A Mankato Democrat is placing part of the blame for the problems with the state’s vehicle registration system on previous legislatures and their inaction on upgrades he believes should have been made to MNLARS – the Minnesota License and Registration System — long before last summer.
“Previous legislatures have been penny wise, pound foolish. They’ve not kept up with the technology,” said Representative Jack Considine, “You can’t wait until things are falling apart before you start to fix them and keep up.”
Considine said it’s a problem in many state departments and, “Last year we heard testimony from MN-IT, the state technology department. Do you know that there are some of the departments that are still using DOS?”
It should have come as no surprise to lawmakers and state officials, Considine said, that the system was glitchy and the fix will be costly because, “You can’t neglect something for decades and then act surprised that the fix is expensive and you’re over the barrel to do it.”
MNLARS was rolled out in July, and initially the upgrade cost $93 million. It has been beset by problems since the launch and the state’s IT department says unless it gets approval to spend $10 million by Thursday the work to fix it will come to a stop. They have asked for a total of $43 million more to work out the bugs by fall of 2019.
Some House Republicans have said that if the governor wants more money to fix the system, he should get it by trimming his own agency budgets.