Mqt. County Board on Unfunded Mandates

Much of the burden of the state’s budget problems is passed down to the county level.

More than half the money Marquette County spends each year is on unfunded mandates — services that the state requires counties to provide while not giving the counties enough money to pay for them.

Michigan counties have been battling unfunded mandates for more than 30 years.

Marquette County Board members were angry tonight that the Michigan Association of Counties has not supported them more in attempts to stop unfunded mandates.

They used the phrase ‘dropped the ball’ several times in reference to the MAC.

Commissioner Mike Quayle says they could pass a resolution condemning the mandates and send the legislature another letter in protest, but he says Michigan counties have done things like that for 32 years and he doesn’t see those tactics working.

But the board members have something they think might work.

They intend to stop providing those mandated services once their state funding runs out each year.

Quayle says that’s just about the only thing that might capture Lansing’s attention.

The board members will send a letter to the MAC explaining their intentions.

They talked about possibly having the MAC sue the state.

But a lawsuit could be tied up in the courts for years, and they say they need action sooner than that.