Upon election in 1990, Governor Arne Carlson asked Kent Eklund, as an outside expert on social services, to informally analyze Medicaid budgets and identify areas for reform.
As a result of Eklund's recommendations, the Governor's Chief of Staff convened several agencies to discuss reform opportunities. On November 23, 1992, representatives of Human Services, Administration, Health, Housing Finance, Employee Relations, Finance and the Ombudsman Office met to study privatization. They also began developing a plan to remove the state from the institutional care system.
Bruce Johnson, the Task Force's point person, soon became known as the "closure czar."
Video: Bruce Johnson headed an interagency task force on state hospital closings.