The Legislative Auditor Wednesday released the results of an audit critical of Met Council management for a $237 million discrepancy between two separate funding numbers reported to the legislature and the federal government.
The Met Council reported a $152 million balance in their operating budget to the federal Department of Transportation in an effort to secure funding for Southwest Light Rail. Yet, the Met Council also reported an $85 million deficit to the legislature early in 2017. Gov. Mark Dayton requested a one-time allotment in the Transportation Budget bill to cover this deficit.
Senator Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes) released the following statement about the audit:
“$237 million accounting errors don’t just happen. The Met Council needs to explain in clear, simple detail exactly what went wrong. The taxpayers deserve answers.
“This audit is also precisely why Republicans have been trying to reform the Met Council for so long. This year alone, I supported a number of Met Council accountability reforms, including stronger budget oversight and elected membership instead of appointed membership. We look forward to bipartisan support in our continued efforts to reform the council.”
The OLA plans to look further into Met Council finances and will be providing additional reports to the legislature.