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Dayton: 1,000 ideas to make government work better

  • Blog Post by: Baird Helgeson
  • March 4, 2014 - 11:03 AM

Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration rolled out a comprehensive government streamlining package Tuesday, outlining more than 1,000 proposed changes to make state services easier and more efficient.

The overhaul seeks changes in every corner of state government, from speeding environmental permitting to making it easier and faster the buy fishing licenses and pay taxes. The initiative also seeks to root out antiquated laws clogging up the books and adding work for state agencies.

Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board Chairman Tony Sertich, who is leading the streamlining effort for Dayton’s administration, said state law is filled with antiquated provisions. He noted one state law even has a detailed prescription of exactly who must capture or kill wild boars in the state.

Dayton is staking a lot of political currency on the outcome of the initiative, which he calls “unsession.” He wants legislators to devote a significant amount of time weeding out antiquated or cumbersome laws.

But Dayton is not merely trying to declutter the state law books. He wants to make it easier and less aggravating for consumers of state services, which has been a frequent gripe when dealing with state government.

Dayton is not the first governor to try such an effort, but it is the most concerted one in a long time.

In selecting Sertich to lead the effort, Dayton has tapped a former House Majority Leader with a strong sense of how to get things through the sometimes unruly legislative bodies.

Dayton’s top policy advisers have been meeting regularly and touching base with legislative committee chairs, who will be vital to the success or failure of the effort.

Legislative committees will begin holding hearings on the streamlining measures this week.

© 2014 Star Tribune