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Panel to examine Minnesota technology-citizen interaction

ST. PAUL -- A new Minnesota House committee is tasked with what House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said is a "long range" vision for improving how an ever-increasing technologically centric citizenry interacts with its government.

ST. PAUL -- A new Minnesota House committee is tasked with what House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said is a "long range" vision for improving how an ever-increasing technologically centric citizenry interacts with its government.

Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, has been chosen to head the 10-member Select Committee on Technology and Responsive Government. Its job will be to seek input from the public, find ways technology can improve citizen interaction with government, and look for outside answers to inside problems.

Daudt said he chose Baker, a small-business owner, because of his background in the hospitality industry and will bring a customer service approach.

"We don’t want to just come up with some optics here," Baker said. "We want to actually do some things that work."

The lawmakers didn’t highlight specific agencies or programs, saying they want to leave efficiency suggestions to the committee’s discernment. Instead of looking at spending, Daudt said the committee will recommend to other committees ideas to save the state money and make government more effective for Minnesotans.

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Prospective focuses, according to House Republicans, include legacy systems, technology and low-income residents, land use and small agencies.

"We have so many computer systems and so many ways that customers, our customers, our citizens, interact with state government," Daudt said. "I think we have so many opportunities to improve that; to shorten the amount of time it takes in those interactions, to make that a more customer service-oriented process, and to use technology to make it not only more efficient but also more effective."

"I think the formats and the platforms could be simplified," Baker said.

The committee will have what Daudt calls a "higher level overview" and send reports to other committees that can work through the weeds. Its membership isn’t complete, but Daudt expects six Republicans and four Democrats to be selected.

"This committee may not change the world, but if it can make a small difference, I’ll call it a success," Daudt said.

Related Topics: DAVE BAKER
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