Walsh introduces continuing education for accounting, tax professionals

TROY, Mich., Jan. 21, 2021 — Walsh will begin continuing education classes for accounting and tax professionals in its spring semester on Mar. 31, 2021. The first two courses, Accounting for Income Taxes and Partnership Taxation, are based on the curriculum offered as part of the nationally recognized Master of Science in Taxation (MST) program and taught by Walsh faculty in a remote synchronous format. The cost per ten-week course is $1,599.

The MST, introduced in 1974, was Walsh’s first graduate program and has been nationally recognized by TaxTalent, Grad School Hub and Best Value Schools.

“Walsh’s continuing education courses are designed to be thorough, engaging and are taught by faculty with years of current, relevant industry experience. Students gain knowledge and skills that are immediately applicable in their careers,” said Richard Davidson, CPA, JD, LL.M, chair and associate professor of taxation.

For more information about Walsh’s tax continuing education program, please contact Richard Davidson at rdavidson@walshcollege.edu or visit www.walshcollege.edu/tax-continuing-education.

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ABOUT WALSH
Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of Southeast Michigan’s largest graduate business schools, offering classes in several locations and online. Our internationally and nationally-ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, human resources, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit www.walshcollege.edu.

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (www.acbsp.org).

Butzel Long attorneys discuss Managing Supply Chain Instability during January 28 webinar

DETROIT, Mich. – A growing list of issues are surfacing in the automotive supply chain causing instability in the industry. Butzel Long is hosting a free webinar from 12-1 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, January 28, 2021 to discuss the following issues and more on Managing Supply Chain Instability:

• Current causes of instability,
• Do you have a legal excuse?
• When does the duty to mitigate end?
• How do you best manage the risks of alternate supply?
• Who pays what and when?

Featured Butzel Long presenters include:

David DeVine practices in the areas of business litigation and bankruptcy and serves businesses in a wide array of industries, including automotive, construction, banking, health care, and real estate.

Sheldon Klein regularly represents automotive industry suppliers in matters relating to upstream and downstream commercial relationships, including counseling on terms and conditions and litigation arising out of supply chain disruptions and disputes. He is co-chair of Butzel Long’s Global Automotive Coordinating Committee.

Daniel Rustmann’s practice has been devoted principally to litigation. Over the last decade, he has represented numerous tier 1 and tier 2 automotive suppliers in various matters.

To register online, visit https://www.butzel.com/event. For inquiries, contact Jonathan Spencer at spencer@butzel.com.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

MSU Extension Partnering with Macomb County to Offer Citizen Planner Program

MSU Extension, in partnership with the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Department, is sponsoring the Michigan Citizen Planner “Fundamentals of Planning and Zoning” Program.  This certificate-based course begins Thursday, February 18, 2021 and continues through April 1, 2021 from 6 to 9 pm. This will be an online course (due to COVID-19) via Zoom at a reduced rate.

The seven-week training offers a convenient way for community leaders, appointed and elected officials, zoning administrators and interested citizens to obtain the latest technical knowledge and information needed to perform their duties effectively and responsibly.  Participants of the program will gain the knowledge to be part of the solutions to challenges their communities face.

Cost to attend is $275 per person, which includes registration, course materials and expert speakers.  Macomb communities can request one full scholarship to participate in this program.  Additional scholarships also may be available from your community’s liability insurance provider.  Group rates for 4 or more from one community are available.

To register and to learn more, visit https://events.anr.msu.edu/CPMacomb2021/   Deadline for online registration is February 4, 2021.

For questions about registration, contact Kara Kelly at cplanner@msu.edu.  For general questions about the program, contact Terry Gibb at gibb@msu.edu.

Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) brings educational programs to residents, empowering them to improve their lives and community.  County-based MSUE staff, in concert with on-campus faculty members, serve residents with programming focused on agriculture, natural resources, children, youth, families, community and economic development.

 

 

 

Jan. 22 | This Week in Government: MI COVID Recovery Plan Released; Going PRO Awards $39M in Grants

Each week, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Government Relations team, in partnership with Gongwer, will provide members with a collection of timely updates from both local and state governments. Stay in the know on the latest legislation, policy priorities, and more.

  1. Whitmer Proposes $5.6B COVID Recovery Plan to Aid Biz, Schools
  2. Going Pro Talent Fund Awards $39M in Grants to Train 30K MI Workers
  3. House Committees Set: Kahle to Chair Health Policy; Hall Moves to Tax
  4. Whitmer K-12 Supplemental Funding Details Released
  5. Report Includes Several Recs for Racial Equity in Cannabis Industry

Whitmer Proposes $5.6B COVID Recovery Plan to Aid Biz, Schools

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is proposing adding $575 million in state funds to about $5 billion in federal coronavirus relief in a supplemental appropriation aiding K-12 schools, small businesses, and the state’s response to the virus.

Gov. Whitmer will formally send the bill request to the Legislature on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Gov. Whitmer outlined her proposal at a news briefing.

Among the major highlights:

  • $2 billion in additional federal Food Assistance funds that will cover a 15% increase in those benefits as well as increased numbers of people using those benefits;
  • About $2 billion for K-12 schools, $1.7 billion federal and $300 million in state school aid revenues;
  • $660 million in federal aid for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, aiding persons struggling to pay rent and utilities;
  • $575 million in federal aid to support coronavirus testing and tracing, and $90 million in federal funds to administer, distribute and track vaccines; and
  • $225 million in a variety of business relief measures.

