We have reached the Legislative Break for the Easter & Passover holidays. Leading up to this week's break, we have heard hundreds of bills in committee, including the large omnibus bills that will make up the state's budget. I also submitted a column to the Rochester Paper outlining the way Minnesota can once again become a leader in the health care industry. You can read that here.
This session I have worked on two bills related to transportation stemming from a meeting with union transportation workers:
Proposed Tax Increases
The House Democrat majority has recently put together its budget bills. These bills are set to be debated and voted on by the House as a whole by the end of April.
Last Monday, Democrats unveiled their tax bill, which alone includes over $4 billion in tax increases over the next four years. In total, their proposals call for $12 billion in new taxes over the next four years. This massive tax hike includes the 20-cent per gallon gas tax increase as well as a tax on nearly all healthcare services, known as the Sick Tax.
As we’re considering these enormous tax increases, I want to emphasize that Minnesota still has a $1 billion budget surplus, meaning taxpayers have already paid in more than they should. In a time of such a large surplus, $12 billion in new taxes should be out of the question.
Childcare Fraud Report
Last Wednesday, the nonpartisan legislative auditor released another report looking into fraud, waste, and abuse in the state’s Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP). Last week’s report focused primarily on evaluating internal controls within the program. The report detailed numerous issues at the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the county level that have resulted in inadequate program integrity. The major finding of the report is that program integrity controls at DHS “are insufficient to effectively prevent, detect, and investigate fraud in Minnesota’s Childcare Assistance Program.”
The report also included findings such as:
We are committed to continuing to work on this issue to ensure we restore integrity to our public programs. These programs are designed to help the truly needy and the programs are abused and funds misused, it is the truly needy who will not have these programs available to them. We can and must do better.
Please continue to stay in touch to share your thoughts and ideas on issues important to you. You can schedule a time to meet with me in my office anytime by calling (651) 296-9236, or share your thoughts via email by emailing me at email@example.com
Have a great week and a Happy Easter & Passover,
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