of the CEDL Committee.

NACo Telecommunications & Technology Steering Committee; and NACo Information Technology Standing Committee

Vice Chair, Commissioner Joe Briggs, Cascade County

  • NACo Telecommunications and Technology Committee Report
  • Presentations
    • The first presentation was a briefing from the Federal Communications Commission Office of Intergovernmental Affairs regarding their outreach to counties and their desire to strengthen the working relationship between the FCC and counties.
    • The second presenter was Mr. Matthew Travis the Deputy Under Secretary for National Protection and Programs Directorate, US Dept of Homeland Security. Mr. Travis spoke about the role DHS and the NPPD play in working to mitigate the risk of cyberattacks on state and local governments, as well as free resources that DHS has developed in partnership with the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) to assist counties in responding to a myriad of cyberattacks. DHS provides a substantial amount of resources to counties FREE of charge, but you have to reach out to them and take advantage of their assistance.
    • The third and final presentation of the day was by Ms. Katherine Bates, US Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Broadband USA. Ms. Bates spoke about NTIA’s role in managing Federal grant programs designed to provide broadband in underserved areas, as well as NTIA’s efforts to build publicly accessible information on broadband coverage gaps nationwide. The role of the NTIA is to advise the executive branch on Telecom issues and to assist with the deployment of Broadband technology through Education and convening the resources and talents of other federal agencies. She also talked about recent executive orders which have been issued dealing with the colocation of broadband transmission capability on existing federal assets and reductions in the restrictions of the use of federal assets to expand broadband coverage. These two orders should have a significant impact on expanding broadband coverage in many areas of Montana due to the amount of Federal land in our state.
  • The last order of business for the day was to consider the five policy resolutions and two platform changes that were presented to the committee for consideration. Four of the five resolutions were carryover resolutions from last year and were all accepted without debate. The fifth was a new resolution titled “Calling on the Federal Government to actively engage counties prior to developing 5G wireless infrastructure”.
    • This resolution had been introduced at the Legislative conference but was tabled until this meeting for additional discussion. The concern that brought about this resolution is the effort of some members of Congress to allow the deployment of 5G technology to overrule all local government zoning and permitting authority. Although it is in all counties’ best interest to encourage the deployment of broadband and 5G technology, removing all local control and jurisdiction is not the answer. A good working relationship between local government and providers is the correct answer. Federal legislation that removes all local control and absolves anyone that is installing 5G from any responsibility is a formula for problems.
    • The committee passed this resolution and it, along with the other four, were approved by both the Board of Directors and the membership of NACo for inclusion in the 2018 legislative work plan.
  • The two proposed platform changes were also discussed and voted on.
    • The first was a platform change to incorporate much of the “Net Neutrality” language that was defeated in committee action at the legislative conference. It suffices to say that in the eyes of the majority of the committee, the proposed “Supporting Open Internet when Public Funds or Resources are Utilized” platform plank was basically the same issue as the resolution voted down at the Legislative Conference in March. It was once again voted down.
    • The second proposed platform changes entitled “Supporting Local Control and Counties as Critical Broadband Deployment Partners” were discussed and received a unanimous vote of approval from the committee. This revised platform plank is consistent with and embodies a number of the sentiments established in the resolutions approved at the meeting as well as past NACo policies and goals.
  • NACo Information Technology Standing Committee Report
    • Cybersecurity: Montana was targeted a couple of months ago by several groups; starting to get hit by credentialing scams (asks you to sign in to something); MSISAC is a free service funded by homeland security; can help you do an assessment; it’s a question of when and how bad you will be breached.

MACo Energy Committee

Committee Chair, Commissioner Doug Martens, Rosebud County

  • The committee had one resolution assigned for review and recommendation to the membership:
    • Support Development of New U.S. Coal Export Facilities – Incorporate into Policy Statements
      • In most instances a resolution results in MACo soliciting legislation; policy gives direction on how to react to bills and/or other activity related to a particular initiative or issue.
      • New Energy Committee Policy Statement: MACo supports the development of new U.S. natural resource export facilities and will encourage the Montana Legislature and Attorney General to do the same.
    • The committee reviewed and approved the remainder of the committee’s Policy Statements: The Midwinter changes were reviewed along with the existing language.
    • NACo report from Nashville (Chair Martens): Environment, Energy, & Land Use (EELU) – The committee engages in a difficult combination of issues so it would be better if the committee was split so that items could get to the floor more easily vs. being killed in committee.  The committee passed policy related to wetlands permitting; climate change language; waters of the US rulemaking; EPA’s framework for storm water rules; water quality effluent limitations; EPA groundwater regulations; rules related to water infrastructure; funding for local levels to address sea level rises; sea urchins; doing business with foreign nations; green algae issues on east coast; LGN export facilities; Keystone XL (taken out by Board of Directors because there was no action for the board to take); and encouraging FERC to redo guidelines in coordination with local governments especially as it relays to drawing down reservoirs to avoid flooding.
    • Speaker Scott Rosenthal from Montana Tech Mine Engineering Dept and Burt Todd from Petroleum Engineering Dept.
      • Rosenthal is seeing a declining enrollment although they have had 100% placement in the last 5 years. High percentage of internships as well.  Enrollment consists generally at 1/3 in coal, mostly 1/3 metals, 1/3 aggregates.  Current GM at Colstrip is a Tech Alumnus.
      • Todd expressed appreciation for how important county commissioners are to oil and gas especially the roads. Overview of MT Tech Petroleum program, as well as thoughts on oil and gas in general.  Enrollment goes up when price goes down.  Administration has realized that spikes are not good, and they are looking to control top end of enrollment.  Looking to diversify a bit to online and expanded research.  Online would serve the needs of ongoing education to keep up with trends.  Not a lot of R&D in the region which provides an opportunity to fill a need as well as help with retention of staff.