The proposal also includes $5 million to pay for the enforcement of a yet-to-be-implemented ban on weapons at the Capitol. The Michigan State Capitol Commission recently banned the open carry of firearms in the building, but persons with a concealed pistol license can still bring a firearm into the building if it is concealed. These funds would pay for costs like metal detectors and the personal to operate them, though there is no indication the Republican leadership in the Legislature supports a full ban on firearms in the building.

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group, issued a statement discouraging support for the program, saying it amounts to “handouts to large, politically connected companies” and a “slap in the face” to small businesses.

Another item in the proposal is $22 million so that businesses and residents unable to pay their summer 2020 property taxes can avoid interest and penalties if they pay by Feb. 26, 2021 (editor’s note: this article has been changed to use the correct date).

The proposal’s business aid measures include $125 million for a Michigan Mainstreet Initiative to help businesses survive the pandemic, $25 million for businesses with nine or fewer employees to assist them through the pandemic, and $75 million in additional grants to help businesses grow.

“Our small businesses are fixtures in our communities,” Gov. Whitmer said. “They’re working around the clock to stay afloat while trying to keep their communities safe from COVID-19, and they deserve as much support as we can give them.”

Gov. Whitmer also called for the Legislature to reauthorize a business incentive program that expired in 2020 known as the “Good Jobs for Michigan” law that enabled authorized businesses to capture state income taxes withheld from certified new employees in varying amounts depending on wage and the number of jobs created. Opposition in the Senate killed the legislation last year amid concerns it amount to government favoritism in the economy.

The Governor’s proposals immediately ran into criticism from the Republican-controlled Legislature. They have called for her to lift restrictions on businesses the Department of Health and Human Services imposed to slow the spread of the virus.

“Clearly there is a need to help struggling Michiganders, but I am disappointed the governor’s plan does not appear focused enough on getting help to where it is most needed effectively and efficiently,” said Rep. Thomas Albert (R-Lowell), chair of the House Appropriations Committee, in a statement. “I am already working with my colleagues in the Senate on the best way to help Michigan’s recovery from COVID-19, including the distribution of the latest installment of critical federal COVID relief funding. These resources must be used more effectively and responsibly than the Whitmer administration has done so far during this pandemic. I will not hand the governor a blank check to continue mismanaging our state’s response to COVID-19. She has a poor track record with the money she’s already had available and allocating more money without proper legislative oversight would be negligent.”

Albert said the state’s expense of funds for field hospitals early in the pandemic that went almost totally unused was an example of what he said was the administration’s bad track record. He also slammed the administration’s management of the unemployment benefits system, which has been wracked by fraud.

Sen. Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth), chair of the Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee, questioned the sincerity of Gov. Whitmer’s concern for small businesses.

“Small family businesses aren’t asking for her handouts; they simply want to open back up and earn a living. It’s what they were promised last summer,” he said in a statement. “After today, it’s clear that what the Governor wants for main street businesses has little relationship to what main street businesses want for themselves.”

Current DHHS orders prohibit dine-in at restaurants and bars, though they can offer takeout and drive-thru. Some businesses, such as water parks, night clubs, and strip clubs, remain ordered closed under DHHS orders.

All other employers can be open though many with capacity restrictions and others, like bowling alleys and movie theaters, cannot offer food and beverage.

Gov. Whitmer, asked about Republican opposition, objected to characterizing the state’s economy as closed and said she doubted Republicans would oppose passing the aid.

“I know that sometimes – especially in this political environment – that people want to draw firm lines,” she said. “I know that the Republican Legislature would never want to stand in the way of making sure that these federal dollars get to our kids’ schools. Or to our ability to build up our apparatus to get people vaccinated, our public health. I know that the Republican Legislature wouldn’t stand in the way of aid for businesses that are struggling right now. …The economy’s not been shut down. I know that there are unique parts of our economy that have struggled because of the nature of how this virus spreads.”

Budget Director Dave Massaron said the use of state funds to supplement the federal money for schools will allow all districts to receive help, not just those with greater Title I eligibility who benefit from federal aid. Under the plan, $1.5 billion would be distributed according to Title I while another $150 million in federal aid over which the state has discretion plus $300 million in state school aid would be allocated on a 50-50 split of per-pupil funding and based on the district’s special education and at-risk student populations.

Further details are expected Wednesday.

“It was really designed to get a balance of funding to school districts across the state,” Massaron said.

Gov. Whitmer has asked the state’s school districts to offer an in-person learning option by March 1 and many are moving in that direction if they do not already do so.

“This crucial action will provide our students and educators with the support they need as we return to in-person learning this spring,” she said.

School groups hailed the announcement.

“We continue to appreciate Gov. Whitmer’s leadership and recognition of the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on schools, students, and families,” said Mark Greathead, president of the K-12 Alliance of Michigan, in a statement. “Providing schools an additional $330 per-pupil on average for this current academic year would represent a significant step forward in our efforts to move our students through this pandemic and begin their recovery, but we know much more will be required in both the months and years to come. We look forward to working with the legislature to not only move this plan forward, but to begin the work necessary to give our students that long-term support they both need and deserve.”

Tina Kerr, executive director of the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators, said in a statement that the funding should be swiftly approved so districts can begin making plans.

Paula Herbart, president of the Michigan Education Association, and David Hecker, president of AFT-Michigan, praised the plan, particularly the emphasis on funding for special education and at-risk pupils.

Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest, said the plan will help but also warned of the systemic needs in the state’s schools.

