Is Minnesota bored of state boards? One hasn't met since 1986


It hasn't held a meeting since the late Rudy Perpich was governor, but a state commission on nuclear waste may be a new poster child - for a movement to reduce the nunber of state boards in Minnesota.

The Star Tribune reports Gov. Mark Dayton and lawmakers of both major parties agree that the 160 state boards and commissions include some that have outlived their usefulness. The newspaper says a legislative panel will recommend during the next session that about 40 of them be scrapped.

It's not so easy to get rid of them, though. The Star Tribune reports a similar Sunset Commission formed when Republicans last controlled the Legislature looked at 40 state boards but was successful in disbanding only one.

Trimming the list of state boards is consistent with Gov. Dayton's earlier proposal for a little spring cleaning at the Capitol. Dayton said in October he'll push to make 2014 the year of an "unsession," with lawmakers focusing on purging outdated or redundant laws from the books.

On the state website, boards and commissions are combined with government departments in a list that is not comprehensive, but provides some idea of the breadth of panels. The website also has a list of Minnesota boards that comes from the state's legal reference library.

The Star Tribune story also notes the requirements for serving on some boards are sometimes so specific that finding members is a challenge. One commission requires that three members have disabled children younger than seven, the paper reports, and altogether there are 375 unfilled seats on state boards.

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