Walz forms IT panel to advise on troubled MNLARS system

Published 8:30 am Friday, February 8, 2019

ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz has signed an executive order creating a blue-ribbon council to advise state government on information technology issues, including the troubled MNLARS driver licensing and vehicle registration system.

The council will be chaired by Rick King, executive vice president of operations at Thomson Reuters.

The governor also said Thursday he’ll ask the Legislature for another $16 million in the current budget to continue fixing the MNLARS system and to beef up staffing in the division that distributes license plates, vehicle titles and driver’s licenses.

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And he said he plans to convene a panel of IT experts to screen candidates to become the state’s next commissioner of information technology, the only cabinet post that the governor has not filled. Fixing MNLARS will be part of the new commissioner’s job.