ST. PAUL, Minn. - One of the biggest discussions at the Minnesota State Capitol is what to do to fix the state's troubled vehicle license and registration computer system, known as MNLARS.
There are lots of ideas on the table, and millions of taxpayer dollars at stake, as MNLARS continues to cause long waits and even longer processing times.
So when is it going to get better?
"I can tell you that the ultimate end game, according to the commissioners, DPS and MNIT, is two years from now," said Senator Scott Newman.
Newman says the reality right now, is that the MNLARS system is actually in danger of getting worse before it gets better.
The state has already spent more than $93 million on the web-based system, but state agencies are asking for another $10 million in order to prevent laying off the IT contractors who are working to fix it.
Newman is pushing for a bill that would provide $7.3 million, not $10 million, to Minnesota's IT Department, known as MNIT, but it would also add legislative oversight and benchmarks, requiring approval every 90 days.
"Given past performance, I want to be in a position where the legislature is literally looking over their shoulders, watching how they spend the money," he said.
But Minnesota's new IT commissioner, Johanna Clyborne, says that will create more uncertainty at a time when IT professionals are already walking out.
"In order to recruit and retain IT talent we need on our team, we need to provide some certainty to our IT contractors that their position is funded for more than a few months at a time," she said.
That didn't stop this committee from approving the bill, with the added oversight.
Sen. Newman's bill could go to the full Senate by Thursday. Even if it's approved, the legislature is still considering additional money related to other fixes and reimbursement for people and industries that have already been harmed by MNLARS.