Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Another day, another scandal at the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). On Tuesday, the Star Tribune reported that DHS violated state law more than 200 times over the past year with $52 million in contracts and grant commitments to vendors, Indian bands and other state government agencies without proper documentation.
This $52 million in illegal contracts and grant commitments is in addition to a $44 million issue with overpayments to chemical dependency providers and a separate $29 million in overpayments to tribal nations. Altogether, we’re up to $126.9 million in DHS issues related to money…that we know of.
Tuesday’s news comes on the heels of a report from the non-partisan Legislative Auditor that looked into the overpayment issues with some tribal nations. In that report, the Legislative Auditor noted "troubling dysfunction" at DHS. I think it’s safe to say that the Star Tribune report detailing illegal contracts and grant commitments certainly helps reinforce the belief that dysfunction has taken hold of DHS.
The agency appears to be completely out of control and it’s clear that a culture change and accountability measures are needed at DHS. I remain committed to making sure that state government respects taxpayers as we work to rein in bloated state agencies like DHS.
Veterans Day is on Monday, November 11th. I hope you will consider attending one of the many community events scheduled to honor the service and sacrifice of our military and their families.
It's because of their service that we are blessed with the many freedoms we enjoy in this country today. Please take a moment to thank a veteran this weekend -- whether it be a friend or family member, or someone you see out in public, a simple "thank you" can mean so much.
Thank you to the veterans here in our district, across Minnesota, and around the country. May God continue to bless our vets, their families, and those still serving who protect our great country at home and abroad.