FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 29, 2022
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Gov. Whitmer Signs Final Bills of 2022 Boosting Economic Development, Other Legislation
LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bills 1222 and 1223 to advance economic development in Michigan. She also signed legislation to increase access to local courts, strengthen marketplace regulations, and more. Today is the final bill signing of the legislative season and brings the total number of bipartisan bills signed by Governor Whitmer to 1,026.
“These bills will help us build on our economic momentum,” said Governor Whitmer. “Since I took office, I am proud to have signed over 1,000 bipartisan bills and delivered 4 balanced budgets. Our work across the aisle in Michigan on economic development has helped us bring home supply chains of cars, chips, and clean energy, and I will continue working with anyone to build on our efforts. Let’s stay focused on solving problems and moving Michigan forward.”
Senate Bills 1222 and 1223 amend different acts related to convention facilities. Specifically, SB 1222 allows for additional bond issuances and capital expenditures associated with Huntington Place in downtown Detroit, so the convention facility may be expanded to accommodate more convention business and development in the area.
Among other things, the bills allow a regional convention facility authority to enter a public private arrangement, make other changes related to the powers of such an authority, and revise the distribution of money from the Convention Facility Development Fund. SB 1222 and 1223 were sponsored by Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, and a copy can be found here and here.
Senate Bill 1047 adds circuit court judgeships to Allegan County and Kalamazoo County by amending the Revised Judicature Act. The legislation allows the 9th and 48th Judicial Circuit Courts to have one additional judge effective January 1, 2025. SB 1047 was sponsored by Sen. Sean McCann, D-Kalamazoo, and a copy can be found here.
Senate Bill 1085 extends the deadline for a Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement (MEWA) to submit audited financial statements from a certified public accountant. This would extend this deadline from 90 days to 180 days after the end of each fiscal year. SB 1085 was sponsored by Sen. Kimberly LaSata, R-BainBridge Township, and a copy can be found here.
Senate Bill 1059 boosts consumer protection at the gas pump and makes general amendments to the Weights and Measures Act. The legislation requires gas stations to adopt at least one more effective method of pump security in addition to pressure sensitive tape. Previously, gas stations could be compliant by only adding pressure sensitive tape over credit card boxes. SB 1059 was sponsored by Sen. Kevin Daley, R-Lum, and a copy can be found here.
Senate Bill 450 permits family and other patient representatives to have access to qualified health care facilities under certain circumstances during a declared health emergency. SB 450 was sponsored by Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, and a copy can be found here.
Oakland County is in All Ways, Moving Forward with Key Investments Made in 2022
Pontiac, Michigan – Innovation and transformation sums up 2022 in Oakland County. From voters deciding the county should be all-in on transit to General Motors announcing the investment of billions of dollars in expanding electric vehicle production at its Orion Township plant to the start of major parks and recreation improvements in Pontiac and southeast Oakland County, the county was in all ways, moving forward this past year.
“We’ve put a lot of energy and capital into kicking off a five-year strategic plan announced during my 2022 State of the County speech that commits Oakland County to ‘all ways, moving forward,'” County Executive Dave Coulter said. “We want to make a real and measurable impact in three primary areas – a strong economy, healthy and safe communities, and opportunities for residents to live their best lives.”
Coulter’s five-year strategic plan has seven strategic goals: a thriving and inclusive economy, healthy residents, a skilled and educated workforce, livable neighborhoods, sustainability, public safety and fairness in the criminal justice system, and organizational excellence.
Oakland County voters approved a countywide transportation millage in November. After the New Year, the county will begin filling three positions – a manager and two transit planners – in the new Transit Division of the Economic Development Department to oversee the implementation of transit solutions throughout the county. Bolstering regional transportation has been Coulter’s long-time goal since he was first elected to represent Ferndale on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners in 2002.
