Updated: 04/30/2014 10:54 PM
Created: 04/30/2014 10:39 PM WDIO.com
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says the state is making progress in delivering services to people and businesses that interact with government.
In his State of the State address Wednesday night, the governor said the Legislature and his administration have made sped up government tasks and become more responsive.
Dayton says moves to cut bureaucratic red tape have meant faster environmental permits for businesses and shorter waits for people with motor vehicle transactions. For example, he says it now takes an average of 19 days to register a car compared with the needed three months previously.
He says his "unsession" campaign to prune the books of outdated or duplicative laws have resulted in 121 deletions so far.
Reaction from the field of challengers was sharp and swift Wednesday night.
Most GOP candidates for governor called the speech political and hypocritical. Former state Rep. Marty Seifert says Dayton's call for unity rang hollow given his frequent clashes with GOP lawmakers.
Businessman Scott Honour says Dayton's rosy speech masked a state underachieving its potential because "we are accepting mediocrity instead of striving for excellence."
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson says Dayton's address came off as a "personal re-election speech."
Republicans won't settle on a challenger until August. State Sen. Dave Thompson and Rep. Kurt Zellers are also in the running.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
St. Louis County Cabin Fire Kills Dog
A dog was killed when a cabin in northern St. Louis County caught fire Thursday evening. The fire started in a bedroom area and is not considered suspicious.
Scannell Case in Jury's Hands, No Verdict Thursday
The case against Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell is now in the hands of a jury after closing arguments took place Thursday afternoon. The jury began deliberations at just after 5 p.m. and they adjourned for the night just after 8 p.m.
Dept. of Health Warns of E. Coli Levels at Lake Superior Beaches
With warmer temperatures, more people are hitting the water. Swimmers may still be wary of the cool water of Lake Superior, but there's something else swimmers should be aware of and you can't see it - it's E. coli.
Tree Removal for Two-mile Reconstruction of Duluth's 4th Street Draws Ire
The future of Duluth's 4th Street was a heated topic Thursday night, as St. Louis County engineers discussed tree removal plans.
Wisconsin's 74th Assembly Seat Debate Hits on Mining Issues
Mining was a hot issue during the debate for Wisconsin's 74th Assembly seat Wednesday night. Two democrats are vying for Rep. Janet Bewley's open seat.