One of the current bills working its way through the Minnesota House of Representatives, is meant to examine and possibly eliminate unnecessary or burdensome state mandates placed on lower levels of government in the state of Minnesota.

Subdivision 1. Intent; purpose. To ensure that public services are delivered as
cost-effectively as possible, it is the intent of the legislature to eliminate unnecessary
state regulations and mandates. By July 1, 2010, mandates or regulations that result in
unnecessary paperwork, are redundant, or contain outdated or irrelevant requirements
shall be eliminated or revised. Requirements that are necessary to protect the health
and well-being of Minnesotans or that are necessary to meet federal requirements shall
not be eliminated.
Subd. 2. State mandate review. Any county, city, school district, professional
association, or other entity affected by state mandates may submit to the legislature a
list of mandates that are required by state statute or rule that the entity determines to be
unnecessary or in need of reform. The legislature shall review the mandates that have
been submitted.

Representative Haws (DFL) has been on the state mandates kick ever since his first election to the Minnesota House and I applaud him for making good on this particular promise. Any time that we can reevaluate programs, rules, and regulations to make things run more smoothly we should do that. In fact, this bill should be more than a one time event. We should be carrying out these evaluations on a yearly basis. My only problem with such legislation is the possibility that certain mandates that are effective and useful to one part of the state will be cut entirely if another part of the state deems them unnecessary. My hope is that these mandate reviews will take this possibility into account and the result will be effective government throughout the state.