In his recently announced budget proposal, Minnesota Governor Time Walz suggested a more-than $30 million dollar increase in local government aid. Those are dollars that help cities and towns across the state pay for law enforcement and fire services, street repair and maintenance, and other essentials.

Mankato Democrat State Representative Jack Considine said the L.G.A. funding is vital in many communities and, “There are a lot of, particularly the smaller towns around Mankato, that it approaches 50 percent of their budget and in some cases more.”

Walz’s spending plan would increase state aid to counties by the same amount, and Considine explained that’s also needed because, “County aid has just stagnated and we have just shifted more and more costs to them.”

Both plans would restore state aid to the level it was 17 years ago, in 2002.

In addition to the governor’s proposal to increase L.G.A., a St. Peter Democrat has introduced a bill that would stop that funding from stagnating in the future.

Representative Jeff Brand said the bill would automatically adjust LGA payments for inflation each year, “And that way cities wouldn’t have to keep coming to the legislature with hat in hand to try to find money for their streets and fire departments and police departments.

It would also automatically adjust the funding for any increase in population.