New safeguard bill proposed to prevent future widespread fraud

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(ABC 6 News) – Back in September, federal prosecutors indicted 47 people, including four from Rochester, in the Feeding Our Future scam.

Now, in the aftermath of the scandal, Senator Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) is proposing a safeguard bill that would ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used to serve their intended purpose.

When explaining her proposal, Sen. Nelson says that the bill would mandate several common-sense safeguards, things that many people assume are checked regularly, but actually are not.

Sen. Nelson says that a recent report by the Office of the Legislative Auditor found “pervasive non-compliance by state agencies responsible for administering Minnesota’s state grants,” and that it is time we fix it.

“Let’s make sure that we have these guardrails in place so that taxpayer dollars, state taxpayer dollars that are given out in grants, particularly to non-profits, are following these common-sense requirements,” Sen. Nelson explained.

The safeguard bill would require that all grant applicants prove eligibility before being awarded state funds, including submission of tax forms, mandating background checks, and increasing the overall oversight from the state auditor.

The bill has not been heard by a committee just yet, but Sen. Nelson hopes to get the legislation across the finish line this year.