NACo Environment, Energy & Land Use Steering Committee

Committee Member, Commissioner Doug Martens, Rosebud County

  • Three policy changes were discussed and all three passed:
    • The first deals with EPA groundwater regulation. The policy directs NACO to encourage EPA to work closely with states and local governments when considering new regulations.
    • Second was the Coral Reef Conservation Act. Several of the reefs along the Florida coast are experiencing disease outbreaks. NACo is directed to support this Act and encourage federal funding to assist with the reef.
    • The third policy was dealing with PEAS which stands for “per and polyfluoroalkyl substances.” From my understanding it is a soil-borne substance that has the potential to be a health threat. NACO was directed to lobby at the federal level to support EPA efforts to study the effects and possible cleanup regulations.
  • There were nine resolutions discussed and passed, including support for the Keystone Pipeline carried by commissioner Dunbar from Phillips County. The resolutions were all existing and none were changed, other than a little wordsmithing.
  • EELU is still a contentious and important committee. There are strong opinions about energy and about environment. The two can and should work together; and I believe this committee is a perfect example of how that is done. I want to thank Commissioner Barron and MACO for allowing me this opportunity.

MACo Health & Human Services Committee

Committee Chair, Commissioner Carl Seilstad, Fergus County

  • County Sanitarians: Discussion was held regarding the qualifications for county sanitarians and how the requirements inhibit counties from finding registered sanitarians. Staff advised they would try to gather more information on the process.
  • Contracted Sanitarians: Commissioner Youngbauer engaged a discussion about counties who contract with sanitarians and ask counties contact her with information.
  • MSPOA: Sheriff Gootkin reported that the significant cuts in funding for mental health services made during the special session have caused significant setbacks to the work that has been done through the last few sessions to provide community-based services to the mentally ill and those in crisis.  This has caused mental health centers to conduct major reductions in staff and discontinue services, such as the elimination of case management. He added the number of transports to the State Hospital have doubled since the special session.  It will be a priority with the Sheriff’s and County Attorney’s during the next legislative session to try to restore the funding.
  • Public Health Officers: Jackie Boyle reported that the Association’s legislative priorities will focus on monitoring the DPHHS budget, supporting Medicaid Expansion, addressing substance abuse (opioids), funding and programs for mental health resources and suicide prevention, and amending the Clean Indoor Air Act to incorporate vaping.
  • Department of Public Health & Human Services: Kerry Pride thanked all for their support of the Community Health Plans and Health Assessments.  She added that there is an opening on the Public Health Improvement Task Force and explained the work of the group.  Pride also reported that a non-profit organization has been formed that is dedicated to improving public health practices and coordination of multi-organizations.  The group will be seeking funding and/or legislative approval.  Ms. Pride noted the Statewide Health Improvement Plan is almost complete.  You can view the full report at:  www.healthiermt.gov.
  • USDA Rural Development: Lyle Coney reported there are loan and assistance funds available for mental health, distance learning, telemedicine, opioid abuse programs and critical care services for hospitals.  He outlined the guidelines and matches for each of the programs.  Information on these and other programs are on their website:  rurdev.gov
  • Congressman Gianforte: Brett Simos reported that the Congressman is working hard for Montana and is working on CHiP reauthorization, restoring funding for Community Health Centers, rural access to health care, reduction prescription drug costs, EMS funding and addressing the opioid epidemic.
  • Public Health System Improvement Task Force: Sheryl Wood reported that the Department of Public health is looking for a Commissioner to serve on the Task Force.  The member would also serve as a member of the new SHA/SHIP Coalition Sub-committee, which helps draft the State Health Improvement Plan.  Members were asked to contact Ms. Wood if they were interested in serving in the position.

