Thousands in federal grant money to be used for staff travel

- The Minnesota Department of Commerce says they have received a $1 million grant that will provide services that will help make sure “insurance companies are complying with all appropriate federal and state laws so Minnesota consumers receive the health care benefits they are entitled to.”

But also inside the budget are thousands of dollars earmarked for staff travel to conferences sponsored by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

“The optics of a commissioner and his administration to be taking on those kind of expenses certainly doesn’t play well with the hard working folks of Minnesota,” said Republican State Representative Tony Albright.

The budget lays out $24,000 in expenses for travel and training over a two-year period. Among the trip locations are Miami, Philadelphia, and Denver.

In an email to FOX 9, The Department of Commerce justified the trips by saying they provide important educational tools for staff, which they can then use to better serve Minnesotans.

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