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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Shane Mekeland (R)

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Rep. Mekeland urges hearings, transparency from Walz/MDE on fraud scandal

Tuesday, September 27, 2022


ST. PAUL — Rep. Shane Mekeland, R-Clear Lake, and House Republicans continue calling for answers from Gov. Tim Walz and his administration, and for Minnesota House Democrats to conduct hearings in response to the Feeding our Future fraud scandal, described as the largest pandemic fraud case in the United States — and likely the largest fraud case in Minnesota history.

House Republicans sent a letter last week calling on the chairs of the House Education Committees to hold hearings and investigate the Minnesota Department of Education's involvement in the fraud case. While MDE has tried to cast blame to the courts, there was no court ruling reinstating the flow of funds to fraudulent organizations according to a bombshell statement from Ramsey County District Court Judge John Guthmann recently released.

Specifically, Mekeland and House Republicans say they want answers on why MDE voluntarily restarted payments to the Feeding our Future fraudsters, why MDE and the Walz administration misled the public with claims of a nonexistent court ruling, and why the DFL has yet to hold a single hearing on the largest fraud case in state history.

“Whether it is surging violent crime, childcare assistance abuse or swindling tax dollars that were meant to feed children in need, our governor is establishing a poor legacy of allowing lawlessness to run rampant on many levels in our state," Mekeland said. "And yet the governor and his administration continue to point fingers instead of accepting responsibility for failing at their own jobs. Minnesotans deserve answers for how the governor and his administration continued allowing tax dollars that were supposed to be used to feed children instead be paid to fraudsters even though Judge Guthmann said he issued no such order. This needs to be deeply investigated and anyone involved in allowing this fraud to occur must be held accountable."

While in interim before the beginning of the 93rd legislative session this coming January, House committee chairs are still free to call hearings with their members and prepare for the next session.