Gov. Walz says Minnesota taxpayers on the hook for overpayment to tribes
ST. PAUL (FOX 9) - Governor Tim Walz says taxpayers are on the hook for millions of dollars owed to the feds because state officials messed up.
Walz says Human Services officials have no idea what they paid to two Native American tribes for federally-funded medical services -- and state investigators have been brought in to figure out how big the problem is.
Walz says the mistakes started five years ago and were caught in May when new safeguards went in place. The governor says he's not sure the two tribes were actually overpaid, or whether the payments just weren't documented.
"We have to do a good job to make sure we're able to go back at any given time, audit those and show people exactly where it was going," Walz said.
Walz didn't rule out asking the tribes, Leech Lake and White Earth, to share some of the cost of repaying the feds. Those tribes have said either they don't think they were overpaid or the state is to blame, leaving a lot of questions surrounding the situation.
This is the latest mistake to surface at the Department of Human Services. Officials have resigned, others rescinded their resignations, and another is under investigation while the former medical director says the state's opioid response efforts are in jeopardy after his ouster.