MACo Justice & Public Safety Committee

Committee Chair, Commissioner Laura Obert, Broadwater County

  • Review of Resolutions
    • Cost of Care for Animals Seized in Alleged Animal Welfare Violations – Recommended “Do Pass”
    • Destruction of Public Records Requiring an Order of District Court to Probate Court – Recommended “Do Pass as Amended by the Resolutions Committee”
    • Expert Witness Costs in Criminal Cases: Leo Gallagher reported that the County Attorney’s Association supports the concept but it’s not on their legislative priorities list. He provided information that when the state assumed District Court costs in HB 124 in 2001, it was place in the law that they shall pay for witness fees (MCA 3-5-901).  However due to budget cuts, the Court Administrators and Judges are no longer allowing claims for the witness fees.  Sheryl Wood noted that MACo could not bring legislation to require the state to pay costs that are already required in statute?  She suggested adding it as a policy statement: “Be it resolved that MACo will work with the court administrator’s office to ensure full funding for district court costs as cited in 3-5-901.”
    • Public Safety Dispatch & e-9-1-1 hours of work: Bill Barron explained the need for more flexibility with scheduling for 911; however, federal law only allows this (overtime based on 80 hours/2 weeks vs 40 hours/week) for fire protection and law enforcement with the power to arrest. He would like to then move this to a policy statement: “Support working with NACo and the federal government to allow public safety telecommunicators to work the same 80-hour 2-week schedule as all emergency and public safety services”. Detention officers do not fall under this schedule either since they do not have the power to arrest so they were removed from the original language.  Department of Labor would be the appropriate place to address this, per Chris Lounsbury, COO of Missoula County. Discussion ensued about SRS vs PERS for public safety communication officers. The resolution was moved into the committee’s policy statements.
  • Review Committee Policy Statements – In addition to the recommendations just mentioned, the committee changed the following statements:
    • #12 – Extension of the “84-16” enhance wireless account: Committee recommended striking, as this formula of funding was repealed in HB 61 (2017).
    • #17 – Funding for State DCI & Criminal Prosecution Bureau: Committee recommended striking “to offset the use of resources in oil-impacted areas of Montana.”
  • Association Reports & Updates:
    • Sheriffs & Peace Officers Association: Sheriff Gootkin reported that a Public Safety Coalition was formed after the last session to be more effective. The Sheriffs will be sponsoring legislation to require minimum qualifications to run for Sheriff.
    • CIT Montana: Deb Matteucci provided information on mental health services and the shortfall picked up by law enforcement and first responders. CIT MT will hold Academies in 8 counties next year. Currently, about 6 areas have standing CIT teams and CITM would be happy to help more areas help set up a team and/or provide training. Jane Weber asked about a refresher training. CIT MT is working on a re-certification, what timeline this should follow, etc. There’s a curriculum review for trainers but not a refresher for participants currently. Sheriff Gootkin added that commissioners should support this in their communities as a cost-effective measure, and it’s the right thing to do.
    • Juvenile Detention Funding: Discussion was held regarding the lack of funding being provided for Juvenile Detention Services. Sheriff Gootkin and Deb Matteucci reported that the budget was cut 36% of the costs, putting significant fiscal strain on counties, resulting in multiple juvenile detention facilities having to close. As adult facilities need more beds, it is putting more pressure on juvenile beds.  Commissioner Weber reported on how Cascade County created a crisis response team.  Now mental health teams respond to CIT requests and mental health professionals conduct the assessment.

NACo Justice & Public Safety Steering Committee

Committee Member, Commissioner Bill Barron, Lake County

  • I would first like to thank the MACo Membership for allowing me the privilege and honor of representing you on the Justice and Public Safety Committee.
  • As always, we had several very interesting guest speakers, with presentations on the following topics:
    • Received updates from Tara Kunkel, Senior Drug Policy Officer, Bureau of Justice Assistance Department of Justice.
    • Presentation by Genevieve Citrin, Right to Counsel National Campaign, on “Right to Counsel in Criminal Cases.”
    • Presentation by John Pollock, National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, on “Right to Counsel in Civil Cases.”
    • FEMA update from Ryan Streeter, Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist.
  • Our Committee approved 22 resolutions and 5 policy changes. JPS was the primary jurisdiction on 15 resolutions and 7 were from secondary jurisdictions:
    • Resolution Supporting the Emergency Management Performance Grant Program
    • Resolution Supporting Inflationary Increase to the Emergency Management Performance Grant
    • Resolution on Fair Restructuring of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Grants
    • Resolution to Support National Standards for Emergency Management Programs and the Emergency Management Accreditation Program
    • Resolution Urging Congress and FEMA to Ensure County Involvement in the Implementation of Emergency Management Strategic Goals
    • Resolution on FEMA’s De-obligation of Approved Disaster-Relief Funds
    • Resolution on National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Program Improvements
    • Resolution Supporting Legislation Providing Mitigation Funds for Certain Areas Affected by Wildfires
    • Resolution Supporting and Improving Rural EMS Needs Act
    • Resolution Supporting Deflection Initiatives
    • Resolution Supporting State Criminal Alien Assistance Program
    • Resolution on Finalizing Reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act
    • Resolution in Support of Reauthorization of the Second Chance Act
    • Resolution Urging the United States Congress to Support Efforts by the National Fire Protection Association, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and Others to Regulate the Service Life of Fire Protective Clothing by Amending National Fire Protection Association Standard 1851 that Mandates Retirement of Such Clothing Based on Manufacture Date
    • Resolution Urging the United States Congress to Direct the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to Expedite Research Assessing the Performance Requirements and Retirement Criteria of Fire Fighter Turnout Gear to Determine the Safe Life Cycle of Said Gear
  • There were several Platform Changes:
  • Criminal Justice: Pretrial Justice; Training and Safety of Correctional Employees; Federal Support for Reducing Mental Illness in Jails; Human Trafficking; Tax Offenses and Theft; Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Restraint of Juveniles in Court); Substance Abuse (Federal Responsibility for Drug Control; Control of Drug Manufacturers; Cannabis Policy)