The county will develop plans in 2023 for expanding transit services in all parts of the county, securing more state and federal funds to support transit services, and long-term capital improvements that contribute to accessibility for our residents. To ensure these plans meet the needs of residents, businesses, and communities, the county will provide opportunities for people to provide feedback and suggestions for new transportation services. Oakland County’s four current transit providers – SMART, North Oakland Transportation Authority (NOTA), Western Oakland Transportation Authority (WOTA), and the Older Persons’ Commission (OPC) – are making recommendations on immediate improvements and expansions they can make to local services and identifying issues of common concern.
GM’s $4 billion investment to overhaul its Orion Township plant in Oakland County to build EV pick-up trucks adding more than 2,300 jobs, announced at the close of the year in 2021, aligned with Coulter’s sustainability, skilled and educated workforce, and thriving and inclusive economy goals. Our Next Energy also opened its new global headquarters in Novi while building an EV battery plant in Van Buren Township, a win for the region.
Other noteworthy job creation achievements in 2022 that supported Coulter’s strategic goals include:
- The World Economic Forum, in partnership with Oakland County and Automation Alley, launched the U.S. Centre for Advanced Manufacturing in Troy during an announcement with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at the Mackinac Policy Conference in June.
- Oakland County and Business Sweden signed a joint statement of cooperation to “promote innovation and sustainable growth in the mobility and advanced manufacturing industries” during a November business attraction mission to Sweden and Germany.
- The county invested $18 million of its American Recovery Plan Act (ARP) funds to launch Business Forward, an innovative program to help small businesses and entrepreneurs grow and thrive by engaging the county’s 36,000-plus small businesses with expertise and resources in the communities where they are located.
- More than $10 million in ARP dollars supported Coulter’s strategic goal of increasing the county’s skilled and educated workforce, $2.8 million of which is funding the Oakland80 Navigators Career and education navigators are helping individuals find paths to meaningful careers, get into and complete college or training programs, and reduce obstacles to education such as the cost of books, registration fees, and childcare options.
Oakland County invested millions of dollars in sustainability and livable neighborhoods in 2022. The county partnered with the Parks and Recreation Commission to invest $20 million in the Healthy Communities Park and Outdoor Recreation Investment Plan. The goals of the plan include revitalizing and enhancing parks located in or servicing residents of communities most impacted by the pandemic; improving physical and mental health, social connectivity, and quality of life of residents; and addressing barriers to equitable access and use of quality park and recreation opportunities for residents of all ages and abilities.
The county Board of Commissioners also approved $3.9 million in planning grants to help cities, villages, and townships with infrastructure improvements and $10 million for the north Oakland sanitary sewer connection championed by U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin this past year. Plus, a grant helped to remove a contaminated tank at the former Webster Elementary School in Pontiac which is being redeveloped by Micah 6 Community, a Pontiac-based non-profit which is investing $21 million to transform the building into the Webster Community Center which will provide social and recreational services.
In addition, the county designated $20 million to improve housing which included the creation of a $10 million Housing Trust Fund, $5 million to increase shelter capacity, and $2 million for critical home repairs.
Initiating a fairer criminal justice system in Oakland County got a boost in 2022. It began with the county executive administration and Board of Commissioners supporting Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald’s creation of the Conviction Integrity Unit for fiscal year 2022 to examine cases where there are claims of innocence and determine whether there is clear and convincing evidence of that innocence. The Board of Commissioners also approved funding for indigent defense that will enable the county to establish a hybrid model consisting of a public defender’s office, staffed by Oakland County employees, and the current roster of independent contractor attorneys, for 6th Circuit Court and 52nd District Court indigent defense appointments beginning in 2023.
Finally, Oakland County allocated more than $29 million towards its strategic goal of enabling healthy residents in 2022, especially in mental health. Programs that have provided mental health resources to more than 50,000 residents include $10 million to non-profits to improve and expand access to mental health services, $10 million to place mental health professionals in schools, $2 million for emergency room grants to expedite mental health patients to more appropriate treatment, $2.5 million for Corktown Health, and $1.7 million for food assistance for residents in need.
Oakland County Encourages Home Radon Testing During National Radon Action Month
- Radon test kits are half-price at Health Division offices during January.
