The Unsession: Creating a Better Government for a Better Minnesota
Governor Mark Dayton and key members of the Cabinet today unveiled his administration’s legislative agenda for the 2014 Unsession. Governor Dayton’s reform proposals include over 1,000 ways to make state government work better for the people of Minnesota. From reforms that will improve state government services, to the elimination of unnecessary and outdated statutes, to simplifying the language of our state laws, the Governor’s Unsession proposals have one overriding goal: creating a Better Government for a Better Minnesota.
“Some people like to talk about reform. We really mean it,” said Governor Dayton. “During the past three years, we have worked hard to improve and streamline state government – saving Minnesota citizens and businesses time and money. I look forward to working with the Legislature to build on that progress and give Minnesotans the high-value, efficient services they deserve.”
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 nearly impossible to understand. After months of preparation – having gathered input from thousands of citizens, legislators, and state employees – Governor Dayton today laid out a roadmap for reforms, both big and small, that will make a difference in the lives of Minnesotans.
Plain Language Executive Order
Dense forms, documents, and websites full of complicated jargon and hard-to-find links create confusion and waste Minnesotans’ time. To make state government work better for the people it serves, Governor Dayton has signed an Executive Order implementing the state’s first-ever Plain Language policy. The Governor’s Plain Language initiative will direct all state agencies to use commonly used language, write in clear and concise sentences, and reduce the use of jargon and acronyms that make state government nearly impossible to understand. More information about the Governor’s Plain Language initiative is available here. Examples of what Plain Language looks like are available here.
Since taking office, Governor Dayton has made streamlining environmental permitting a top priority. The Dayton Administration has made permitting faster and more predictable for Minnesota businesses, while ensuring strong environmental protections remain in place. Today, 97 percent of environmental permits for economic development projects are issued in less than 150 days. Governor Dayton believes we can do better. As part of the Unsession, the Governor 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. Many of the remaining permits would be completed in less than 150 days. More information about this initiative is available here.
Minnesota resident military veterans with service-connected permanent disability, as defined by the U.S. Veterans Administration, may obtain an application online at www.mndnr.gov/military
Screenshot: PCA Stormwater Manual Wiki
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency launched a wiki version of the Minnesota Stormwater Manual that will serve as an invaluable reference for controlling urban stromwater pollution of lakes and streams.