BEMIDJI -- Bills were introduced last week that included boosts to Local Government Aid that have received backing from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities.

Versions of the legislation have been created in the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives and would provide a $30.5 million increase to the LGA program. The bills were authored by Sen. Bill Weber, R-Luverne and Rep. Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck. Since introduction, the laws members of both parties have signed on.

“Sen. Weber and Rep. Anderson are veteran legislators and great champions for Greater Minnesota,” CGMC President Dave Smiglewski said in a press release. “We are grateful they are taking they are taking the lead on this issue and continuing to fight on behalf of the nearly 90 percent of Minnesota cities who receive LGA.”

The LGA program has provided municipalities with state aid since the 1960s. Advocates have been working the last several years to return LGA to its 2002 level, as the amount of funding was reduced and hasn’t reached that number since.

The CGMC Vice President is Ron Johnson, who represents Ward 3 on the Bemidji City Council. Johnson is set to become president of the coalition later this year.