MACo Land Use, Planning & Development Committee

Committee Chair, Commissioner Joe Skinner, Gallatin County

  • Committee Resolution Review & Recommendations:
    • Lifting of Agricultural Covenants in Limited Situations – Recommend a “Do Pass”
    • Require that Parcels That Are Exempt from Subdivision Review Provide Legal Access – Recommend a “Do Pass”
    • Revise Laws Related to the Relocation of County Boundaries – Recommend a “Do Not Pass”
  • Committee Policy Statement Review: There were no changes recommended by the Land Use, Planning & Development Committee.
  • Montana Weed Control Association Update: Pam Converse presented the MWCA’s 2019 motor vehicle fee increase proposal and distributed handouts for the committee to review.  She discussed the Montana Weed Association’s intention to hire a lobbyist and stated they would seek amendments to the county weed statute allowing education expenses.  Commissioner Strouf asked how much the proposed MV increase will generate, and Ms. Converse stated, “an additional $15,000 per county.” She said she would verify that as the language in the handout was confusing.  Commissioner Gorder asked if any Fish/Wildlife money goes for weeds.  Converse stated that a small amount of block management funds is used for weed control, but there is no “weed” line item in Fish/Wildlife so they use trail and recreation money for weeds.  Commissioner Burrows asked who told them that weed money couldn’t be used for education, and Ms. Converse responded that the Stillwater County Attorney issued that opinion.  No action was needed or taken on this agenda item.
  • Discussion on Open Section Lines: Commissioner McLean and Tara DePuy discussed the issue of “open section lines” in Hill County.  DePuy could find no such legal reverence to “open section lines” in Montana, and Commissioner McLean asked if any other county had the same historical practice – unknown amongst those in the committee meeting.

MACo Public Lands Committee

Committee Chair, Commissioner Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County

  • Committee Resolution Review & Recommendations:
    • Invasive Species Penalties – Recommend a “Do Pass” and “Incorporate into Policy Statements”
      • New Policy Statement:
        • MACo supports allowing for any such program developed to protect public health and safety of Montana waterways to be borne by those directly responsible for the potential contamination or introduction of aquatic invasive species in Montana.
      • Committee Policy Statements Review:
        • Policy No. 13 Discussion: MACo supports the release of all Wilderness Study Areas (WSA’s), which have been recommended or evaluated as not suitable for wilderness by the respective agencies and managed in accordance to the principles of the Multiple-Use Sustained Yield Act of 1960.
          • After long confusing procedure and guidelines discussion, Leanne Martin, USFS, tried to clarify. Basically, we have Wilderness, WSAs, and Wilderness Inventory, which are separate issues. The concern is that the policy states that WSAs recommended not to have wilderness characteristics by the managing agency should be released by an act of Congress prior to being defined as anything other than a WSA, which is confusing.  Once the WSA status is taken off, Congress could act, or it could be addressed in amended forest plans or resource management plans.
        • There was policy discussion on Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) on state trust lands; question and concerns about the large amount of state trust lands in Daniels County. The history was explained by Mr. Blattie, and the afternoon workshop on the “Big Bill” would give further information.
      • Montana Weed Control Association Update, Kelliann Morris, MWCA Representative: MWCA has proposed legislation to increase taxes on vehicles for noxious weed control.  The funding mentality was explained by Harold Blattie.
      • Speakers/Presentations:
        • Matt Arno, DNRC, gave a presentation regarding good neighbor authority. Good neighbor authority seems to be working to get projects done.
        • Leanne Marten, Region One Forester, USFS
          • Staff Update
          • Shared Stewardship: Shared decision, statewide, brand new, and still a work in progress; a concept paper will be sent to MACo.
          • Fire Issues: Salvage timber, 100 million bdft sold, and 25 million bdft to come.
          • Mushroom Harvest: Big harvest year
          • Vegetation Plan: Timber harvest 390 million, up 321 from previous target
          • Litigation: Last 10 years have had 2,600+ decisions with only 127 decisions (5%) litigated, but they were major decisions with major negative or positive impacts such as the “Cottonwood Decision.”
          • Fire Cost from USFS Budget
          • Good Neighbor Authority: Has been a good tool with local and state government and agencies.
          • Stewardship Contracting: Has been extended to up to 20 years.
          • Forest Plans Update and Amendments: Ongoing
        • Wayne Noem, Montana Department of Transportation: Secondary road fund update/FLAP program
        • NACo WIR & Public Lands Steer Committee Updates: Chairman Chilcott and Commissioner Devlin reported on the happenings of the Western Interstate Region and the NACo Public Lands Steering Committee.
        • Introduction of BLM Associate State Director, Kim Liebhauser

NACo Public Lands Steering Committee

Committee Vice Chair, Commissioner Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County

