Minnesota Senate Republicans announced today that Senator Paul Utke (R-Park Rapids) will serve as the chair of the Senate’s new Human Services Licensing Committee. The committee will focus on streamlining the process for facilities that provide critical services within our society, improving the process between the Department of Human Services and local units of government, and helping ensure that these facilities can focus on providing their key services and less on administrative functions and dealing with bureaucracy.

“There are millions of Minnesotans who depend on government for a wide range of services, and we have to make sure those services are functioning effectively and efficiently,” Utke said in a news release. “Whether that means relaxing some regulatory burdens when necessary or tightening things up when the circumstances warrant, the end goal is the same: to continue successfully providing key services while getting bureaucracy out of the way as much as possible.”

The priority for the session will be balancing the budget in light of an economy recovering from COVID-19. The Senate Finance Committee is the only committee with hearing time available three days a week, all others are limited to one or two hearings a week, or as needed. Less meeting time will help focus the agendas and ensure public participation can be done safely. There are more committees, 29 in total, from 2020, but with fewer members, to accommodate for social distancing. The new committee areas are focused on: data practices and civil law, property taxes, mining and forestry, labor and industry, health and human services licensing, metropolitan governance, and redistricting.

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