Minnesota Governor Proposes 1000 Reforms


Normally when governors or legislators talk about government reform, they have a signature issue or a program they want to push through. Not Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. He is proposing literally 1,000 government reforms for his state. The reform list touches on everything from permitting to taxes and if effective, promises to leave no stone unturned.

In his 2013 State of the State Address, Governor Dayton proposed making the 2014 Legislative Session an “Unsession.” During the Unsession, the Governor has asked legislators to devote their efforts to eliminating excessive laws, rules, and regulations; and getting rid of anything else that makes government clunky.

Now, following that speech the governor is issuing executive orders and pushing local lawmakers to make good on government reforms. The first executive order sets a plain language policy for government documents. In addition, the governor is asking for an accelerated timeline on permits. As part of the Unsession, Dayton is proposing new reforms that would ensure that 11,000 of the 15,000 permit requests each year are completed in 90 days or less. Right now, most permits are issued within 150 days.

Beyond better wording and faster service delivery Dayton wants full-scale regulatory review to eliminate unenforceable and redundant laws. By his count 1,000 or so bits of statute could be removed from the Minnesota books. He also wants rulemaking reform to be part of the legislative process going forward. The list goes on, and on – literally. Taxes, meetings and other procedures are all included. Check out the full slate here.