“The funds announced today will help Michigan meet student needs this school year and next, but systemic inequities remain,” she said in a statement. “By targeting resources to vulnerable student groups now and in the future, Michigan can make important headway in addressing systemic inequities, working to ensure they do not endure for another generation or more. State legislators and the governor should use this time to correct underlying funding inequities and ensure that the needs of every student, regardless of income, ability or English learner status, will be met over the long term.”


Going Pro Talent Fund Awards $39M in Grants to Train 30K MI Workers

More than $39 million in grants from the Going PRO Talent Fund will be used to employ nearly 30,000 workers at upwards of 850 Michigan businesses, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday.

The move furthers her Sixty by 30 initiative to see 60% of Michigan’s adult-age population equip with some sort of post-secondary degree or a skills certificate by 2030.

“Now more than ever, we need to invest in our talent and businesses to ensure strong economic recovery and growth,” Gov. Whitmer said in a statement. “Programs like the Going PRO Talent Fund allow us to put Michiganders on the path to good-paying jobs while helping Michigan employers develop the critical talent they need to compete in the global economy.”

Bridgewater Interiors in Eaton County, and another Bridgewater Interiors located in Macomb County, each saw the largest grant funding allocation at $150,000 apiece.

TechSmith Corporation in Ingham County received the next largest allotment at $105,852.

An entire list of grant recipients and the amount they received can be found online.

“With 545,000 professional trades job openings expected through the year 2026, this fund plays a vital role in helping Michigan employers meet their talent needs by investing in homegrown workers,” said Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Acting Director Susan Corbin.

Since the program’s inception in 2014, more than 3,000 in-state businesses have received Talent Fund awards to assist in training, developing, and retaining newly hired or current employees.


House Committees Set: Kahle to Chair Health Policy; Hall Moves to Tax

Rep. Bronna Kahle will chair the House Health Policy Committee this term while Rep. Matt Hall will lead the Tax Policy Committee, House Speaker Jason Wentworth said Thursday in announcing committee assignments for the 2021-22 term.

Wentworth (R-Farwell) completed the first major task of his speakership in filling out 370 committee slots among the 110 members. And while in many cases members who chaired a committee in the 2019-20 term will chair the same panel in the new term, there were several changes, particularly in the Appropriations subcommittee chairs.

A full roster of all standing committee and Appropriations subcommittee members can be found via Gongwer’s committee resources.

Besides Kahle (R-Adrian) and Hall (R-Emmett Township) succeeding chairs who did not return to the Legislature for the new term, another major change is that controversial Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Milford), who chaired the House Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee in the 2019-20 term, was replaced in that post by Rep. Scott VanSingel (R-Grant). Maddock will instead serve as the House chair of the Joint Capital Outlay Subcommittee.

Kahle, before being elected, served as director of the Adrian Senior Center and owned a business providing care to vulnerable community members.

“I am honored by this assignment because it has such broad potential to help others in a positive, meaningful way. I will continue to listen and work hard for the people of Lenawee County, as I lead efforts to improve access to better care for all Michigan residents,” Kahle said in a statement. “Over the past year, our state battled COVID-19 and its impact on every facet of our lives. As we are finally seeing hope on the horizon, we must work together to make way for a healthier Michigan.”

Hall spent last term grilling the administration through his role leading the Oversight Committee and a joint panel on its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I look forward to playing a lead role in approving common-sense tax policy reforms that help people and improve our economy,” Hall said in a statement. “I’m proud our House Oversight Committee was able to approve meaningful reforms that improved the lives of Michigan residents in consistent bipartisan fashion. I will strive for the same action while leading the House Tax Policy Committee.”

On the Appropriations side, Wentworth previously announced Rep. Thomas Albert (R-Lowell) would be chair. Rep. Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Township) will serve as vice chair and Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit) as minority vice chair.

“The selection of committees is one of the most important tasks of the Legislature. It sets the tone and helps mold the agenda for the session,” Wentworth said in a statement. “The process is a careful consideration of the experience and knowledge of elected officials, and the needs of the Legislature and the people of the state. This committee structure and membership represent a powerful opportunity for us to address critical issues and get important things done while maintaining a focus on accountability and transparency throughout our processes.”

As lead Democrat on Appropriations, Tate said he will work to meet the challenge of responding to the effect of COVID-19 on residents.

“I will do everything I can in my new role on the Appropriations Committee to meet the needs of our state’s citizens bearing the burden of this pandemic,” he said in a statement. “I will work with my colleagues to ensure vital programs have the resources necessary to continue our recovery – both in terms of public health and economy.”

With VanSingel now chairing the Transportation subcommittee, Rep. Mark Huizenga (R-Walker) replaces him as chair of the Appropriations Higher Education and Community Colleges Subcommittee.

Maddock has been a leading voice of false claims that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election. He and his wife, Meshawn Maddock, led efforts to bring Republicans to the “stop the steal” rally in Washington, D.C., that ultimately led to thousands of pro-Trump insurrectionists attacking the U.S. Capitol in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden as the winner. Both were in Washington on Jan. 6, when the attack occurred, but have denied participating in it.

“The Committee on Committees did a great job trying to balance everyone’s workload, interests and expertise,” Gideon D’Assandro, a spokesperson for Wentworth said when asked about Maddock’s assignments. “Every representative has something to bring to the table and the speaker is confident this is the right lineup to help them do so.”

Rep. Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Township) will continue to chair the House Education Committee. Rep. Brad Paquette (R-Niles) will serve as vice chair and Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) will continue as minority vice chair.

