Governor Mark Dayton used a strong tool that only the state’s chief executive possesses, signing an executive order to speed up the business permitting process. Dayton said hundreds of companies will benefit from the Department of Natural Resources and Pollution Control Agency “moving at the speed of commerce” with a goal of a 150 day turn around on permits.
House and Senate Republicans are working on bills that also streamline permitting and regulations. Dayton notified Republican leaders about his move that all parties have seen a source of early agreement in the 2011 legislative session. When asked why this executive-led streamlining hadn’t happened before Dayton responded “I believe in government. I believe in better government.”
Dayton’s new commissioners also gave of picture of the new governor’s leadership style. PCA Commissioner Paul Aasen said “Our boss is telling us to get to work on things.” DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr added “Governor Dayton doesn’t like to sit still” and Landwehr also used the term boss saying “The governor is the boss and when the boss tells us to do something we’ll do it.”
Republicans were divided in their reaction to Dayton’s executive order. Senators held a press conference and Deputy Majority Leader Geoff Michel said “This is a good first step, we’d like to do more.” Michel called it a good day for job creators and admitted Gov. Dayton “lapped us” today in what will be a marathon session in the race for job creation. At the same time, a press release arrived from House GOP Majority Leader Matt Dean saying “Today’s executive order is concerning” and called it “counterproductive to the legislative process.” The split in Republican reaction surprised many in the Capitol hallways.