- Environmental Health Service hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Pontiac, Michigan – Radon testing kits are half-off at Oakland County Health Division offices during the month of January to mark National Radon Action Month. For only $5, residents can test their homes for the colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas which is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Testing your home is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk of radon exposure, since you cannot see, smell, or taste radon,” said Calandra Green, health officer for Oakland County Health Division.
The Health Division recommends testing homes for radon gas during the winter months since windows and doors typically remain closed, allowing radon gas to collect inside and be more easily detected. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) encourages radon testing every two years as homes settle and new cracks form in the foundation that may cause radon levels to change.
Radon test kits for homes are available for purchase at Health Division offices in Pontiac and Southfield:
- North Oakland Health Center, 1200 Telegraph, Building 34E, Pontiac
- South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield
Hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. To purchase more than 15 radon kits, please call 248-858-1312 to preorder. Note that Health Division offices will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16th. After January, the cost of a radon test kit will return to $10.
Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless gas. The gas can sometimes get into homes through cracks in floors or walls and can accumulate, becoming a health hazard. According to EGLE, approximately 30 percent of homes tested in Oakland County have had elevated levels of radon. The only way to know if your home has high radon levels is to test. If high levels of radon are found, contact the Health Division’s Environmental Health Services at 248-858-1312 in Pontiac or 248-424-7191 in Southfield for more information about radon mitigation and service providers.
Visit www.epa.gov/radon or www.oakgov.com/health for more information, or contact Nurse on Call, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, at 800-848-5533 or [email protected]. For up-to-date public health information, follow @publichealthOC on Facebook and Twitter.
For media inquiries only please contact Bill Mullan, Oakland County media and communications officer, at 248-858-1048.
Showcasing the DNR
|The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to Michigan.gov/DNR.|
Around the OAA.
This is a blog that is devoted to the OAA. We cover 23 schools from Oakland County to Wayne County. From Oxford to Harper Woods. This blog will give insight and projections around the OAA.
Monday, December 26, 2022
Written Monday December 26th at 2:45 PM
Here are some storylines for each team heading into their respective Holiday Classics.
Bloomfield Hills: Are the Blackhawks for real is the question mark??? Noah Adamcyzk has been on a tear for Coach Brian Canfield. There are some folks that say that the schedule hasn’t been the greatest and it hasn’t been. Bloomfield Hills has Detroit Pershing and Detroit Henry Ford. Both games should be wins, I would be shocked if they split these two games.
Troy: The Colts are rolling at 5-0. They have been playing team ball and have developed a very good chemistry. Troy will have their toughest test of the season when they play Belleville at North Farmington. The Tigers are a very athletic team that should test Coach Gary Fralick’s team. If the Colts can win this game then they would have a ton of confidence heading into the New Year.
North Farmington: The Raiders have not played a game in a week and a half since their very tough overtime loss to Warren Lincoln. North Farmington has had a chance to heal up and get ready for their own Holiday Showcase. Coach Todd Negoshian has two very tough and interesting games with Detroit Western and Toledo Whitmer that are looming. What helps the Raiders is they have a loaded team with proven experience in Ryan Hurst, Tyler Spratt, Landon Williams, and Prince Jackson. North Farmington has a great chance to get some much needed confidence heading into the New Year.
West Bloomfield: The Lakers are riding high with a 5-0 start. West Bloomfield has proven that they can win and that they are deep. Coach Arnette Jordan has done a wonderful job with this program in his second year. The Lakers have a very tricky matchup with Grosse Pointe South. The Blue Devils beat Groves last week and will look to defeat their second White team in less than a week. It should be a very interesting matchup to say the least.
Adams: Can the Highlanders bounce back after a really tough loss to arch rival Rochester now all be it they did not have Brady Prieskorn but Coach Jaret Thomas won’t use that as an excuse. Peter Karasais and Will Gee have played very well as of late. Adams has Birmingham Detroit Country Day in a matchup they should win but this team needs Prieskorn back if they are going to want to make some noise in the New Year.
