Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Committee Chairman Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) has announced his committee will hold a hearing early in session seeking information about several questionable payments made by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to Greater MSP.
“Rather than assuming the worst, it is important we hear from DEED and Greater MSP officials so they can shed some light on the process,” said Sen. Miller. “These payments may very well be tied directly to real economic development benefits for Minnesota, but the Jobs Committee has a responsibility to learn more about the process to make sure tax dollars are being used as effectively and efficiently as possible.”
According to recent reports by Public Record Media, DEED authorized more than $80,000 in payments to Greater MSP since 2015. Greater MSP has so far refused to release a comprehensive list of payments from government agencies, according to Public Record Media, but some of the payments are as follows:
- $45,000 to sponsor a hospitality tent at the Ryder Cup
- $9,525 for a “World Trade Luncheon” sponsorship
- $10,000 for a Minnesota Technology Water Summit sponsorship
- $7,242 to share costs of CoreNet Global Summits
- $3,000 to participate in the Natural Products Expo West
- $1,400 for a Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs game
- $1,000 for a Twins vs. Chicago White Sox game
Sen. Miller added, “Greater MSP should play a vital role in economic development for the Twin Cities area, and if DEED feels it can get value by subcontracting with experts, then that option should be available. But if an organization contracts with the state and receives government resources for their work, then transparency and accountability must take on greater importance. I look forward to hearing from DEED and Greater MSP about these expenditures.”
No formal date for the hearing has been set yet.