  • Platform Changes
    • Special Use Designations: Supports amending the Antiquities Act to require state and local government support and approval and to provide transparency and accountability in the designation of national monuments.
    • Wild Horse & Burros: NACo supports restoring Congressional funding for the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act’s sale-without-restrictions provisions and the funding and utilization of sterilization technology and methods that are proven to be effective in controlling herd sizes.
    • Forest & Rangeland Health: NACo supports forest health initiatives, as well as the broader use of categorical exclusions from NEPA in cases of imminent threat to community watersheds to timely and effectively address the threat of catastrophic events to our public forest and rangeland resources.
  • Proposed (and adopted) Policy Resolutions (which must be reconsidered every year):
    • Repair and maintain the Public Land Survey System due to nationwide deterioration.
    • Amending the Recreation and Public Purposes Act to allow counties with federal lands within their park system to offer concessions to third party vendors.
    • Supporting federal regulation and/or policies to allow counties to remove salt cedar from rivers.
    • Opposing federal regulations and policies requiring landscape-scale mitigation, net conservation gain and the prioritization of compensatory mitigation on federal lands and supporting a federal lands mitigation policy that follows the mitigation hierarchy of “avoid, minimize and compensate.”
    • Urging Congress to amend and update the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to reflect its intended purpose “to protect endangered species and the ecosystems on which they depend” and to ensure the rights of people are also protected.
    • Urging Congress to support the return of 40% of Federal Mineral Lease Revenue to the county in which it was generated.
    • Supporting private entities that sell or donate property to the federal government to pay a fee in lieu of taxes to affected counties.
    • Supporting amendments to PILT population caps to include population multipliers to local governments with populations in the range of 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 and 5,000 citizens.
    • Opposing cataloging Wilderness characteristics and inventory without legal authority under FLPMA by federal land management agencies.
    • Supporting the use of FEMA pre-disaster mitigation grant funding to engage in forest thinning and restoration activities, including using FEMA flood mitigation assistance for forest restoration to reduce the threat of catastrophic fire and post-wildfire flooding and debris flows.
    • Supporting federal funding to promote and expedite building of wood products industry in regions with low and no-value trees to allow consumption of forest products as a pathway to forest restoration and reduction of the risk of catastrophic wildfire.
    • Urging Congress to maintain current funding levels for federal public lands agencies’ operating budgets recognizing their positive impact on counties with economies dependent on tourism and recreation.
    • Urging that U.S. Forest Service and BLM allow permit-less gathering of wood products from areas where those products are already planned for controlled burn, slashing, chipping, and other treatments.
    • Urging the BLM to follow FLPMA and place maximum feasible reliance on willing and available local law enforcement officials in enforcing federal land management laws and regulations, paying fair amounts for available services.
    • Urging Congress to prevent the establishment of a national monument in a state without the affected state’s and county’s approval.
    • Supporting Presidential Proclamations 9681 & 9682 dated December 4, 2017 that modified and reduced the boundaries and size of the Bears Ears National Monument and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument under the authority of the Antiquities Act.
  • Mark Haggerty, Headwaters Economic, discussed alternative proposals on the PILT and SRS formulas and proposed future funding methods.
  • Chris French, Associate Deputy Chief, U.S. Forest Service, discussed how the agency is working to enhance engagement with local government and the public.
  • Randy Phillips, U.S. Forest Service, Liaison to NACo, discussed the status and content of the Forest Service Guidebook being developed collaboratively with the National Association of Counties. The Guidebook is an effort to assist county officials and USFS staff in understanding responsibilities, achieving shared goals and improving relationships and communications.
  • Redge Johnson, County Liaison, Utah Governor’s Public Lands Office, discussed the importance of counties and states that have adopted Resource Management Plans. He stated that these plans are a lot of work but critical to working with Federal Partners under the Federal Lands Policy Management Act (FLPMA), the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) and the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations. Properly written and adopted, these plans provide states and counties the opportunity to help guide federal decisions.

MACo Resolutions & Legislative Committee

Committee Chair, Commissioner Jean Curtiss, Missoula County

  • One resolution was sent to the BOD: MACo to pay for someone to go to a NACo conference
  • We didn’t get to our policy statements (ran out of time), so in your packets we added the amendments for your consideration, which will be brought forward on the floor at the time of consideration.
  • Committee Resolution Review & Recommendations:
    • Allow Counties to Establish County Auditor as Part-time Office – Recommend “Do Pass”
    • Clarifying County Attorney as Legal Advisor – Recommend “Do Pass as Amended”
    • Destruction of Public Records Requiring an Order of District Court or Probate Court – Recommend “Do Pass as Amended”
    • Elector Qualifications in School Elections – Recommend “Do Not Pass”
    • Oppose I-186 – Tabled
    • Public Records Protection – Recommend “Do Pass”
    • Revise Definition of Electioneering Communications – Recommend “Do Pass”

