Gov. Mark Dayton plans to meet this month with county attorneys over calls to investigate sexual abuse by clergy members across the state.
The governor announced the plans following a state Land Exchange Board meeting Friday.
"My responsibility is to make that determination, work with the attorney general to see what the proper steps are," Dayton said. "But it starts with the county attorneys, which is why we're working with them first."
The meeting will take place in the last week of September, although an official date hasn't been set, Dayton spokeswoman Caroline Burns said Saturday. The state is still determining which county attorneys would meet with Dayton.
Last month, St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who has represented victims of alleged sexual abuse by priests for decades, called on Dayton to compel grand jury investigations of Catholic dioceses in Minnesota.
His request came after a chilling report released by a Pennsylvania grand jury in August, which found that more than 300 priests were accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 children over decades. That grand jury convened two years ago.
On Saturday, Anderson called Dayton's plan to meet with the county attorneys a "very encouraging" step forward.
"It's an urgent need," he said. "This requires a coordinated statewide effort, from the governor to the attorney general to the county attorneys."
There are six Catholic dioceses in Minnesota.
Earlier this summer, about 450 victims represented by Anderson settled with the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for a record $210 million over decades of alleged clergy sexual abuse. The metro-area archdiocese has previously released the names of 91 clergy members who had been sex abusers.
The Diocese of St. Cloud previously has said it would "fully cooperate" if an investigation were to be launched, adding that it would file for bankruptcy in order to help compensate victims. The Diocese of Duluth has filed for bankruptcy to pay sexual-abuse survivors.
Six states have so far conducted or launched widespread investigations to uncover sexual abuse by clergy members, including Pennsylvania, Illinois and Missouri, Anderson said.
"There is such a heightened awareness right now of the gravity of the problem, statewide, nationwide and worldwide," he said. "We're seeing law-enforcement officials and lawmakers pay attention to something they never had either the appetite for or the awareness of."
Pope Francis and the Catholic Church have recently faced mounting scrutiny over what has become a global scandal. The church on Wednesday announced a bishops' summit on preventing clergy abuse that would take place early next year.