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Minneapolis aims to simplify its charter for modern era

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Minneapolis' city charter, which dates to 1920, has a lot to say about how the city should be managed, but not all of it is related to the modern age. The dusty document regulates the amount of steam that can be released by locomotives, the cleaning of stables, and the size and weight of bread, MPR reports.

Now some city officials want to give the densely worded 200-page charter, which has been amended over the years, a shiny new makeover that both simplifies and modernizes it.

To that end, a commission has spent more than a decade drafting a new version that focuses on defining the roles of various city offices and is one-third as long and far easier to understand as the 1920 version, MPR reports. Here's the latest "plain language" version.

But now city officials are fretting that the updated version could create some uncertainty, and open up the city to risk – with little benefit, MPR reports.

Minneapolis voters will decide whether it's worth the trouble. This fall, they'll be asked to approve the first major overhaul of the charter in nearly a century, MPR reports.

As a separate feature, MPR also has a fun then-and-now photo gallery that compares the Minneapolis of 1920 and today.

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