MACo Tax, Budget & Finance Committee

Committee Chair, Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County

  • Committee Resolution Review & Recommendations:
    • 6-mill Levy to Fund the Montana University System – Recommend “Do Not Pass; Incorporate into Policy Statements”
    • Allow Inflation of Mill Levies – Recommend “Do Pass”
    • County Tax Appeal Board Incidental Expenses – Recommend “Do Not Pass; Incorporate into Policy Statements”
    • Creation of Gateway Counties Local Option Tax – Recommend “Do Pass”
    • Extending Deadline to Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment to November – Recommend “Do Not Pass; Incorporate into Policy Statements”
    • Removing Mobile Homes from the Tax Rolls – Recommend “Do Pass”
    • Repeal of Temporary Tribal Exemption – Recommend “Do Pass”
    • Require Junk Vehicle Disposal Fee for House Trailers and Travel Trailers – Recommend “Do Not Pass; Incorporate into Policy Statements”
  • Committee Policy Statements Review:
    • MACo supports the continuation of the six-mill levy to provide the basis of state financial support for the support, maintenance, and improvement of the Montana University System.
    • MACo supports the statutory obligation of the state of Montana through the state tax appeal board appropriation to fund the incidental expenses for the county tax appeal board as stated in 15-15-101 (b)(3).
    • MACo will work with the Montana County Treasurers Association and the Montana Department of Revenue to clearly explain the information provided to taxpayers on their tax assessment notice.
    • MACo supports allowing counties the option of dedicating a portion of their junk vehicle funds to towing, recycling, and disposing of non-motorized vehicles and mobile homes.

MACo Transportation Committee

Committee Chair, Commissioner John Ostlund, Yellowstone County

  • Committee Resolution Review & Recommendations:
    • Setting Speed Limits, Missoula County: Commissioner Jean Curtiss, Missoula County, presented the resolution to the committee and proposed amendments to clarify that the resolution is to allow counties to set speeds at less than 35 MPH on paved roads in suburban subdivisions when warranted by an engineering investigation. Committee recommends a “Do Pass as Amended”
    • Setting Speed Limits in School Zones, Gallatin County: Commissioner Steve White, Gallatin County presented the resolution to the committee. Committee recommends a “Do Pass.”
  • Committee Policy Statement Review: The committee approved the policy statements with the language suggested by MACo’s Community, Economic Development & Labor Committee’s regarding airports:
    • MACo supports airport infrastructure funding that addresses the needs of both primary and non-primary airports due to the economic importance of a strong system of airports.
  • Montana Weed Control Association Update, Karen Laitala, MWCA Representative
    • Miss Laitala spoke to the committee about the MWCA legislation and MACo’s proposed resolution to support the legislation. The resolution was presented in MACo’s Agriculture Committee, and it passed so will be in front of the membership for final approval during Wednesday Business Session.
  • Updates from the Montana Department of Transportation
    • Gas Tax Revenue, County Compliance & Federal Update: Lynn Zanto, Administrator, MDT Rail, Transit & Planning Division
      • Rules implemented in 2017
      • Local governments need to request by November 1st
      • New allocations will be made March 1st of each year
    • Secondary Roads, Off-System Bridges and FLAP, Wayne Noem, Secondary Roads Engineer
      • Two programs: Highways and Transit Rail
      • Montana receives about 1% of federal funding (approximately $400 million)
      • Secondary Roads: $30.8 million, full funding
      • Off-system Bridges: Eleven bridges put on the list
      • FLAP: One year out for all new projects; $16 million in federal dollars plus match per year

NACo Transportation Steering Committee

Committee Member, Commissioner John Ostlund, Yellowstone County

  • The Trump Administration has worked on legislative priorities including tax relief, regulation relief, approval of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, and dealing with the trade issues like NAFTA while still discussing authorization of a new Highway Bill.
  • While the administration has had success with many of the above-listed projects, the Highway Bill has taken a backseat and we are operating on continued resolutions for highway funding. Counties control 46% of the nation’s public roads, 38% of the nation’s bridge system, and we are involved in one third of the nation’s transit systems and airports. In February President Trump introduced his transportation plan which totaled $1.5 Trillion dollars. This potential plan, if approved, will likely focus on actual project conception and construction unlike previous plans that focused more on policy.
  • The NACo Transportation Committee this year reauthorized all 9 resolutions that were approved last year with many important to Montana. Resolutions in support of direct funding to Counties, on the reauthorization of full funding for the FAA, a resolution to support transit options in any new bill, a resolution in support of Eliminating Regulatory Impediments for effective project delivery, a resolution urging Congress to Amend the Electronic Logging device and Hours of Service final rule to Provide an Agriculture Exemption, Full Funding of Federally Mandated local Airport Security, and a proposed resolution on funding Indian School Bus routes.
  • One of our speakers was Andrew K. Johnson, Assistant Vice President of Community Affairs. Andrew provided some interesting information on our nation’s rail system. The freight rail system in the United States is over 170 years old and is the most efficient Rail System in the world. Additionally, our rail system is the safest mode of transportation to deliver goods and services anywhere in the world. Once again, the United States leads the world in safe, efficient product delivery.
  • The report is short this year; it represents the same policies passed last year; and it is my hope the next budget year will produce a long-term transportation bill that will provide reliable funding for our state transportation departments and maybe direct funding to local governments.
  • Thanks for the opportunity to serve as your Transportation Chair.

MACo Business Session

Roll Call

Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, Fiscal Officer

After roll call was taken, Commissioner McGinley announced a quorum was present to conduct business (see roll call attachment, page 31).

Unfinished Business

Commissioner Bill Barron, Lake County, MACo President

  • Commissioner Dave Strohmaier, Missoula County: Thanked organizers of conference and spoke about civility and respect.
  • Eric Bryson, MACo Executive Director: Reported on the conference as a whole and commented on the association continuing to progress and improve over the years to come.

