Sunset Commission keeps the lights on

The draft report of the Minnesota Sunset Advisory Commission suggests eliminating just one state government commission, and even that proposal could be pulled back. The group recommends eliminating the Combative Sports Commission and rolling its duties into the Amateur Sports Commission. But several Democrats on the commission objected.

"This proposal was never aired," commission member Matt Entenza said. "We haven't had an opportunity to hear whether this proposal would be a good idea. There are lots of things that are good ideas but there may be all kinds of unintended consequences."

Entenza said he and others also weren't briefed about therecommendations before a meeting Friday . Republicans said part of the problem is that they were bumping up against a tight deadline to submit recommendations to the Legislature.

Other members said it would look bad if the Sunset Commission didn't recommend folding any government units this year.

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"If we're a Sunset Advisory Commission, and we come back to the Legislature and say 'keep everything,' and don't do some of the things that seem to be are fairly obvious," said GOP Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer , "it seems like we have missed an opportunity."

The Sunset Commission has been highly touted by Republicans in the Legislature as a way to streamline government services and get rid of programs that don't work. The group's members were appointed by the House, Senate and governor's office. It is supposed to examine every government agency and determine whether it should continue operating.

The commission is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday to finalize the report and determine how it will handle the Combative Sports Commission.

The Sunset Advisory Commission also suggests that the Council on Black Minnesotans be continued for two years and added to the 2014 Sunset Review Schedule. The Office of the Legislative Auditor has also been instructed to review the finances of the council in 2013. The Sunset Commission also recommends that each board and council should "make full use of collaborative administrative support services" and look to combine I-T services.