I hope you all have been enjoying this beautiful fall weather! We have had a lot happening at the Capitol lately representing you and your priorities.
Reform at the Department of Human Services
One of our main focuses right now is DHS reform. This week there were hours of hearings with the Commissioner and various staff, reviewing a series of issues within DHS. From Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) fraud to overpayment to Minnesota tribes, the department is not holding itself accountable to Minnesotans. The DHS administration is responsible for managing the funding allotted to them by the state and they are falling short. They have lost our trust through this failure of management and after significant pressure are finally stepping up their work for the people of Minnesota. As they work to restore the trust of Minnesotans, we will remain vigilant and continue to require complete transparency.
We are grateful for the work the Office of the Legislative Auditor who targeted specific instances of waste and negligence within the agency. Taxpayers deserve to know their hard-earned money is being utilized efficiently. I will update you as changes are implemented and dependability is restored at DHS.
This week I joined Senator Paul Anderson, the Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, other members of the Minnesota Senate, and Representative Barb Haley at their stop at Red Wing Shoes. They visited communities throughout Minnesota to learn more about local public-private partnerships between Minnesota employers, high schools, and colleges. With a workforce shortage, more Minnesota employers than ever before are getting engaged in public-private training programs. The tour highlighted success stories throughout the state, where employers and education providers have partnered to educate and train the next generation of Minnesotans for successful, in-demand careers.
Last session’s higher education budget included significant funding to improve accessibility to post-secondary education for today’s employment opportunities. The stop at Red Wing Shoes highlighted the partnerships in our communities that have prepared so many for successful careers. A strong manufacturing workforce is essential. I am proud of the efforts made by employers, local manufacturers, educational institutions, and non-profits in our communities to support our high schoolers and opportunities for their future careers.
For those of you participating in this year’s deer season I hope you are ready for the opener and that you have a safe and successful season. I wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving with your friends and families.