The recent action by the Michigan Supreme Court to make Juneteenth a paid holiday throughout the Michigan Court system is not sitting well with the Menominee County Board who are calling it another unfunded mandate and they question whether the court has the power to do that. The board also states the court issued their order with complete disregard for local collective bargaining agreements, desires of court employees, impact on non-court employees that work in the courthouse, and the financial impact on the local funding unit. This ultimately costs the taxpayers of Menominee County more than $2,300 annually, with no input from local elected officials that manage the financial resources of Menominee County. Jason Carivou Menominee County Administrator says, “if this went through the state legislature and they made this a state holiday for all state employees it would be completely different from how the supreme court went about this.”

This order came 2 ½ weeks before the holiday was to be observed, forcing the County to scramble to amend collective bargaining agreements, rearrange schedules and budgets, and the local courts had to cancel hearings that were already backlogged because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The addition of another paid holiday only further delays an already backlogged system and does so at the taxpayers’ expense. The Menominee County Board is requesting that the Michigan Legislature take a stand and reassert their authority as policy-makers, and to stand-up for the will of the people that they were elected to represent.