Minnesota House and Senate Republicans are proposing major changes to the state’s information technology agency–MN-IT.

It’s a response, in part, to recent troubles at the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System or MN-LARS. Senator Scott Newman said large software programs are very complicated and, “I’ve simply come to the conclusion that the state of Minnesota does not have the necessary expertise to write those very large programs.”

If passed, the Senate bill’s effective date of July 1st, 2018 would permit MN-IT to continue working on any projects under contractual agreement. For future projects, state agencies would have the option to choose MN-IT or an external resource.

On the House side, Representative Jim Nash said moving forward, “We need to make sure that we’re spending money wisely on a good piece of software so that the people of Minnesota can interact with it and not have a problem not have to come back for additional funds that go beyond the original scope.”

That’s in reference to Governor Dayton’s recent request for $10 million to fix MN-LARS.

Democratic Representative Rick Hansen argued the Republican plan simply, “Doesn’t deal with the urgency of the problem that is here today, the urgency that’ll be here tomorrow, the urgency that has been there for the last week.”

Nash’s House bill would require MN-IT to seek quotes from third party vendors to create new software, before creating new software themselves.