Stoney Creek: If there is a team that is in need of a win it’s the Cougars. Stoney Creek is already behind the eight ball a little bit with their loss to Oxford in the Blue. They have a very difficult matchup with Pontiac Notre Dame Prep. Peyton Rummler has been playing well as of late which should help in this matchup. The point guard matchup between Wiley Robinson and Tre Walker is very interesting. The Fighting Irish will be a very tough test for Coach Jeff Olind and his program.
Harper Woods: The Pioneers have not played a game in a week and a half. They have gotten the opportunity to rest up. Harper Woods has won games on the defensive end of the court which is a great sign. They open the Motor City Roundball with a very interesting matchup against Waterford Mott. The Corsairs are a very good team led by Caleb Osbourne. Coach TaJuan Porter has their fair share of very talented players. It’s a big game for the Pioneers considering what is going on in the Gold standings and it could really help them if they can get this one heading into the New Year.
Berkley: The Bears have seemed to have turned things around since their tough 69-66 loss to Avondale. Berkley has developed their depth to go alongside Tamir Runkenvich and company. The Bears have a very interesting game with Dearborn. The Pioneers are a solid team and could very well give Berkley problems if they are not careful. For Coach Joe Sermo it’s keeping his team heading in the right direction, this matchup will certainly be a test.
Oak Park: The Knights have not played in a week which is a concern but they gotten a chance to rest up getting ready for a very interesting matchup with Macomb Dakota. Oak Park has had a ton of close games which is a concern for Coach Durand Sheppard but they have proven to be battle tested. The Cougars aren’t the same team as in years past but they are still Macomb Dakota. It should be a very tough game for Oak Park in this one. If they can get to 4-0 then that will give them confidence heading into the New Year.
Ferndale: The Eagles are the best 1-3 team in the State. They have been battle tested and are now well rested after not playing in a week and a half. The rust factor could be a concern as they play Orchard Lake St. Marys. The Eaglets are not the same team as last season but still has Trey McKinney and just got two players after they were ineligible for a time. It will be a very tough matchup for Coach Juan Rickman but if they can get this one then it could give them some confidence heading into the New Year.
Troy Athens: The Red Hawks have been off for about a week and a half. Troy Athens plays a very tough Okemos program at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and then they have Madison Heights Lamphere in Port Huron. It will be very interesting to see if Coach Dave Scott’s team can get the rust off. If they lose two then that could spell trouble but if they win these two games then it would be a huge confidence boost heading into the New Year.
Ferndale University: What are the Eagles, are they for real or not??? They are 3-3 right now. Coach Josh Nicks has this team playing better. Ferndale University has a very interesting matchup with Sanford Meridian. The Mustangs have been battle tested as seen with their 3-2 record. They have won two games by two points or less over Midland Bullock Creek and Gladwin but fell to Ogemaw Heights and Sheppard. It will be a very tough matchup for the Eagles in Port Huron.
Rochester: The Falcons are on cloud nine after upsetting Adams behind 21 points each from Grant Calcagno and Elijah Kalaj. Rochester heads into the New Baltimore Anchor Bay tournament in what is a very tough field with some proven teams in there. They see Grosse Pointe North first and if they win or lose would play New Baltimore Anchor Bay or Armada either in the championship or constellation game. Either way it is a very tough matchup for Coach Nick Evola’s team. If the Falcons can win this tournament they should be in very good shape heading into the New Year.
Avondale: The Yellow Jackets have two classics this week. They play South Lyon East in the Northville Showcase and are also in the Carleton Airport Showcase. One thing for sure for Coach Pat Clancy is that his program will be doing a lot of traveling through three different counties. It is unknown whom is their opponent at Carleton Airport. Avondale is in a good spot right now but they need to win these two games if they want to keep developing that confidence heading into the New Year.
Clarkston: The Wolves have not been the same team as in past years. Clarkston just fell to Flint Carman Ainsworth after having to survive very close calls against Lake Orion, Groves, and Detroit Old Redford Academy. The Wolves have a really tough matchup with Utica Eisenhower at the Dan Fife fieldhouse looming. They need Desman Stephens, Blake Kosin, John Kaul, and Cavanaugh Diton to step up to turn this thing around. The Eagles have size, quickness, proven experience, and is well coached. It will be a very tough matchup for Coach Tim Waslik. Clarkston needs this game with what’s ahead. If they don’t win this game then they could be in some trouble heading into the New Year.
