Senator Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson), chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, issued the following statement regarding yesterday’s announcement by the Department of Public Safety and MN.IT about their ‘road map’ to fix MNLARS, and their demand for $43 million for improvements.
“Having taken time to review the proposed road map and reflect on the administration’s request, two words keep popping into my head: not acceptable. We will not be bullied, and we will not be threatened into flushing millions more down the drain based solely on the empty promises of executives who have shown no indication they grasp the severity of this catastrophe or that they have any idea how to fix it. If the governor’s agencies expect to hold Minnesotans hostage to extract another $43 million for a vague, generic ‘road map’ that offers few specifics and zero accountability, they are sorely mistaken.
“We have now reached a point where cost overruns for MNLARS are set to go over $100 million. When will it end? If the original $48 million projection wasn’t enough to create a functional program, and $115.6 million wasn’t enough to create a functional program, why should we be confident $158 million will be enough?
“Previously, I said I was hesitant to authorize any new money to the Department of Public Safety and MN.IT until those responsible for the failures of MNLARS have been held accountable, and I stand by that. I still haven’t heard any specifics. I still haven’t heard any answers. There is no accountability. I will not support spending more taxpayer money on a system that is now scheduled to enter its 11th year of development and still can’t function properly. They have the tools at their disposal; they need to stop the excuses and get it done.
“I am especially angry at the complete and utter absence of leadership from Governor Dayton on this issue. As the chief executive of Minnesota, his agency is responsible for this disaster, yet he continues to pass the buck. He needs to take control, fire those responsible, implement the necessary changes to MNLARS operations, and get it fixed. If he continues to avoid taking any real action, the MNLARS mess will be a permanent stain on Gov. Dayton’s legacy.”
Frustrated with MNLARS? Tell us about it at MNLARSmess.com