Rep. Roger Hauck (R-Mount Pleasant) will chair the House Regulatory Reform Committee with Rep. Michele Hoitenga (R-Manton) as vice chair and Rep. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) as minority vice chair.

With Hall moving to Tax Policy, Rep. Steve Johnson (R-Wayland) is chairing the House Oversight Committee with Rep. Pat Outman (R-Six Lakes) as vice chair and Rep. Julie Brixie (D-Okemos) as minority vice chair.

Rep. Graham Filler (R-DeWitt) keeps his role as chair of the House Judiciary Committee and Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids) remains minority vice chair. Rep. Mike Mueller (R-Linden) will be vice chair.

Mueller will serve as chair of the House Government Operations Committee with Rep. Greg VanWoerkom (R-Norton Shores) as vice chair and Rep. John Cherry (D-Flint) as minority vice chair. Traditionally, the House minority leader serves on Government Operations, but Minority Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township) is not this term.

On the House Energy Committee, Rep. Joe Bellino (R-Monroe) remains chair with Rep. Greg Markkanen (R-Hancock) serving as vice chair and Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham) as minority vice chair.

Rep. Jack O’Malley (R-Lake Ann) and Rep. Tim Sneller (D-Burton) will keep their posts on House Transportation as chair and minority vice chair, respectively, with Rep. Gary Eisen (R-Saint Clair Township) as vice chair.

On the two new committees, Rep. Jim Lilly (R-Park Township) will chair the Rules and Competitiveness Committee, which will act somewhat like last term’s Ways and Means, with Rep. T.C. Clements (R-Temperance) as vice chair and Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) as minority vice chair.

Rep. Beth Griffin (R-Mattawan) will chair the Workforce, Trades and Talent Committee with Rep. David Martin (R-Davison) as vice chair and Rep. Terry Sabo (D-Muskegon) as minority vice chair.

For Appropriations subcommittees, Ms. Whiteford will again lead the Health and Human Services Subcommittee with Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) remaining minority vice chair. Rep. Phil Green (R-Millington) will serve as vice chair.

Rep. Brad Paquette (R-Niles) will chair the School Aid and Department of Education Subcommittee with Rep. Annette Glenn (R-Midland) as vice chair and Rep. Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park) as minority vice chair.

Weiss, a former teacher – Paquette is as well – said she was pleased with the assignment.

“This is exactly why I ran for office – to be a voice for educators in Lansing,” she said in a statement. “As a former teacher, I believe I have a firm grasp on the many issues plaguing our public school systems and know what it’s going to take to bring forth the real, meaningful change our schools and students deserve. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity, and ready to get to work.”

Finally, Rep. Bradley Slagh (R-Zeeland) will chair the Corrections Subcommittee with Rep. Sarah Lightner (R-Springport) as vice chair and Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit) as minority vice chair.

Whiteford and Mueller led the panel that put together the committee assignment recommendations.

“These assignments were made with a great deal of thought and consideration to ensure the 101st Legislature puts its best foot forward in its task to represent the voices of Michigan residents,” Whiteford said in a statement. “Each member brings with them a unique expertise and experiences. Taking that into consideration, we have crafted an excellent roster for the next two years.”


Whitmer K-12 Supplemental Funding Details Released

Bill language outlining more details of a proposed supplemental appropriations for education was delivered to lawmakers late Wednesday afternoon, with a few more specifics on how recommended appropriations would be doled out to school districts.

Initial details of the education funding Tuesday were that $1.5 billion would be distributed according to Title I and another $150 million in federal aid over which the state has discretion and $300 million in state school aid funding would be directed on a 50-50 split of per-pupil funding and based on a school district’s special education and at-risk student populations.

The $5.6 billion overall proposal revealed Tuesday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for the state’s coronavirus response included $5 billion in federal funding and about $575 million in state funds.

More specific language released Wednesday in the proposed fiscal year 2020-21 education supplemental called for total federal spending of more than $1.656 billion to K-12 schools to address the impact of COVID-19. Of that amount, $157.35 million-plus another $300 million in state school aid revenues will be disbursed to districts through a different formula than the usual proportionate share of Title I federal funding for districts based on levels of poverty.

Of that $457.35 million:

  • $10 million would go to intermediate school districts, half based on the number of special education pupils in the district and the other half disbursed on an equal per-pupil basis with no ISD getting less than $25,000;
  • Half of the remaining $447.35 million would be distributed to districts based on the number of special education pupils in each district in the 2020-21 school year;
  • The other half would be distributed on an equal per-pupil basis with no district receiving less than $25,000; and
  • $8.3 million would go toward the Department of Education for administration and oversight purposes.

Districts could use the funds for the same purposes permitted under the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.

Unspent education funding would carry into the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Title I funding is provided to local education agencies for children from low-income families to help all children meet educational standards.

The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Standards states that there are four main grants through which Title I funds are allocated. Each of these grants use complex mathematical formulas based on the number of formula-eligible children and several other provisions to determine allocations.

Gov. Whitmer’s proposal on Tuesday was greeted by pushback from Republicans, including Rep. Thomas Albert (R-Lowell), chair of the House Appropriations Committee. Earlier this month Albert suggested he could not see the Legislature having further discussions with the administration on allocating federal funds for the pandemic response until the remaining shuttered businesses including bars and restaurants were reopened.

Albert in a Tuesday statement said he was disappointed with the Governor’s plan, which he said he believed was not focused enough on getting assistance to the proper sources nor efficiently enough.

