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Voluntary Pre-K held at 2017 level, but does not target neediest children

Minnesota is spending enormous sums of money on education programs for very young children, but the state’s mission is muddled and the results discouraging. Plus, the policy forces private child care providers to compete with “free” child care, threatening to create a government monopoly on child care. The good news is that the Senate held the line, with no increase in spending, and Gov. Walz, is showing some independence from the teachers’ union. ...

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Despite findings of fraud, Carolyn Ham still getting paid while on leave

Given the seriousness of the allegations, especially the concerns expressed by federal investigators that welfare funds are supporting terror abroad, and the finding by the OLA that DHS did not have basic internal controls in place and ignored the warnings of its own investigators, the Center has called for the Trump administration to suspend funding for CCAP until Minnesota can demonstrate competence in administering the program. ...

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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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Poverty, Culture & Marriage

Editor: The following essay by American Experiment Founder and Senior Fellow Mitch Pearlstein, “Poverty, Culture & Marriage,” was released as part of “The Tenth Annual Celebration of John Brandl and His Uncommon Quest for Common Ground,” on November 26, at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The essay is one of four in a new anthology, Grasping and Reducing Poverty in Minnesota, with the other three by Stephen B. Young of the Caux Round Table, Angelica Klebsch of the Citizens League, and Dane Smith of Growth & Justice.  Featured speakers at the event were Tonya Allen...

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Let’s Help Small Employers Offer 401(k)s But Not at the Expense of My Kids

It has been decades since Congress addressed retirement plans in a comprehensive way; the Left is capitalizing on that by getting states to offer defined benefit plans for low-income private sector employees. Several states including California (of course) have already passed the legislation needed to begin what will essentially become state-managed pensions for everyone. That is a bad idea worth killing by offering a better idea. The President and Congress are thinking about ways to help smaller employers band together so they can offer a retirement plan to their employees but who pays to get this done? Your kids. ...

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Dayton Administration Data Breach Exposes Minnesota’s Most Vulnerable to Identity Theft

Minnesota’s most vulnerable population has been exposed to a data breach at the state agency that is supposed to guard their privacy and well-being. According to a letter mailed to Medicaid recipients on October 9th, the Department of Human Services (DHS) was hacked twice last summer. Sensitive, private information may have been compromised including name, birthdate, Social Security number, home address, telephone number, medical information, educational records, employment records, and/or financial information. ...

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Marriage, Military Service, Black Churches, and More Mundane Founts

In late June, the American Enterprise Institute released a study by three scholars which found “more than one-in-two black men (57%) have made it into the middle class or higher as adults, up from 38% in 1960, according to a new analysis of Census data.”  The researchers, W. Bradford Wilcox of the University of Virginia, Wendy R. Wang of the Institute for Family Studies, and Ronald B. Mincy of Columbia University, also found that the “share of black men who are poor has fallen from 41% in 1960 to 18 percent in 2016.” Surprisingly, this good news generated only one comment...

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Minneapolis ponders new ID Card for Illegal Immigrants and other “Constituencies”

While the City Council and the Mayor may attempt to deflect on this issue, the same residents who can get a Minnesota State ID card would be able to obtain the municipal ID. The only difference with this card is that it would allow illegal immigrants to have a valid form of ID, as well....

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Mrs. Greene Goes to Washington: Trump Administration to Roll Back the Dayton-Smith-DFL Union Dues Skimming Scheme

To be clear, if the Obama rule is fixed, the unions that have been certified would unfortunately continue until they are decertified—that is why MNPCA is not giving up in Minnesota. Decertification is the only way to get rid of these predatory unions; that and a declaration from Congress that they are illegal. But the state of Minnesota could no longer deduct union dues for the SEIU and deposit it in their coffers. ...

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