Dear Friends and Neighbors,
With the extreme cold temperatures we experienced, I hope you had a safe and warm week. This weekend’s high temperatures of 30 degrees will be a welcome taste of warmth.
Today I had the honor of presenting Bill Thoennes of Alexandria a House Resolution for 26 years of dedicated service with the Alexandria Fire Department. Thank you for your service, Bill!
As this week comes to a close, I wanted to give you a quick update with some news from St. Paul.
Childcare Fraud Bills
On Monday, I introduced four bills to address the fraud of Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP) funds. As many of you know, last May allegations emerged of upwards of $100 million of CCAP funds being allocated to fraudulent childcare facilities and possibly ending up overseas in the hands of terrorists. The Department of Human Services (DHS) continues to drag its feet on this matter and is either denying that the fraud is happening or is covering it up. In addition to its troubling inaction rooting out the fraud, DHS has failed to the respond to the multiple public data requests I have submitted in search of more information on the fraud.
The legislation I introduced Monday will take important steps to identify and establish the scope of this fraud, crack down on it and implement tougher penalties, and prevent it in the future. Below is each bill with a brief description:
HF445: Establishes an independent Office of the Inspector General to ensure its investigations of fraud in DHS are free from the DHS Commissioner’s influence.
HF446: Requires DHS to use a private vendor to verify and determine eligibility for public assistance programs. Also establishes penalties for providers transferring CCAP funds to foreign countries.
HF497: Anti-kickback law which prevents dependents of a provider or dependents of an employee from being eligible to receive CCAP funds. (This will prevent providers from fraudulently enrolling employees’ children in order to receive more in CCAP funds)
HF498: Permanently disqualifies fraudulent childcare providers from receiving CCAP funds on the first offense.
I am proud to have introduced these important bills this week and I am hopeful House Democrats can put solutions and ending fraud ahead of partisan politics. I am requesting hearings for these common sense bills so we can begin to restore the integrity of CCAP funds and make sure they’re going to those who truly need them
You can also read the op-ed former Rep. Matt Dean and I had published in the Star Tribune on this matter by clicking here.
Standing for Life
Yesterday afternoon I joined my pro-life, Republican colleagues in the Capitol to condemn the horrific measures in other states to allow abortions up to the moment of birth as well as to reaffirm our commitment to protecting life and the rights of the unborn.
Last week in New York, the state legislature passed an appalling abortion bill that was then signed by the state’s Democratic governor. This murderous new law would allow a woman to have an abortion at any time, including days before the baby is to be born. In addition, this week we learned of a proposal by Democrats in the Virginia state legislature to allow abortion AFTER a baby has already been born. This is not only inhumane, but is also murder.
Every human life has value and deserves to be protected. I was disgusted to learn of these measures and will continue to do everything in my power to defend life and make sure nothing like this makes its way to Minnesota.
ABATE Biker Day
This week ABATE held its annual Biker Day at the Capitol. I always enjoy meeting with bikers from our communities when they’re in St. Paul. ABATE is a great organization and does an excellent job of advocating for biker rights and motorcycle safety. Thank you to the bikers who braved the cold to come make their voices heard!
Please Contact Me
If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding any issue related to state government, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached via phone at 651-296-3201 or by email at email@example.com.
It’s an honor to represent the best!