“I am already working with my colleagues in the Senate on the best way to help Michigan’s recovery from COVID-19, including the distribution of the latest installment of critical federal COVID relief funding,” Albert said. “These resources must be used more effectively and responsibly than the Whitmer administration has done so far during this pandemic. I will not hand the governor a blank check to continue mismanaging our state’s response to COVID-19. She has a poor track record with the money she’s already had available and allocating more money without proper legislative oversight would be negligent.”

The GOP-led Legislature has had to approve the spending of all federal and state funds related to the coronavirus thus far. In fact, besides the supplemental in December, budget-related bills were one consistent area where the Legislature and the administration appeared able to come to agreement in 2020.

Messages left Wednesday with Albert regarding the specifics of the Governor’s plan and what he meant by his work with senators on addressing the pandemic were not immediately returned.

Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said as of late Wednesday afternoon, he had not seen more specific details of Gov. Whitmer’s proposal.

“We look forward to seeing the details of her plan,” Stamas said.

Last week Stamas called on the Senate to reject Gov. Whitmer’s appointments to state boards and commissions in an effort to get her to reopen the remaining closed businesses and work more actively with lawmakers.

Stamas said he believes the public health aspect of the next supplemental is the top priority, especially funding for vaccination efforts as well as testing and contact tracing.

He said he could not commit to supporting Gov. Whitmer’s proposals on education “without seeing what she is proposing” in more detail. Stamas added that for him, education is probably in the top three priorities for him along with getting people back to work and public health.

The senator was unsure of the timeline for negotiating a supplemental but said it will likely be lengthy and that it will “not (be) a one-sided conversation” without significant legislative input.

OTHER SUPPLEMENTAL DETAILS: Along with several major proposals originally outlined in the supplemental, several smaller items not involving K-12 education or public health were included.

A total of $10 million General Fund was recommended for the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration for restaurants and the safe reopening of food service establishments.

Gov. Whitmer also proposed $6 million to provide wraparound services to Futures for Frontliners or Michigan Reconnect grant program recipients. These services would include on-campus child care as well as academic services including tutoring and career counseling.

Another $5 million General Fund was included for a pre-apprenticeship program to help connect the unemployed or underemployed with education or training for careers in the energy sector.

The bill also provides more than $1.08 million General Fund to create an Office of Rural Development within the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for grant opportunities in areas including rural broadband development, housing, infrastructure, and workforce development. One new full-time equivalent staff position would be created to oversee the program.


Report Includes Several Recs for Racial Equity in Cannabis Industry

A recently released report from the Marijuana Regulatory Agency contains more than a dozen recommendations, including rule changes to help increase racial equity in the state’s marijuana industry.

The report was produced by the agency’s Racial Equity Advisory Workgroup, which noted that as of December 2020, about 3.8% of licensed marijuana establishments in the state have ownership interests that include Black investors and 1.5% having ownership stakes that include Hispanic individuals.

For six months the workgroup studied the topic, with subcommittees looking at issues such as social justice, business development, and local equity.

“The MRA is committed to making Michigan the model agency in the country, including being a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the marijuana industry,” MRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo said in a statement. “As the agency responsible for implementing and administering the laws governing commercial licensure, the MRA recognizes the importance of equity in opportunity for businesses operating in this newly legalized industry.”

One proposal was to create a new Class A marijuana microbusiness license that would expand the existing microbusiness license to allow for the growing of up to 300 plants rather than up to 150 plants, the purchase of mature plants from licensed growers and to use outside licensed processors.

These changes, the workgroup stated, would allow protection against crop failures, provide microbusinesses a continuous supply and protect licensees from issues with their processing systems. The proposed changes could also lower costs.

A crowdfunding platform called the Michigan Marijuana Market was also proposed for local investors and marijuana businesses located in what was referred to as disproportionately impacted communities. The platform would help promote entrepreneurship and local ownership.

The creation of an intra-licensee transaction tax was also recommended, as was reinstatement of the Medical Marijuana Excise Tax on provisioning center sales.

Michigan Cannabis Industry Association board member Anquinette Sarfoh in a statement said the group supports all of the recommendations except for the tax proposals.

“The MiCIA unequivocally opposes any tax increases on the retail and medical markets,” Sarfoh said. “We should be focusing on reducing costs and this proposal will only serve to drive patients to the illicit market. As a cannabis patient with multiple sclerosis, the idea of creating another financial barrier between patients and their medicine is abhorrent.”

Another recommendation was the creation of a Joint Venture Pathway Program and a Social Equity Employment to Ownership program. This would allow for social equity and other program applicants to work with corporate partners for the licensing, capitalization, and operational development of social equity businesses.

In the areas of education, it was recommended to mandate continuing education on cannabis studies for Public Health Code professionals. Under the recommendation, license owners, operators, and employees would be required to complete certification to obtain licensure and maintain competency through continuing education requirements.

Another educational recommendation was to create a manual and webinar for municipalities so local officials can learn about social equity programs.

The MRA under one recommendation would create more time for individuals to attend social equity presentations and create more bilingual content.

Integrating commercial marijuana businesses with local economic development agencies and land banks was also recommended.

Establishment of a social equity model under the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act was also recommended, as was the implementation of corporate spending plan requirements for licensees.

Also recommended was the allocation of funds from the Marijuana Registry Fund for social equity grants and the creation of a voluntary survey and data collection tool to identify barriers for existing licensees and prequalified applicants of color for both medical and adult-use marijuana licensing.

