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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Josh Heintzeman

Monday, March 18, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

On Wednesday, the OLA, (Office of the Legislative Auditor) released their much-anticipated report on fraud within the state’s Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP). The report was in response to allegations made by a former employee at the Department of Human Services (DHS) that alleged over $100 million in fraud was taking place in the CCAP program. He also claimed that suitcases of cash were being flown overseas and financing terrorist activities.

The legislative auditor could not substantiate the $100 million claim but believes that the extent of fraud in the program is larger than the $5-$6 million in restitution payments ordered in prosecuted cases thus far. According to the report, the CCAP fraud investigators at DHS generally agree that there is a substantial amount of fraud in the CCAP program.

Further, the report was unable to link CCAP funding with terrorist financing overseas.

I am disturbed by the details of this report and am committed to working hard to make sure that the problem of fraud and abuse is addressed at the state level. Any amount of fraud is too much.

We need to take action this session to improve program integrity, and put systems in place to catch and eliminate fraud. House Republicans have several proposals, including my bill HF 1881, that would improve program integrity and I hope that Democrats will give these bills hearings.

Stay tuned on this as a follow-up report is due in early April.

The New Green Deal Comes to Minnesota

This week, House Democrats heard a bill in committee that would mandate that 100 percent of the state's electricity be produced from "clean" energy sources by 2050.

The pursuit of “clean” energy is a noble one and something that we should be moving the state towards, but this bill is not the way to do it. I have serious concerns about the affordability and reliability of energy if this bill were to become law.

The bill will increase the prices Minnesota consumers pay for electricity, which are already above the national average and will decrease the reliability of the regional electrical grid, especially during times of extreme cold and hot weather.

I’m not sure what a polar vortex looked like years ago, but this past winter’s cold temps put serious stress on our energy grid. Moving to a 100% renewable standard raises serious questions about the reliability of that grid.

Legalized Pot Defeated?

A bill to legalize pot appears dead for the rest of the session after a lengthy hearing in the Senate that included a number of testifiers both for and against the bill. The committee eventually defeated the bill by a 6-3 vote. This action effectively kills the bill for the rest of this year’s session.

I am pleased to see the bill halted as I am not in favor of legalization at this time. We should be spending our time on more pressing matters like passing a two-year state budget.


Staying in Touch

That’s all for this week’s update. I will have more information for you as the session progresses. In the meantime, I urge you to contact me to share any thoughts, concerns, or questions you may have. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4333 or via email at

Thanks and have a great weekend,