With it being likely that LGA won’t return to its previous funding levels, legislators are trying to identify other ways of helping cities, counties and townships without actually writing them checks. Sen. John Carlson appears to have found a way:

Since Election Day, counties, cities, townships and school boards have reached out to me and asked that I take a look at over 100 unfunded state mandates on local government. They felt that a significant proportion of the cost of local government is derived from these unnecessary mandates. With Local Government Aid shrinking, local government has been forced to think about new ways to do business. I have proposed legislation to remove many of these mandates with the goal of having a rigorous and transparent debate in committee about old, and in many cases, unnecessary laws.

This seems like a reasonable, logical reform. Good for Sen. Carlson for working with cities, counties and townships on this issue. The problem is that nonsensical government apparently is getting in the way:

As we dig into budget talks, what many are finding is that downsizing through attrition is enough to push a county, school district or city into non-compliance with the “Local Government Equal Pay Act.” Voters are asking government to shrink and streamline and here in Beltrami County we have been doing exactly that. Unfortunately, the retirement of about 50 employees through attrition has pushed Beltrami County into “noncompliance” with the mandate.

Once deemed “noncompliant,” a county must undergo a costly and expensive process of studies and reshuffling to meet a subjective bureaucratic formula. With less tax revenue on the way for the foreseeable future, many are asking if such a mandate is necessary or prudent given the protections for equal pay already provided by federal and state government.

This is proof that no good deed goes unpunished and that government can screw up the most common sensical ideas imaginable. This makes no sense whatsoever.

It’s time to prune the illogical laws from the books. If they don’t make sense or run contradictory to other laws, then it’s time to eliminate them.

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