Other recommendations included improving the value of event organizer licenses and the creation of a licensee exit interview and annual assessment survey for social equity applicants. Having a Michigan version of state-based marijuana medical and clinical research pass the Legislature was recommended as well.

Detroit Regional Chamber Political Action Committee Evaluates Political Endorsement Criteria in Response to Election Challenges

Members of the business community in Michigan and nationally are carefully evaluating their political engagement in light of the Jan. 6 events at the U.S. Capitol. Entities ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Fortune 500 firms based in Michigan have expressed dismay not just at what happened inside the Capitol, but also the actions of many that enabled this unprecedented act of sedition.

The Detroit Regional Chamber Political Action Committee (PAC) joins these leading business interests in the grave concern that too many of our elected leaders not only did too little to thwart the violence at the Capitol but propagated the falsehood that the 2020 election was not valid or somehow stolen. The Chamber respects leaders with different policy approaches, but expects all leaders not to traffic in falsehoods, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, to respect the will of Michigan voters, to uphold enduring American fundamental values, and to support federalism; including the right of states to conduct and certify their elections.

Therefore, while the Chamber remains committed to its long tradition of bipartisan political endorsements, going forward in our process, we will weigh heavily any candidate’s past or future actions that do not align with these principles.

UHY Advisors appoints ten new managing directors, two from Great Lakes region

UHY Advisors, Inc. (“UHY Advisors”), one of the nation’s leading professional services firms, announced the appointment of ten new managing directors from four regions: Patrick Farrelly, Don Felmlee, Eric Hennessey, Nancy Johnson, Daniel Jones, Jody Lurk, Denise Pisciotta, Eric Ribachonek, Stephanie Rosenbaum and Kate Vasiliev. Felmlee and Rosenbaum are both based in Michigan, where the firm is headquartered.

Additionally, UHY Great Lakes promoted 63 other employees, including four principals: Amanda Bertelsen, Greg McEvoy, Larry Stoklosa and Amber Sutter.

The firm’s Michigan practice is the fifth largest accounting firm in southeast Michigan with over 400 employees and is rapidly growing. Most recently the firm has expanded in Ann Arbor with the addition of Pietrasiuk Kelley & Kelley P.C. One year ago, it was the merger with Stewart, Beauvais & Whipple P.C. in Port Huron.

Don Felmlee is a managing director of UHY Advisors in the Great Lakes. Felmlee specializes in assisting companies in developing and implementing strategic plans to improve operations, protect assets and maximize profitability. He has built his practice across a broad spectrum of industries, but has extensive subject matter knowledge in the manufacturing and distribution, and petroleum spaces. He is a leading member of the national petroleum practice and is called upon to speak at seminars and other thought leadership events. Felmlee received his B.A. in Accounting from Northwood University and is a licensed CPA in the state of Michigan.

Stephanie Rosenbaum is a managing director of UHY Consulting and is a leader of the Resource Solutions Group in the Great Lakes. Rosenbaum specializes in both providing upper-level and executive accounting and finance support to companies with interim and permanent placement needs, as well as generating new assurance, tax, and consulting clients within the region. She has more than 15 years of development and recruiting experience in the finance and accounting industry. Rosenbaum received her B.S. in Finance and Marketing from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
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About UHY Advisors
UHY Advisors provides tax and advisory services to entrepreneurial and other organizations, principally those enterprises in the dynamic middle market. UHY LLP, a licensed CPA firm, provides audit and other attest services to publicly traded, privately owned and nonprofit organizations in a number of industry sectors. UHY Advisors, operating in an alternative practice structure with UHY LLP, forms one of the largest professional services firms in the US. While that scale might provide confidence for some clients, others tell us our greatest value is the way we bring these resources to bear to help address today’s evolving business challenges. It’s a philosophy we call “The Next Level of Service”. To learn more visit www.uhy-us.com.

All of the above entities are members of Urbach Hacker Young International Limited (“UHYI”), a worldwide network of independent professional services firms that provide audit, tax and advisory services around the globe. UHYI is ranked among the top international accountancy networks and a proud member in good standing of the Forum of Firms. Collectively, the US operating entities (UHY Advisors and UHY LLP) are the largest independent members of UHYI with significant participation, bringing the power of the international network to serve the individualized needs of US clients.

UHY Advisors, Inc. provides tax and business consulting services through wholly owned subsidiary entities that operate under the name of “UHY Advisors.” UHY LLP is a licensed independent CPA firm that performs attest services in an alternative practice structure with UHY Advisors, Inc. and its subsidiary entities. UHY Advisors, Inc. and its subsidiary entities are not licensed CPA firms. UHY Advisors, Inc. and UHY LLP are US members of UHYI, a UK company, and form part of the international UHYI network of legally independent accounting and consulting firms. “UHY” is the brand name for the UHYI international network. Any services described herein are provided by UHY Advisors, Inc. and/or UHY LLP (as the case may be) and not by UHYI or any other member firm of UHYI. Neither UHYI nor any member of UHYI has any liability for services provided by other members.

OCC Board of Trustees Welcomes New Trustee, Elects Officers at First Meeting of 2021

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – Jan. 14, 2021—Susan Gibson was sworn in as a newly-elected trustee at the first OCC Board of Trustees meeting for the New Year. A Lake Orion resident, Gibson is a regional director of client services and business development with Rehmann, a financial services and business advisory firm; she previously served as the executive director of sales and community initiatives for Corp! Magazine.