Groves: The Falcons have played two really tough games after a 4-0 start. Groves fell to Clarkston and Grosse Pointe South. They have a very interesting matchup with Walled Lake Central. Josh Gibson and Josh Simpson have played very well for Coach Marc West. If the Falcons can win this game over the Vikings then it could get their confidence back.
Farmington: The Falcons have not played in a week and a half due to a flu outbreak within the program. They had their game postponed with arch rival North Farmington which is expected to be made up at an unknown date. Coach Derrick McDowell needs to get his team healthy before they play a very tough River Rouge program. The Panthers are solid and with Farmington getting back into the thick of things. Rust is a big concern for the Falcons with not playing in a week. It will be very interesting to see if Farmington can continue their magic and get some confidence heading into the New Year.
West Bloomfield: The Lakers are 2-2 in showcase games which is very unusual since they are in a ton of showcase games. West Bloomfield has the Davis twins, the Hendrix sisters, along with Ava Lord and Destiny Washington. The Lakers have had some very impressive wins over Stoney Creek and Ann Arbor Pioneer. Prior to those two games they played the top team in Indiana in South Bend, Washington and Ypsilanti Arbor Prep. They get yet another very tough team in Kenwood Illinois in the Motor City Roundball Classic. The Broncos are third in Illinois and come in at 12-1. They have four very talented players in Danielle Brooks, Natasha Barnes, Jazelle Young, and Ariella Henigan. It’s going to be a very tough matchup for Coach Darrelle McAllister and West Bloomfield especially with the lack of depth. However if the Lakers can win this game, it will give them some confidence heading into the New Year.
Clarkston: The Wolves have been hanging in there after losing Elle Robak to an injury in their win over Macomb Dakota. They have had their moments for sure. Clarkston should have Robak back against Grand Blanc in the Motor City Roundball Classic. Ava Hernandez, Kierra Tolmie, Claire Walker, Ellerey Hernandez, Marley Mazur, and Mia Zorski have done a very nice job for Coach Aaron Goodnough. The Bobcats have been around 500 but they have some good wins over proven teams. Grand Blanc has proven experience in Chelsea Bishop, Jada McCree, and Malaya Brown. It’s going to be a very tough matchup for the Wolves even with Robak. If Clarkston can get this game then it should give them some confidence heading into the New Year.
North Farmington: The Raiders have a ton of confidence after a 7-0 start which included a monster road win over Stoney Creek. North Farmington has been riding Sela Lefler, Penelope Creary, and have found a third scorer in Eliza Muller. This may be Coach Jeff Simpson’s biggest test when they play Saginaw Arthur Hill. The Lumberjacks have one loss and feature very talented players in Hailee Jefferson, Raegan Byrd, JaLeeah Griggs, Dasani Washington, and Diamond Robinson. This should be a very interesting matchup. The Lumberjacks fell 70-49 to Macomb Dakota allowing 38 points from Samone Andrews which broke their school record for most points in a single game. This is a big game for the Raiders because it could tell a lot about them heading into the New Year.
Oak Park: The Knights have been really struggling ever since scoring 50 points against Detroit Martin Luther King. They have really struggled in the Blue with blowout losses to Farmington and Bloomfield Hills. Oak Park needs this game against a very good Deckerville program in the worst way. The Eagles have been very competitive in the North Central Thumb. They had a 0-2 start with losses to Croswell-Lexington and Armada before winning four straight games. This will be a very tough matchup for Coach Chantelle Corson’s team against an improving and confident Deckerville program in Port Huron.
Harper Woods: The Pioneers have been rolling as of late scoring 50 points in each game which has resulted in a 4-1 record. Harper Woods plays Detroit Mumford in the Detroit Public School League Holiday Classic. The Mustangs have been around 500. They have scored over 80 points but have also scored 31 points which was just recently. This should be a high scoring game but if new Coach Anthony Brown can shore up the Pioneers defense then maybe they can win this game and head into the New Year with confidence.