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Sun Tribune Editorial

Keep an eye on the Minnesota State Legislature this session and for the good of your county, city and school district pay particular attention to the issues of Local Government Aid, the bonding bill, education funding and County Program Aid.

Any cuts or inadequate funding in those areas has an impact on your school classrooms, street maintenance, county road maintenance and overall economic health of the school district, city of Hancock and Stevens County.

LGA, for example, helps cities pay for services such as police, fire and even plowing snow from the streets. The state money help offset the local property tax money needed to pay such services.

A bonding bill can help pay for needed highway and county road improvements in Stevens County. Or for needed water treatment or sewer treatment plants.

County Program Aid is money provided for state mandated programs such as child protection and mental health services. If that aid falls short, local tax money is used to make up the difference.

Too often these issues become partisan. They become bargaining chips as legislators from the Democrat or Republican parties argue about other issues or spend what seems to be endless hours prattling about how bad the other party is.

The Morris Area School District, the city of Morris and Stevens County deserves better than an argument between legislators on important issues such as LGA, a bonding bill and County Program Aid that result in no bonding bill and no, or token, increases in LGA, school funding, or County Program Aid.

So, residents of the Morris Area School District, the city of Morris and Stevens County need to talk with their city, school and county officials. Find out more about how important state funding is to each of these entities. Then, contact state legislators and make sure they know finger pointing and blame is not acceptable. Tell them we won't accept those smoke and mirrors tricks when we are told by legislators that LGA has gotten a big increase this year when you fail to tell us about the pitiful increases of prior years. One year of a "big" increase won't offset years of neglect.

Let legislators know they have a responsibility to the schools, cities and counties in Minnesota to do the right thing.

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