“Susan brings deep business and community experience to our board with more than 30 years working in media and business, including nearly 20 years as a business owner and entrepreneur,” said OCC Chancellor Peter Provenzano, Jr. “I look forward to working with her, and the College’s newly elected officers and returning trustees, as we continue to expand OCC’s mission to empower our students to succeed and advance our community.”

“It is an extreme honor to be elected and I’m very excited about serving the College as a Trustee,” Gibson said. “I plan to bring my experience to OCC’s Board to assist with continually improving the institution in its ability to provide exceptional educational experiences to its students, while the College remains a valued employer in this region.”

In addition to her work experience, Gibson has also been involved in a number of community organizations, including Leadership Oakland, the Michigan Diversity Council and the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce.

Officers Elected

Pamela Jackson of Commerce Township was elected chair of the Oakland Community College Board of Trustees by her fellow board members during the board’s first meeting of the New Year. Other officers elected at the meeting included Kathleen Bertolini of Clarkston, vice-chair; Susan Anderson of Royal Oak, treasurer; and newly elected Trustee Susan Gibson of Lake Orion, secretary. The elections are for two year terms for each office, respectfully.

Jackson, a trustee since 2016, is a retired OCC faculty member and consultant/owner of Fresh Perspectives specializing in construction, historic restoration, renovations and prison education.

Bertolini is an HR trainer with Oakland County and retired middle school teacher and has been a trustee since 2016.

Anderson was elected to the board in 2016, and owns SE Anderson & Associates LLC, which provides computerized accounting, bookkeeping and tax services to small and medium-sized businesses.

Gibson was newly-elected to the board in the November, 2020 election and is the regional director of client services and business development for Rehmann.

Other board members continuing as trustees at large are:

Shirley Bryant of Farmington Hills, a retired executive director of community relations for the Birmingham Public Schools, who has been a trustee since 2008; Pamala Davis of Clawson, a retired code enforcement officer for the City of Royal Oak and a trustee since 1994; and Christine O’Sullivan of Madison Heights, a business manager with O’Sullivan Moving & Storage Company, who has been a trustee since 2012.

The seven members of the OCC board of trustees are elected on a nonpartisan, at-large basis by voters living within the college district, an area that generally coincides with the boundaries of Oakland County. Trustees serve as volunteers and are not paid for their services.

For additional information on the board visit, oaklandcc.edu/about/board-of-trustees.

About OCC
Offering nearly 100 degrees and certificates, OCC is Michigan’s largest multi-campus community college and No. 1 transfer institution in the state. The College provides academic, career training and enriching experiences, designed to empower students to reach their potential and enhance our community. More than 1 million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. A seven-person Board of Trustees governs OCC. Board members are elected on a non-partisan, at-large basis, serve as volunteers and are not paid. Mission statement: OCC is committed to empowering our students to succeed and advancing our community. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.

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UHY LLP CPAs Grows Footprint in Ann Arbor with Addition of Pietrasiuk, Kelley & Kelley P.C.

UHY LLP, certified public accountants, with over 400 employees in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, has acquired Pietrasiuk, Kelley & Kelley P.C. (PKK), of Ann Arbor. After doubling in size from its opening in 2017, the Ann Arbor office grows again with the addition of PKK. Todd Kelley, Managing Director of PKK has been well known in the community for more than 30 years.

“Expanding in Ann Arbor is a strategic move for our firm, it improves campus recruiting in the area and our ability to serve clients,” said Tom Callan managing director of UHY’s Great Lakes region. “Adding staff to the Ann Arbor office will help serve our growing client base in Washtenaw County and beyond.”

Jerry Grady, office managing partner of the Ann Arbor practice has seen exponential growth (even through the pandemic) and with a heavy interest from employees to be a part of their success story. Jerry and his team are heavily involved in the local community, and with campus recruiting at the area’s major universities.

We are thrilled to be part of the UHY team, said Todd Kelley, managing director. “UHY’s dynamic organization will allow us to provide expanded services to our clients and professional growth opportunities for our staff.”

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About UHY Advisors
UHY Advisors provides tax and advisory services to entrepreneurial and other organizations, principally those enterprises in the dynamic middle market. UHY LLP, a licensed CPA firm, provides audit and other attest services to publicly traded, privately owned and nonprofit organizations in a number of industry sectors. UHY Advisors, operating in an alternative practice structure with UHY LLP, forms one of the largest professional services firms in the US. While that scale might provide confidence for some clients, others tell us our greatest value is the way we bring these resources to bear to help address today’s evolving business challenges. It’s a philosophy we call “The Next Level of Service”. To learn more visit www.uhy-us.com.

All of the above entities are members of Urbach Hacker Young International Limited (“UHYI”), a worldwide network of independent professional services firms that provide audit, tax and advisory services around the globe. UHYI is ranked among the top international accountancy networks and a proud member in good standing of the Forum of Firms. Collectively, the US operating entities (UHY Advisors and UHY LLP) are the largest independent members of UHYI with significant participation, bringing the power of the international network to serve the individualized needs of US clients.

