The Chairman of the Senate Tax Committee, Sen. Julianne Ortman, criticized Gov. Mark Dayton Thursday morning for appointing a revenue commissioner who will not start until mid-April.
The new commissioner, Myron Frans, said Wednesday he needs to transition out of his job as president of a company that manufactures forensic microscopes. He plans to serve as a part-time volunteer adviser until he takes over for commissioner Dan Salomone.
“This is not an appointment; it is inaction accompanied by a press release and an I.O.U from the Governor," Ortman said in a statement. "We have a 6.2 billion dollar deficit, and a very strong disagreement between the Legislature and the Governor as to how to resolve it."
"Improving our business climate and putting Minnesotans back to work can’t wait until mid-April when Mr. Frans is available to do the job," Ortman added. "We need department leaders in place that are ready, willing and able to join us in this effort.”
Asked yesterday if he was worried about missing a good deal of the Legislative session, including likely the presentation of a budget, Frans said he will not be detached.
“I plan to be involved very intimately along the way, but on the sidelines," Frans said, adding that he will be working with Salomone on revenue projections.
Ortman said in her statement that "we won’t have a Commissioner for the Department of Revenue until mid-April," though Salomone will be serving in that position. She added that the appointment "sends a troubling message that the executive branch may not be fully committed to the important work ahead.”