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Legal Loophole in CCAP allows child care centers to bill for services they do not provide

Perhaps by coming together on the CCAP fraud issue, lawmakers can begin to plan for a complete overhaul of Minnesota’s generous and infamous welfare system. What other programs are being ripped off? Welfare fraud is nothing new in Minnesota and began long before Somali refugees started arriving in the 1990’s. Any major overhaul will require the support of Governor Walz to be successful. Perhaps the federal government could get the governor’s attention....

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Popular Scooters Boot Out Bike Sharing in St. Paul

Easy come, easy go. Electric scooters are making a move in St. Paul, booting out ride sharing bicycles just in time for more seasonable weather. The new company contracting with the city originally planned to offer bikes but abruptly changed its mind, according to the Star Tribune. St. Paul faces the prospect of a summer without bike sharing after its vendor dropped the service eight months after signing a contract with the city. In August, St. Paul contracted with Lime to provide dockless bike sharing, and as a result Nice Ride removed its docks at the end of the season. After Lime...

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Inspector General at DHS Placed on Paid Leave Following Report of Welfare Fraud

MPR News reported that Carolyn Ham, the Inspector General (IG) at the Department of Human Services (DHS), has been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of a “probe.” The Inspector General’s office is in charge of protecting welfare programs from illegal activity and fraud. Last week the Office of Legislative Auditor (OLA), released a report that found a “serious rift” between the IG’s office and the DHS investigators tasked with investigating fraud. The report also noted that the IG’s office reported directly to the politically appointed commissioner at DHS and thus, had no independent authority. (The OLA, in a letter to...

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Senate GOP takes action on Child Care Fraud: Calls for DHS Inspector General Ham to Step Down

In response to the legislative audit revealing wide-spread welfare fraud and other illegal activity connected to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) summarized here, the Senate GOP Leadership sent out this news release last night: Senate Republicans heard legislation yesterday to address the shocking revelations of the Legislative Auditor’s report on the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).  Four bills in the Human Services Reform Committee focused on increasing oversight and maintaining the integrity of the funding. Senator John Jasinski (R- Faribault) presented two bills to address CCAP fraud. “When the man in charge of investigating CCAP says that fraud could be at least 50% of the entire...

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Unearthing Scholastic Seriousness with Back-Boned Courage in St. Paul?

The Star Tribune ran a story Friday (February 22) headlined, “St. Paul Students Push Ethnic Studies as Core Classwork.”  Featured terms included “culturally relevant curriculum that teaches history through the lens of the oppressed”; “empowering of students to ‘develop into agents for justice in their communities’”; celebrating students’ “identity and ethnicity,” and the old reliable “strengthening self-esteem.” According to reporter Anthony Lonetree, Minneapolis Public Schools offer similar electives, but not required core courses, as is proposed in St. Paul. It would be easy – too easy – to dismiss the St. Paul effort, which is led by a student group called “SPPS...

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An Artful (and Accurate) Expression of Left-Wing Fantasies

Lance Morrow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center takes a pretty good shot at both sides in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend (“America is Torn between Trump’s Fibs and Progressives’ Fantasies”): Mr. Trump works with huckster falsehoods -- the flashy superlatives of a car salesman. The progressive left works with conceptual falsities. Voters in 2020 will decide which style of lies they prefer. Yet his longer, artful diatribe against the Left rings very true, and will be appreciated by conservatives: The progressive left embraces new visions of perfection -- tamer in its methods than its 1930s predecessors, but sometimes outdistancing...

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