UHY Advisors, Inc. provides tax and business consulting services through wholly owned subsidiary entities that operate under the name of “UHY Advisors.” UHY LLP is a licensed independent CPA firm that performs attest services in an alternative practice structure with UHY Advisors, Inc. and its subsidiary entities. UHY Advisors, Inc. and its subsidiary entities are not licensed CPA firms. UHY Advisors, Inc. and UHY LLP are US members of UHYI, a UK company, and form part of the international UHYI network of legally independent accounting and consulting firms. “UHY” is the brand name for the UHYI international network. Any services described herein are provided by UHY Advisors, Inc. and/or UHY LLP (as the case may be) and not by UHYI or any other member firm of UHYI. Neither UHYI nor any member of UHYI has any liability for services provided by other members.

Miller Canfield Announces 11 New Hires in 7 Offices

Miller Canfield is pleased to announce that nine associate attorneys have joined the firm in six of the firm’s key practice groups: Corporate and Transactions, Employment and Labor, Energy and Environmental, Financial Institutions, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, and Real Estate. Miller Canfield’s new associates are:

Joanna Dreaver, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group, Troy, Michigan. She comes to the firm after working as a contract attorney at Perdue Law Group in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2015, Dreaver was a summer intern for U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Judge Helene White. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and earned her Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Michigan.

Michael Fisher, Energy and Environmental Group, Lansing, Michigan. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and he earned his Master of Public Administration from Central Michigan University and his Bachelor of Science in environmental biology from Ferris State University. He was a legal extern at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Appeals Board in Washington, D.C. Fisher was a law clerk for the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division and interned at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Before law school, Fisher worked for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, where he was an environmental response program specialist and a water resources technician.

Kareem Gibson, Financial Institutions Group, Detroit. He is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School and the University of London, where he earned a Graduate Diploma of Law. He earned his Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of South Carolina. While studying in London, Gibson was a student advisor at the Start-Ed Legal Clinic, where he helped clients with contractual and other business issues.

Dominique Giordano Gonzales, Real Estate Group, Chicago. She comes to Miller Canfield from Cook County Circuit Court, where she was a clerk for Judge Celia G. Gamrath. Prior to her clerkship, she worked as a corporate counsel extern for Whirlpool Corp. in Benton Harbor, Michigan. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School and earned her Bachelor of Arts, with double majors in political science and Spanish, from Villanova University.

Arthur Griem, Corporate and Transactions Group, Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School and earned his Bachelor of Science in leadership and management studies from New York University. Griem worked as a legal extern for TI Automotive in Auburn Hills. While at NYU, he was a captain of the university’s ice hockey team, which won the ACHA Division II national championship in 2015.

Vera Hansen, Corporate and Transactions Group, Detroit. She is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School and earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science and law at the University of Tübingen in Tübingen, Germany. She was a legal intern at Lear Corp. in Southfield ad at Tata Motors in Pune, India.

Alyssa Hussein, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group, Detroit. She is a graduate of University of Detroit Mercy Law School and the University of Windsor Faculty of Law and earned her Bachelor of Arts in women and gender studies, political science and history from the University of Toronto.

Erica Jilek, Employment and Labor Group, Detroit. She is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School and earned her Bachelor of Science in political science from Central Michigan University.

Barbara Moore, Employment and Labor Group, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Moore comes to Miller Canfield from Varnum in Grand Rapids, where she was an associate in the firm’s employment and labor practice. Before joining Varnum in 2018, she was a legal intern at the United Community Housing Coalition in Detroit. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Michigan State University.

In addition to the nine new associates, the firm announced that senior counsel attorneys Howard Weissman has joined the firm’s Corporate and Transactions Group in Washington, D.C., and L. Steven Platt joined the Employment and Labor Group in Chicago.

Platt was previously a partner at the Chicago firm of Robbins, Salomon & Patt, where he headed the labor and employment practice, with a special focus on employment litigation and class action wage and hour litigation. He has decades of experience that will certainly bolster our powerhouse Employment and Labor Group.

Weissman comes to Miller Canfield from Baker & McKenzie, where he was part of the firm’s compliance and investigations practice since 2014. He had previously served as vice president and associate general counsel at Lockheed Martin Corp.

$39M in Going PRO Talent Fund grants awarded to train 30,000 workers at more than 850 Michigan businesses

Funds help Michigan employers prepare the talent they need to compete and grow; workers gain skills needed for in-demand career paths

LANSING, Mich. – Through $39,015,052 in grants from the Going PRO Talent Fund, Michigan is helping nearly 30,000 workers across the state to secure employment, industry-recognized credentials and strong wages by providing training grants to more than 850

Michigan businesses to support their high-demand, high-skill talent needs.

“Now more than ever, we need to invest in our talent and businesses to ensure strong economic recovery and growth,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “Programs like the Going PRO Talent Fund allow us to put Michiganders on the path to good paying jobs while helping Michigan employers develop the critical talent they need to compete in the global economy.”

Since the program’s launch in 2014, over 3,000 Michigan businesses have received Talent Fund awards to assist in training, developing and retaining newly hired and current employees. Training must fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer and lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable and recognized by industry.

The Going PRO Talent Fund has supported more than 94,000 workers with training over the years, including new hires and current workers.

“With 545,000 professional trades job openings expected through the year 2026, this fund plays a vital role in helping Michigan employers meet their talent needs by investing in homegrown workers,” Susan Corbin, acting director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) said.

LEO makes Going PRO Talent Fund awards to employers through Michigan Works! Agencies (MWAs). Participating employers play an integral role in defining their key training needs, then work with the local MWAs and other partners to develop appropriate, realistic training plans.

The Going PRO Talent Fund aligns with Governor Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree to 60 percent by 2030.

To learn more about the Going PRO Talent Fund, visit Michigan.gov/TalentFund.