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.
"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.
The Sunset Commission got off to a rocky start in the first place. No assigned and independent staff. Relied on reports that the agencies themselves primarily did. If anyone listens to their first meeting and the presentation of the former head of the Texas Sunset Commission you can understand why the Commission did not do much as expected.
Another year is coming up. It is an interesting idea, but it needs some more work. One of them is hiring an independent staff.
The idea that the Amateur Sports Commission could regulate professional boxing and mixed martial arts is ridiculous. One commission makes real decisions about a fighters medical well being and ability to fight, the other one promotes the idea of bringing sporting events like women's hockey tournaments and soccer games to Minnesota and tries get cities to build new facilities.
Literally the only thing the two commissions have in common is the word "sport" appears in their name. This commission's recommendation is like saying that Bug Selig and Major League Baseball should oversee the National Football League because they both have "ball" in their name.
It is a shame they picked on the the smallest commission (they get no appropriation, it is all paid for by licenses and they only have two staff members) but as Representative Kiffmeyer said, someone had to go, and the CSC is the smallest commission with the smallest community, so it is the easiest one to get rid of.