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He says his "unsession" campaign to prune the books of outdated or duplicative laws have resulted in 121 deletions so far.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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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