With the 2018 legislative session set to start Feb. 20, Sen. Paul Utke and I will be co-hosting a town hall meeting 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at Mahnomen City Hall.
The meeting will be centrally located in District 2B, providing residents from throughout the region an opportunity to discuss the issues with us in preparation for the new session. Your input would be much appreciated as we get ready to head back to the Capitol for another round of important decisions.
Mahnomen City Hall is located at 104 W. Madison Ave., Mahnomen. The meeting is open to the public and RSVPs are not necessary.
As for news from St. Paul this week, things seek to be going from bad to worse with the rollout of the state’s new Minnesota License and Registration System for processing vehicle title and registration transactions.
Minnesota taxpayers already have been hit up for nearly $100 million over 10 years – double the original estimate – and the system still isn’t anywhere close to functional. We were assured that MNLARS would work prior to its rollout last July. When it failed after the launch, we were assured problems would be corrected shortly. Here we are, six months later and the system still isn’t up to speed.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said this week it wants another $43 million to fix the “new” system. Here’s the real kicker: Even with more funding, DPS says it’s not sure when the system will be operating properly.
This is unacceptable, plain and simple. The governor and his administration have given no indication over the last seven years that they can build this program.
Legislators were at the Capitol this week to press the matter during meetings with officials involved in this project. House members are working to protect taxpayers and hold accountable those who are responsible for this mess so we can deliver the working system Minnesotans deserve and expect.
Look for more as this situation develops. Until next time, have a good weekend, stay warm and I hope to see you at our Feb. 15 meeting in Mahnomen.