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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mike Wiener (R)

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Capitol Newsletter from Rep. Mike Wiener

Friday, February 17, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

On Monday, the House passed legislation that would increase Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) reimbursement rates. You may recall that the CCAP program has been plagued by significant issues with fraud in past years. The bill approved on Monday includes no new measures to prevent that fraud.

There has been at least $100 million in CCAP fraud, and a recent Office of the Legislative Auditor report found "pervasive noncompliance" within state agency grant management programs, particularly within the Minnesota Department of Education, which oversees the CCAP program. Even though Democrats cannot say with any certainty that the fraud problem is solved or even give examples of it being seriously addressed, they want to keep throwing money into the program.

Fraud is becoming pervasive in our public programs, yet Democrats are turning down every opportunity to crack down on those committing these criminal acts. Instead, as this bill proves, they would prefer to continue sending hundreds of millions of your dollars to programs with known issues.

Recent examples of fraud include:

  • $100 million in CCAP fraud
  • $250 million Feeding our Future fraud of which some of this overlapped with CCAP
  • A recent Legislative Auditor report found “pervasive noncompliance” within state agency grant management programs—particularly in the Department of Education

We have to be responsible stewards of taxpayers’ dollars and as your state representative, I remain committed to rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in public programs.

Update on Bonding

Chatter about a bonding bill has picked up in St. Paul as lawmakers have started to consider timing on when to pass a bill that borrows billions of dollars to pay for projects around the state.

My thought is, why should we take on more debt—kicking the can down the road—when the state could pay cash for some of these projects? For instance, in your personal life, would you take out a loan for a pair of shoes if you have the cash to pay for the shoes now? Would it be financially prudent to pay interest on those shoes if you could simply write a check and be done with it?

To be clear, the state has a responsibility to maintain publicly owned property and to help small communities pay for critical infrastructure like wastewater treatment plants, but let’s be careful about unnecessarily taking on more debt.

Staying in Touch

As always, it is critical that you communicate to me any thoughts, questions, or concerns you may have. Please never hesitate to reach out to me whether it’s via phone or email. I can be reached at 651-296-4293 or via email at It would be an honor to speak with you.

Until next time, have a great weekend,