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Volunteers Needed for Several AMC Summer Work Groups

Membership is limited, so please respond by this Friday, July 21.

AMC is seeking volunteers to serve on short-term work groups to address several issues that need additional guidance as we develop our 2018 Legislative Platform over the coming months.  Please read on to learn more about the work groups and how to apply to be considered for membership.  The work groups will begin meeting in August and space on each is limited, so please apply by next Friday, July 21, if interested. 

Courthouse Infrastructure Costs Working Group

Purpose: Engage the counties and the courts in discussion related to division of financial responsibility for court facilities with the goal of a new, stronger outline delineating how costs are shared.

Responsibilities: The committee will begin with a review the available documents that are used to determine which entity is responsible for court related facility costs. Additional steps to include:

  • Identify gaps in the current guidance with respect to division of financial responsibility between the courts and counties.
  • Identify areas where the guidance is clear but doesn’t necessarily make sense.
  • Thoroughly outline the areas that each party is responsible for funding.

Timeline: Outreach to the courts to ask for their consideration has already been made. Work through late summer and fall to achieve consensus. Formal adoption of new guidance may need to follow Judicial Council timelines in order to get court approval, this would most likely lengthen the timeline.

Who should apply? County Commissioners, Sheriffs and County Attorneys.  Maximum of 12 members.

For more information or to volunteer for this work group, please contact:
Ryan Erdmann, AMC Public Safety Policy Analyst

Data Practices Work Group

Purpose: The Legislature has become increasingly interested in issues surrounding data practices and access to governmental data in recent years.  The 2017 session saw a concerted effort to push a uniform retention schedule for all governmental “correspondence.”   Currently, counties must categorize and retain data as detailed in MS 138.17 along with guidance, review, approval from the Minnesota Historical Society.  While the Minnesota Historical Society’s County General Records Retention schedule does require counties to meet minimum standards, there is flexibility in several categories of data, including email. In light of this flexibility, several public advocacy groups have argued that counties should have a uniform three-year retention schedule on all emails, including non-business related and “transitory” emails.  While mandatory 18 month or three-year email retention proposals did not pass the Legislature, there is no doubt there will be renewed and invigorated efforts to pass these proposals in the following years. With this background in mind, AMC is collaborating with the Minnesota Inter-County Association (MICA) to review and update the current example/reference county retention schedule (which has not been updated since 2001) and brainstorm possible legislative counter proposals.

Objectives of this group include:

  • To review, edit, and update—where necessary—the County General Records Retention Schedule;
  • Discuss legislative 2017 legislative proposals aimed at uniform email/correspondence retention schedules and determine if counter proposals are warranted;
  • If, through the second objective above, members agree that we should offer an alternative: develop an alternative proposal for the next legislative session that addresses redaction time and voluminous requests.

Timeline: Members should expect to meet on multiple occasions with the goal to have an introductory session along with multiple review and editing sessions.  Total meeting time commitment will range from 12-20 hours (3-4 meetings at 4-5 hours each) and additional hours for preparation and document review.  Workgroup will start late summer/early fall.

Who should apply?  County Commissioners, Administrators/Coordinators, County Attorneys and IT staff (or county employees with a specific knowledge and expertise on data practices requests, redaction, or technology practices).  Maximum of 12 members.

For more information or to volunteer for this work group, please contact:
Matt Hilgart, AMC General Government Policy Analyst

Day Training and Habilitation Workgroup

Purpose: Day Training and Habilitation Centers (also referred to as DACs) are used in counties to provide training and employment opportunities for the disabled. Often in rural communities, these are the only employment opportunities available. Counties, the DACs and employers have created significant partnerships to integrate people served into the community. There is concern if these programs are forced to end, that individuals will live in isolation. Despite work to integrate programs into the community, it has been determined that sheltered workshops are not in compliance with the Olmstead Act.

This work group will focus on the requirements of the Olmstead decision and how counties can meet the requirements of Olmstead while meeting the needs of the people we serve in our communities.

This group will:

  • Come to a common understanding of the requirements of the Olmstead decision, as it pertains to individual choice in employment and housing.
  • Explore ways other states have met the employment requirements of Olmstead in relation to DT & H’s and DAC’s.
  • Convene a listening sessions with parents and providers to gain better understanding of needs.
  • Outline areas counties can improve services for best practices within Olmstead requirements
  • Discuss the impact of the Olmstead requirements on DAC’s, and what that means for the individuals they serve. 
  • Discuss potential legislative solutions to address county concerns.

Who should apply?  County Commissioners, Human Services Directors, Social Services Directors.  Maximum of 12 members.

For more information or to volunteer for this work group, please contact:
Rochelle Westlund, AMC Health & Human Services Policy Analyst

Public Land Management Work Group

Purpose: This work group is being created in an effort to increase member understanding of the various types and purposes of acquiring land for public use.  The work group will discuss challenges counties face as a result of abundant public land ownership, as well as benefits counties may receive from these same public lands.  Related issues will also be examined, such as: PILT (both state and federal), land exchanges, school trust lands, properties acquired with state funding, federally owned lands, etc.  The work group will help guide AMC policy on land acquisitions/public land management for the 2018 legislative session. 

The group will do the following:

  • Convene 3-4 work group meetings during the months of August, September, October and November (if necessary).
  • Hear presentations on different types/purposes of public land.
  • Hear different perspectives and discuss challenges and benefits of public lands.
  • Examine related issues, such as PILT, school trust lands, LCCMR/Lessard Sams funding, etc.
  • Discuss possible legislative positions AMC could take.
  • Discuss potential legislative solutions for 2018.

Who should apply?  County Commissioners. Maximum of 15 members.

For more information or to volunteer for this work group, please contact:
Jennifer Berquam, AMC Environment & Natural Resources Policy Analyst

SWCD Funding Predictability Workgroup

Purpose: AMC, the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD) and the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will meet jointly as a work group to examine predictable funding options for local conservation activities.  The work group will review different models for administering SWCD services and funding options and work towards developing policy/legislative recommendations. 

The group will do the following:

  • Convene 3-4 meetings during the months of August, September, October and November (if needed):
    Review and discuss different models for administering SWCD services.
    Review and discuss different options for funding SWCDs.
  • Discuss possible policy/legislative recommendations.

Who should apply?  County Commissioners, SWCD Supervisors, Planning and Zoning Administrators, SWCD staff. Maximum of 15 members.

For more information or to volunteer for this work group, please contact:
Jennifer Berquam, AMC Environment & Natural Resources Policy Analyst