A legislative oversight committee hearing on replacing Minnesota’s beleaguered licensing and registration computer system was rolling to a stop Monday when state Sen. John Jasinski leaned toward his microphone to raise a question that had been nagging him.
“As long as everyone’s in the room, can we decide whether it’s vit-russ or vee-ters?” he quipped. “We’re all here. All the stakeholders are here, so can we please decide what the name is by the end of the first meeting?”
The Faribault Republican was referring to Minnesota’s Vehicle Title and Registration System, or VTRS, a new technology slated to replace the troubled computer system known as MNLARS.
Republican Sen. Scott Newman, who co-chairs the panel, sped to his own mic with a definitive response.
“Senator Jasinski, it’s vit-russ,” he said. “Any further questions?”
The exchange sparked laughter in the room. After the hearing ended, Newman acknowledged that “everyone hates” the jargon. But he put the brakes on any chance of reviving the debate.
“I don’t want to talk about that name anymore,” he said. “That’s what’s in the statute, that’s how I was instructed to pronounce it, so I’m hoping the controversy is over and we’re just going to move forward.”
He added: “We have bigger fish to fry.”