Sunset Advisory Commission
Last year’s legislative session ended with the creation of a new legislative commission called the “Sunset Advisory Commission.” The members of the group were charged with the duty of improving government transparency and efficiency by reviewing numerous state boards and councils to see if the services they provide should be continued. After completing her first session of work on the commission as its vice chair, State Senator Terri Bonoff said that she was proud of the bipartisan consensus that emerged as a result of the members’ commitment to rigorously evaluate the various groups and make sound recommendations on reforms that will make their operations more efficient.
“Minnesotans have been clear. They want a leaner, more efficient government,” said Sen. Bonoff. “This commission is designed to review our current services to find out what we do well, what needs to improve and what services simply aren’t needed anymore.”
The Sunset Advisory Commission consists of 12 members: four senators, four members of the House of Representatives and four citizen members appointed by the governor. After several meetings throughout the legislative interim and early in the legislative session, the commission made several recommendations to Minnesota’s policymakers on the initial round of agencies up for review.
“We had a wonderful group of people that worked in a bipartisan manner,” said Sen. Bonoff. “I think the work we did will be a great benefit to the state, and I am looking forward to the commission’s work in the future.”
One of the recommendations included a requirement for each board and council to make full use of collaborative administrative support services. Services like the SMART program, managed cooperatively with the state Department of Administration and Health Licensing Boards, will promote cost-effective use of state resources and improve financial controls.
The commission also recommended that boards and councils improve efforts for gathering and reporting outcome measures instead of reporting the number of meetings and collaborations. If you would like more information on the Sunset Advisory Commission, visit the commission’s website at http://www.commissions.leg.state.mn.us/sunset/.
Most of the recommendations will soon make their way into different bills as the legislative session moves forward. The commission will turn its focus to larger state agencies in its next round of reviews.