Does someone in Anoka County have a magic revenue-generating machine in their basement? Recipients of county services had better hope so.
The county board voted yesterday to hire a pair of private law firms to handle the 170 new Child in Need of Protection (CHIPS) petitions and up to 70 new termination of parental rights hearings that come before Anoka County courts each year.
The Anoka law firm of Randall and Goodrich will be paid $5,000 a month and attorney David Cossi will earn $4,500 a month as the second primary lawyer on those cases.
The board estimated that processing all the county’s CHIPS cases will cost between $160,000 to $180,000, none of which had been set aside in the county’s budget. It remains to be seen which county programs and services will have to be scaled back to pick up the slack.
Facing a multimillion shortfall, the State Board of Public Defense decided in June that counties should pay for lawyers for poor adults who are losing parental rights or are otherwise involved in cases in which children need help.
Tough break for Anoka County. But hey, at least there haven’t been any new state taxes during the current gubernatorial administration. That's the important thing, right?