The “Unsession” — a great idea from Minnesota

In Minnesota this year, as part of Gov. Mark Dayton’s “Unsession” initiative, the Legislature repealed 1,175 obsolete laws. According to the Star Tribune, “Some proposals are in the name of efficiency while others revisit laws that haven’t been enforced in decades.”

Additionally, the Unsession reduced permit wait times:

Because of major reforms implemented by the Dayton Administration in 2011, 97 percent of all job-creating business permits are approved by state agencies in less than 150 days. This session, the Governor signed new legislation reducing those wait times for most businesses to just 90 days. An estimated 11,000 of the 15,000 permit requests the state receives from businesses each year are expected to be completed within the new 90-day goal.

Also, according to a Pioneer Press article, “Legislators launched an initiative that got rid of more than 30 advisory boards, councils and task forces that had outlived their usefulness.”

As the governor’s office notes,

Governor Dayton dubbed the 2014 Legislative Session the “Unsession” – a first-of-its-kind effort to make state government better, faster, simpler, and more efficient for Minnesotans. The Governor wanted to improve government services, shorten wait times, eliminate old and outdated rules, and undo anything else that makes state government nearly impossible for people to understand.

This spring cleaning-like session is something more states should do periodically.