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Letter: City, county attorneys need funding, too

Much has been written of late regarding the funding crisis facing the legal system.

The courts, legal services for the indigent and public defenders have all made and continue to make excellent cases for why the legal system has reached a tipping point in Minnesota.

In the course of coming to grips with those realities, it is important to recall that there is another key component to the Minnesota legal system -- the county and city attorneys.

Each of the cities and counties in Minnesota is responsible for staffing and funding an office of dedicated and competent attorneys charged with enforcing the laws in those jurisdictions. The funds available to pay for those offices have come under assault in recent years as levy limits have been imposed by the state and income from fines has been shifted to the state general fund.

As we all work toward a solution to the funding crisis in Minnesota for the legal system, we need to keep in mind the critical role played by our city and county prosecutors in that system. -- Michael J. Ford, President, Minnesota State Bar Association