St. Paul, MN (Learfield Wire Services/TTWN Media Networks) -  Republican lawmakers in St. Paul today unveiled their plan cut down on childcare fraud in the wake of recent reports that millions of dollars are being funneled overseas–at times allegedly to support terrorism.

Minnesota House of Representatives photo
Minnesota House of Representatives photo

Representative Nick Zerwas of Elk River is calling for criminal and civil penalties for those who illegally transfer public program money to countries on the U-S travel ban list.

Zerwas says “this is not a time to play politics or worry about being politically correct. This is a time to attack an obvious problem where our tax dollars are being used to potentially fund terrorists.”

The GOP proposal also would allow the state Department of Human Services to use “Immediate Temporary Suspensions” to close childcare providers under suspicion that do not cooperate with investigators. The Republicans have also requested the Legislative Auditor to investigate the Child Care Assistance Program. It’s not clear how much traction the GOP proposal will get with less than a week remaining in the legislative session.

On Monday, Governor Dayton called the allegations of fraud “disturbing” and says the allegations are a cause for concern.

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