Congressional Reports/Video

Senator Steve Daines

  • Video was played for the membership.

Senator John Tester

  • NOTE: Senator John Tester spoke to the membership during dinner on Wednesday, September 19th.

Resolution of Appreciation

Commissioner Bill Barron, Lake County, MACo President

Whereas, the 2018 Annual Conference of the Montana Association of Counties 109th such meeting; and

Whereas, attendance of member counties marks its success; and

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the 109th Annual Conference of the Montana Association of Counties expresses its sincere appreciation for the sponsorship of this conference to the Missoula County Commissioners and staff:

  • Commissioner Jean Curtiss
  • Commissioner Nicole “Cola” Rowley
  • Commissioner Dave Strohmaier

Motion/Vote:  A motion to pass the Resolution of Appreciation was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Nominations Committee Report

Commissioner Bill Barron, Lake County, MACo President

The Board of Directors, acting as the Nominations Committee, brings forth the candidates for the 201 year as follows:

  • Office of Immediate Past President: Bill Barron, Lake County
  • Office of President: Jim Hart, Madison County
  • Office of 1st Vice President: Shane Gorder, Richland County
  • Office of 2nd Vice President: Doug Martens, Rosebud County
  • Office of Fiscal Officer: Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County

President Barron asked for any other nominations.  No further nominations were made.

Election of Officers

Commissioner Bill Barron, Lake County, MACo President

Commissioner Todd Devlin, Prairie County, MACo Immediate Past President

  • MACo 2nd Vice President: Commissioner Doug Martens, Rosebud County
    • President Barron asked if there were further nominations for the office of MACo 2nd Vice President.
    • Motion/Vote: There was a motion and second to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Commissioner Martens as MACo 2nd Vice President.  Motion passed unanimously.
  • MACo President, 1st Vice President, and Immediate Past President
    • Immediate Past President Devlin asked if there were further nominations for the offices of MACo President, 1st Vice President, and Immediate Past President.
    • Motion/Vote: There was a motion and second to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Commissioner Jim Hart, Madison County as MACo President; Commissioner Shane Gorder as MACo 1st Vice President; and Commissioner Bill Barron as MACo Immediate Past President.  Motion passed unanimously.
  • MACo Fiscal Officer: Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County
    • Immediate Past President Barron asked if there were further nominations for the office of MACo Fiscal Officer.
    • Nomination: Commissioner Nicole Borner, Musselshell County, was nominated for the office of MACo Fiscal Officer.
    • Vote: The ballots were cast. Commissioner McGinley was elected MACo Fiscal Officer by majority vote.

Resolutions & Policy Statements

Commissioner Jean Curtiss, Missoula County, Resolutions & Legislative Committee Chair

