Rep. Tom Kunse (R-Clare), vice chair of the House Ethics and Oversight committee, this week received a response from the Michigan Auditor General (OAG) after requesting a thorough review of the state’s error-ridden Child Development and Care (CDC) program.
“I am happy to hear the OAG will be investigating this very serious matter,” said Kunse, of Clare. “After the Detroit Free Press revealed several problems with the state’s changes to child care subsidy eligibility standards and its failure to communicate those changes to parents and child care providers, I directly urged the OAG for an audit of the CDC program.”
The letter from the OAG states: “The CDC program is currently on our audit plan, scheduled to begin fall 2023. In the interim, we will compile information regarding past audits and corresponding findings involving the program.”
In an April letter sent to Auditor General Doug Ringler, Kunse asked for a review and examination of the following:
- Caseworkers giving eligibility information (including, but not limited to, the number of child care hours for which a family is eligible) to parents or providers that conflicts with official notice;
- Erroneous termination or other changes to a family’s eligibility.
- Delayed notice of terminations or other eligibility changes to parents or providers.
- The difficulty of getting information through the hotline (time spent on hold, days-long waits for a callback appointment, etc.).
- The lack of back payments to compensate for wrongful eligibility termination.
- The division of roles between the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services has contributed to errors and communication delays.
“Working parents across my district have been getting stuck with child care bills the state was supposed to take care of, posing a major financial burden on these families,” Kunse said. “This is not okay, especially given the high costs of essentials, and rampant inflation. This issue is a direct result of an incompetent bureaucracy. I am very pleased that the OAG is complying with my request, and this is being properly and thoroughly investigated.”
“Last year was such a success that we had to run it back again this year,” said Kunse. “Things can get tense in Lansing, but we’re all here because we want to make things better. The Legislative Softball Game allows us to throw politics aside, embrace bipartisanship, and raise money for a really important organization.”
“Five years after announcing her Michigan Sunshine Plan, the governor failed to even mention the historically inadequate transparency legislation she signed last year,” said Kunse, the Republic vice chair of the House Ethics and Oversight Committee. “Her silence is deafening. Gov. Whitmer talked endlessly about sunshine when she came into office. Six years later, both Lansing and our transparency laws are covered in fog.”
State Rep. Tom Kunse, R-Clare, will soon host local office hours in Evart and Clare. The meetings will take place at the following times and locations: Saturday, Feb. 10 Evart Library; 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.; 104 N Main St. in Evart. Monday, Feb. 19 Cops and Doughnuts; 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.; 521 N McEwan St. […]
“It’s frightening to consider how many kids may have been failed by the broken system in the 18 years since MDHHS was originally sued for negligence,” said Kunse, who serves on the House Ethics and Oversight Committee. “MDHHS is clearly incapable of creating meaningful change. The Oversight Committee must demand answers and explore solutions for these failures. This is urgent. We’re not talking about tax policy; we’re talking a state department failing vulnerable kids.”