Panel purge: Proposal advises scrapping 37 state boards

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A state legislative panel on Wednesday is expected to recommend eliminating 37 state task force, advisory boards and councils that no longer serve a purpose, the Pioneer Press reports.

Among them is what has become the poster child of the effort to streamline state bureaucracy, the Minnesota Nuclear Waste Council, which hasn't met since 1986.

The effort is aimed at assuring that policymakers are not "cluttering up the statutes with things that don't make sense," House Speaker Paul Thissen told the Pioneer Press.

Gov. Mark Dayton and state legislators have said the state's list of 160 panels and commissions needs trimming, although traditionally, it hasn't been easy to part with some beloved boards. The Star Tribune reported that a similar Sunset Commission at one point recommended the trashing of 40 state boards, but only one was disbanded.

The Star Tribune reported that it can be tough just to keep board memberships current. By one count, there were 375 open seats on state panels, the newspaper reported.

Streamlining the list of state boards is part of Dayton's proposal for spring cleaning when lawmakers meet again next year at the Capitol. Dayton has said he favors an "unsession," with lawmakers focusing on purging outdated or redundant laws.

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 lawmoose.com also has a list of Minnesota boards that comes from the state's legal reference library.

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