OPINION

Letter: Stop Lansing from imposing unfunded mandates

Our state, historically, has increased regulations on local governments with little concern for their impact on small and local communities. These regulations are often burdensome, frustrating and expensive. As it currently stands, there is little stopping our state government from implementing new laws that end up increasing costs for local governments. This needs to change.

That is why we have introduced legislation to address this issue. Our six-bill package mandates a dollar-for-dollar match if state mandates create any new expenses for local governments. This, in turn, will increase transparency in the legislative process and strengthen local control. If this or any future Legislature were ever to stray from this policy, local units of governments could pressure legal action.

Our measures will ensure that the communities we live in are provided all of the resources they need to implement new state initiatives and services. When unfunded mandates fall upon local government, they are forced to stretch already tight budgets and sometimes make cuts to critical programs. By requiring that state funds be appropriated and outlined in state legislation, local governments will have the consideration that they need in order to operate efficiently and effectively.

It can be argued that the decisions your local elected officials make have the most impact on your daily life. However, unfunded state mandates tie their hands and force them to pay for initiatives or services that may not suit their locale or residents. Just as your local government works hard to find solutions that make sense for your community, we aim to do the same. This is one small common-sense step we can make to ensure your family and families across Michigan are protected from government overreach.

We will need your help to pass this legislation and this is your call to action. Call or write your state representative and state senator with your support of this legislative package. Together, we can make a difference in creating a more efficient and fair government.

State Rep. Michael Webber,

R-Rochester Hills

State Rep. Laura Cox, R-Livonia

State Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake

State Sen. David Robertson,

R-Grand Blanc Township