Anyone that thinks that government is efficient at delivering important services are either lying to themselves or lying to us. Predictably, neither the DFL nor the Dayton administration still hasn’t gotten MNLARS running.
Now, problems are being addressed, Minnesota IT Services Commissioner Johanna Clyborne told the MNLARS Steering Committee, but progress has been slow-moving.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Clyborne said.
MNLARS employees have received more than 32,000 applications for Real IDs this year and have mailed out just over a third, said Dawn Olson, Driver and Vehicle Services Director. Olson said she hopes the remainder will be mailed out by the first week in January.
I’m hoping to win the lottery before the new year starts, too. Based on past history, I’m betting there’s an equal chance of me winning that lottery and DVS getting the remainder out on time. And I’m not betting on winning the lottery in the next 3 weeks.
The commissioners admitted that it’s still taking more than 40 days to get drivers licenses out. Why doesn’t the state turn to a real IT company to fix the problem? At this point, the frustration level from the public is high. If the DFL doesn’t fix their MNLARS problem ASAP, there will be a political backlash. This project has already cost taxpayers $100,000,000.
Here’s something else worth considering: The DFL wanted Republicans to appropriate enough money to complete the project. Republicans refused, saying they wanted to have some control over the project. That’s why Gov. Dayton vetoed the bill and the DFL voted to sustain Gov. Dayton’s veto. This MNLARS project is 100% around the DFL’s necks.
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Ramona Dohman said MNLARS employees were stretched thin as they were forced to switch from one role to another to cover phones or emails or license and title applications. “Driver and Vehicle Services is able to triage to bring down turnaround times momentarily, but we just can’t get ahead,” Dohman said.
In other words, DPS and DVS is no closer to fixing the problem today than they were last spring. It’s indisputable that this is a leadership failure. The only thing that’s in question is how to fix this. That’s something Democrats are terrible at.
They’re great at proposing new things. Unfortunately, Democrats run into all kinds of problems in the implementation phase. Think back to MNsure and Healthcare.gov. Those were total failures, too.
It isn’t surprising that people don’t trust government. A quick check of the history of government, whether it’s local, state or federal, shows how inept government is. That’s why it’s essential to elect solutions-oriented people in 2020. That’s who President Trump is. That’s the opposite of what Gov. Dayton or soon-to-be-Speaker Pelosi are. Unfortunately, I suspect that Gov.-Elect Walz will be just as inept.
That’s why I’m not expecting MNLARS to get fixed anytime soon.