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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

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RELEASE: Statement from Rep. Mary Franson on childcare fraud investigation

Sunday, May 13, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, MN—Sunday evening, a Fox 9 investigation aired that reported on widespread fraud of childcare assistance funds, distributed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). The story cited unnamed state government sources that placed the cost to the state at "at least a hundred million dollars a year, half of all child care subsidies." That claim was disputed by Acting DHS Commissioner Chuck Johnson, but he acknowledged that "there's a scope of fraud out there that we really need to get our arms around..." Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Childcare Access and Affordability, issued the following statement in response to the story:

"I'm deeply troubled by the revelations that tens, if not more than $100 million dollars per year are being fraudulently billed to the state," Franson said. "Even if the fraud is a fraction of what is being reported, it is a disturbing sign that the Department has failed in their duty to protect Minnesota taxpayers, and uphold program integrity to ensure childcare assistance dollars going to those who truly need it. By weeding out existing fraud, it is entirely possible that we could boost childcare assistance payments without the need for additional state resources.

"I have every intention of holding DHS accountable for this breach of public trust, and expect to see answers given -- publicly, and before the end of the legislative session -- to the serious questions raised by this report."