  • MACo Resolutions and Policy Statements will be voted in blocks. Individual resolutions and policy statements may be segregated for discussion/individual vote.
    • Commissioner Rodney Tauck, Carter County, segregated the MACo Resolution titled, “Cost of Care for Animals Seized in Alleged Animal Welfare Violations.”
    • Commissioner Laura Obert, Broadwater County, segregated the Justice & Public Safety Committee’s Policy Statements.
    • Commissioner Mike Wendland, Hill County, segregated the MACo Resolution titled, “Invasive Species Penalties.”
    • Commissioner Dave Strohmaier, Missoula County, segregated three MACo Resolutions:
      • Allow Counties to Establish County Auditor as Part-time Office
      • Allow Inflation on Mill Levies
      • Repeal of Temporary Tribal Tax Exemption
    • Commissioner Strohmaier segregated the Resolutions & Legislative Committee’s Policy Statements.
    • Commissioner George Real Bird III, Big Horn County, segregated the MACo Resolution titled, “Creation of Gateway County Local Option Tax.”
    • Motion/Vote: Commissioner Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County, motioned to accept the recommendations of the resolutions and policy statements without segregation. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Steve White, Gallatin County.  The motion passed unanimously.
  • Discussion on Segregated Resolutions & Policy Statements:
    • Cost of Care for Animals Seized in Alleged Animal Welfare Violations
      • Commissioner Tauck: Resolution states household pets; statute cited includes livestock; MCA already gives authority to charge owners and charge restitution; needs to be more clearly defined and not crossover to livestock.  This should go to the Ag Committee.
      • Commissioner Curtiss: Many counties have faced high costs regarding seized animals; Missoula County had 3 stallions; counties unable to do anything.
      • Commissioner Obert: There was a similar bill last session; Broadwater county seized 20 horses, and it took two years; county paid over $100K; urge “Do Pass.”
      • Commissioner Jerry Bennett, Lincoln County: Swifter action in these cases is needed; however, there has been similar legislation in the past, and this will not pass if livestock is included.
      • Vote: Passes on a vote of 21-20.
    • Invasive Species Penalties
      • Commissioner Wendland: Should include Missouri and Yellowstone River Basins—all perennial waters
      • Executive Director Bryson: Word of Caution—there was a compromise on invasive species last session. If we try to get all water, it will not pass; first try to narrowly define—pilot project.
      • Commissioner Bill Barron, Lake County: The State is too slow; we want to be more proactive.
      • Commissioner Gale Decker, Lake County: If mussels get into Flathead, Swan, etc. it will destroy tax base; the intent is to give local government the ability/chance to address it while waiting for the State and federal government to act.
      • Question/Clarification: Commissioner Janice Hoppes, Pondera County—Is the resolution for the Columbia River Basin and the Policy Statement statewide?
        • Answer: Yes.
      • Motion/Vote: Commissioner Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County, motioned to pass the resolution. Commissioner Hoppes seconded the motion. Motion passed by majority vote.
    • Allow Counties to Establish County Auditor as Part-time Office
      • Commissioner Strohmaier: Checks and balances
      • Commissioner Denis Pitman, Yellowstone County: Auditor asked to bring this as an option; save money and use on staff doing fulltime auditing work.
      • Commissioner Barron: Will give some counties the option to have an independent auditor; some counties consolidate and can’t afford fulltime
      • Commissioner Curtiss: The Missoula County Auditor spoke at the Resolutions & Legislative Committee about this resolution; need auditor to monitor the books, look at process and functions; if fulltime, it will draw more CPA candidates.
      • Commissioner Chilcott: This is a local control issue and gives local options.
      • Motion/Vote: Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, motioned to pass the resolution. Commissioner Pitman seconded the motion. Motion passed by majority vote.
    • Allow Inflation on Mill Levies
      • Commissioner Strohmaier: Big Bill; 1/2 the rate of inflation is not sustainable, but it is better than nothing; it could get worse at the Legislature.
      • Commissioner Robyn Driscoll, Yellowstone County: This was brought by our Finance Director; not sustainable.
      • Motion/Vote: Commissioner Driscoll motioned to pass the resolution. Commissioner Devlin seconded the motion. Motion passed by majority vote.
    • Repeal of Temporary Tribal Tax Exemption
      • Commissioner Strohmaier: Throws the baby out with bathwater; DOR is unable to adequately manage the process
        • Motion to Amend: Commissioner Strohmaier motion to amend the resolution. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Real Bird.
          • Proposed Amendment: Instead of repeal, will seek to amend statute to address the need for a remedy to allow counties to collect the prior year taxes on property placed back into taxable status.
        • Discussion
          • Commissioner Decker: Misses the impact to Lake County—tax shift to other taxpayers; amending will not save it; urge do not support amendment
          • Commissioner Mike DesRosier, Glacier County: Talking about tribal government; they provide services and infrastructure; revisit historical trauma; tribal counties will oppose; 8% of population is native; get taxed by another government; divisive issue; will support with amendment.
          • Commissioner McGinley: Discussion in Tax Committee—BIA holds it up; trying to get agencies to speed up the process
          • Commissioner Diane McLean, Hill County: Original resolution is cleaner and easier to enforce—recommend do not pass amendment
          • Commissioner Real Bird: Amendment is a good step to address issues Lake County has; it makes DOR accountable.
        • Vote on Amendment: Failed, 8-28 vote.
      • Vote on Resolution: Passed by majority vote.
    • Justice & Public Safety Committee Policy Statements
      • Commissioner Obert: Amend Policy Statement #20.
        • Proposed Amendment: MACo will support working with NACo and the federal government to allow all public safety telecommunicators to work the same 80-hour 2-week schedule as law enforcement, detention officers, and firemen all emergency and public safety services.
        • Motion/Vote: Commissioner Andy Hunthausen, Lewis & Clark County, motioned to pass the policy statements as amended. Commissioner Hoppes seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.
      • Creation of Gateway County Local Option Tax
        • Commissioner Real Bird: Our county has a national recreation area and national monument, as do several counties.
          • Motion to Amend: Commissioner Real Bird Motioned to amend the resolution. Commissioner Hoppes seconded the motion.
          • Proposed Amendment: National Park “Service”
          • Discussion
            • Commissioner McGinley: Beaverhead County has the same issues; we have the Big Hole Battlefield; every county has the same issues; think of this as a pilot project; if Park County gets through and shows it’s successful, we can look at expanding at future legislative sessions.
            • Commissioner Bill Berg, Park County: We brought this forward to the Local Government Interim Committee; they were responsive; patterned after resort tax.
          • Vote on Amendment: Failed on majority vote.
          • Vote on Resolution: Passed unanimously.
        • Resolutions & Legislative Committee Policy Statements
          • Commissioner Strohmaier brought forward the following amendments to the policy statements, as the committee ran out of time during their meeting:
            • MACo supports legislation to fund the ongoing maintenance of the Montana Votes voter database system and/or election equipment funded through the Secretary of State either from the Montana general fund or federal pass-through funds. through the Montana Secretary of State’s budget.
            • MACo supports the Secretary of State including county election administrators and local government officials in reviewing and choosing new elections equipment and voter database systems.   
          • Motion/Vote: Commissioner Hunthausen motioned to pass the committee policy statements as amended, Commissioner McGinley seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Other Business

  • Montana Governor, Steve Bullock spoke to the membership:
    • Fourth fastest wage growth
    • One of our strongest assets is quality of life we have in Montana.
    • Next Legislative Session
    • Special Session Cuts and Restorations
    • Justice Reform
    • Balanced Budget


The General Session of the MACo 109th Annual Conference adjourned with the installation of officers occurring at the evening annual banquet.