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Published September 13, 2011, 10:20 PM

MN House Speaker Says Streamlining Gov't Key to Economic Recovery

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - The speaker of the house in Minnesota says he has big plans to bolster the state's economy.

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - The speaker of the house in Minnesota says he has big plans to bolster the state's economy.

Kurt Zellers and Representative Deb Kiel visited cities like East Grand Forks on Tuesday to tell voters how they think streamlining government services could help.

Both Zellers and Kiel really want to focus on attracting more business to the state. Zellers said he understands it's been tough economic times and people have had to make more with less.

He says reducing duplication in services might act as a cushion.

After a tough year with the multi-billion dollar deficit and government shutdown, one Minnesota lawmaker says he's focusing on business owners.

"Make them lay down roots here in Minnesota, and keep them here for 20 years so they make that small business into a big business," Zellers said.

Zellers says you're going to see a lot of reform to the licensing and permit processes.

"If it only takes six weeks in North Dakota and it takes six months in Minnesota. It's not that different over the river, so we have to make Minnesota competitive. By lessening those processes but still have the same qualifications - we want clean water, clean air, a good business partner for the state just makes it less burdensome," Zellers said.

"We need to encourage young people to move here and that would really help businesses," district 1B representative Deb Kiel said.

Both Kiel and Zellers say it's not just business owners they need to beef up Minnesota. According to them, streamlining services like having one clean water agency instead of seven and innovation are the answers.

"Using more technology instead of just having more hires and more warm bodies using technology to be faster and smarter," Zellers said.

Kiel says this type of streamlining could take the pressure off tax payers spending more money to balance cuts local government aid.

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