ST. PAUL – Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska, Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia, and Rep. Dave Baker, R-Wilmar, issued the following joint statement following the recommendations issued today following an independent expert review of the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS). During a press conference, Governor Walz indicated he would accept the recommendation that Minnesota scrap MNLARS in favor of a private vendor product.
“For years now, Democrats and MN.IT have insisted that a private vendor was not an option, forcing taxpayers to pour money into the MNLARS disaster, and wasting tens of millions of dollars in the process. We applaud Governor Walz for taking this issue seriously, and listening to recommendations these experts have brought forward. This is the right move for Minnesota, and we look forward to putting the MNLARS mess behind us and ensuring that local DMVs and Deputy Registrars can deliver the basic functions of government our citizens expect.
"No one has suffered more as a result of this IT disaster than our Deputy Registrars. It is shameful that House Democrats have refused to pass standalone relief funding, and it is imperative that we make sure these our local DMVs and Deputy Registrars are part of the decision-making process and not harmed once again as a result of government mismanagement.
"House Democrats have a fundamental lack of credibility when it comes to dealing with complex government IT issues—under no circumstances should we seek to dramatically grow MN.IT's footprint, or attempt to create complex new government programs that require IT builds."
In 2018, Republicans successfully passed legislation requiring the Dayton administration to issue a request for information (RFI) on the feasibility of a private vendor to replace MNLARS. The Dayton administration declined to take any action to pursue private vendor options that were detailed as a result of the Republican-led RFI legislation.
Over the past two years, Democrats have repeatedly dismissed the idea of bringing in an outside vendor to repair or replace MNLARS. This session, Democrats have brought forward bills that would require major technology builds, including a Paid Leave proposal funded by a new tax on Minnesotans' paychecks.