MNLARS: Bipartisan plan will serve Minnesotans

Democrats and Republicans in Minnesota government recently gave Minnesotans evidence that divided government can indeed come together, compromise and solve problems.

The recent agreement between House Democrats, Gov. Tim Walz and Senate Republicans to approve $13 million to fix major glitches and improve service in the MNLARs auto licensing system stands as a very good example.

The plan called for the $13 million emergency funding to keep the contractors working on the fixes and prevents the state from having to start from scratch or be unable to fix something if it malfunctions. That would have been the worst case scenario.

The plan also calls for allocating additional $10 million to eventually reimburse deputy registrars for the losses they incurred while dealing with the system. And importantly, the plan calls for setting up an expert independent commission to advise legislators and the governor on the way forward. Credit for the compromise goes to both parties. Republicans were willing to pull back on their position of killing the current efforts and starting off with maximum political gain to point to the mistakes of the previous Democratic administration of Gov. Mark Dayton.

Walz deserves credit for being willing to be held accountable by the independent review of the system going forward. The commission may decide to turn to the private sector to manage the system going forward and Walz said he is open to that.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka lauded the early-in-the-session cooperation as a “good sign for things to come.”

The agreement on MNLARS is a win-win-win for Democrats, Republicans and the people of Minnesota.

— The Free Press of Mankato