We had quite an interesting week in St. Paul. Long floor sessions, informational debates, and the passing of our large budget bills highlighted each day. It’s an important time of the year, and I want to make sure you have the latest on what we’re discussing.
After our committee hearing about gainsharing, WCCO reported that the Office of the Legislative Auditor has opened an investigation into the state’s gainsharing program. The program was developed as an incentive for employees whose work product produced documented savings of taxpayer dollars within state agencies.
In total, the Dayton administration awarded $6.7 million to state employees through this program. Current statute states the award can be up to ten percent of documented savings, which would total at least $67 million of savings for the state. Despite state law mandating the documentation of savings in order to award monetary compensation, Minnesota Management and Budget has no record of any savings for taxpayers.
During our March 28 State Government Finance Committee hearing, neither Commissioner Frans nor his staff could account for one dollar out of the $67 million the state should have saved. Instead, employees were rewarded for having a ‘can-do attitude’ and doing ‘outstanding work’. That’s called doing your job. It’s clear this program is being misused by the Dayton Administration.
We included language in the state government finance bill that outlines more requirements and transparent reporting in order to keep the state from continuing to waste your tax dollars.
If you want to find out more, I posted a video on my Facebook here from a press conference.
I was proud to author a significant portion of the state government finance bill, again looking to save taxpayer money. My legislation makes changes to the state’s IT infrastructure, and consolidates numerous data centers, outdated servers, applications, and addresses IT modernization. It’s estimated to save the state $3 million to $7 million simply by upgrading our technology and migrating some capabilities to the cloud. We shouldn’t be funding outdated technology, but instead should look for cost-saving efficiencies.
You probably know from older updates, but the State Auditor, Rebecca Otto, continues to light taxpayer dollars on fire. Because she’s upset with a state law – which was signed by Governor Dayton – she’s suing three Minnesota counties and using your tax dollars to foot the bill. We included language to limit the ability by the auditor to sue counties with your tax dollars. This has gone on long enough.
This week, my son Matthew came with me to the Capitol. I always try to bring my kids to the legislature to see what we do. I think it’s important they have an understanding and appreciation for public service and the legislative process.
Please Contact Me
We’re heading to our legislative break next week, but please feel free to contact my office and I’ll get back to you. Since I’ll be home, I hope to see you around the district.
Have a great weekend,