Gov. Tim Pawlenty is considering relaxing some state mandates to help cities and counties weather the economic downturn, according to a story today by MPR’s Tim Pugmire. In many cases, the state requires school districts, cities and counties to meet certain standards, but doesn’t provide any money to make it so.
In the story, Pawlenty said he’s waiting for some suggestions:
“We have repeatedly asked the counties and others if there are certain mandates that you think are cumbersome or inefficient or unfair or burdensome or dramatically underfunded, and you want to be relieved of those. Give us a list. We haven’t received it yet, this year or last year or anytime we’ve asked for it. So, it’s pretty clear to us they don’t want to say which ones they want to eliminate. So we will give them the option,” Pawlenty said.
An MPR reader/listener found that to be disingenuous of the governor and he pointed out that such a list has been available for several years. The Legislature encouraged school districts, cities, and counties to provide suggestions for cutting unfunded mandates, and they’ve been sitting on the state auditor’s Web site.
Hundreds of proposals range from the state-mandate for detox services (which I wrote about earlier today) to a relaxation of indoor air quality rules.
The schools, county, and city officials can provide additional suggestions by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, though there is obviously no guarantee anyone is going to look at them.