The Truth About Susan Montee and Auditing the Stimulus

Latest News from Susan Montee CampaignIn April 2009, Susan Montee was the first state official to track the daily receipt and spending of federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, a.k.a. stimulus) funds in Missouri.  She displayed the information on-line on her official state web site for easy access to all Missouri citizens to ensure transparency in federal stimulus dollars.  This information was tracked and updated daily.

Auditing federal stimulus funds:  Because an audit is, by definition, a review of spending that has already occurred, the first opportunity to audit the spending of federal stimulus dollars received by Missouri state agencies in 2009 was in 2010, which was the last year of Susan’s term as state auditor.  In March 2010, Susan issued Report No. 2010-30 that contained several audit findings related to state agency spending of federal stimulus dollars.  http://auditor.mo.gov/press/2010-30.htm.

But even prior to 2010, Susan prepared for the upcoming audits of stimulus funds by opting to participate in a voluntary pilot project established by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to aid in the early detection of significant deficiencies and material weaknesses in internal controls for state programs using federal stimulus funds.  Susan determined the auditor’s office would participate in the 2009 Single Audit Internal Control Project for ARRA programs (Report 2010-30, page 6).

Report 2010-30 contains many audit findings related to the spending of federal stimulus funds by Missouri state agencies. Federal spending of ARRA dollars are identified in the report with the prefix “ARRA” in the name of the federal program (Report 2010-30, page 29).  As stated on page 33 of Report 2010-30, “The following programs were audited as major programs”.  Those ARRA programs listed on pages 33 – 35 of the report include:

ARRA-Emergency Food Assistance Program

ARRA-Employment Service/Wagner-Peyser Funded Activities

ARRA-Unemployment Insurance

ARRA-Workforce Investment Act-Adult Program

ARRA-Workforce Investment Act-Youth Activities

ARRA-Workforce Investment Act-Dislocated Workers

ARRA-Highway Planning and Construction

ARRA-Formula Grants for Other Than Urbanized Areas

ARRA-Weatherization Assistance for Low-Income Persons

ARRA-Rehabilitation Services-Vocational Rehabilitation Grants to States, Recovery Act

ARRA-Aging Home-Delivered Nutrition Services for States

ARRA-Aging Congregate Nutrition Services for States

ARRA-Child Support Enforcement

ARRA-Adoption Assistance

ARRA-Medical Assistance Program

As a result of auditing the several state programs receiving stimulus funds listed above, the federal government was notified of audit findings related to the spending of stimulus funds for the following programs:

ARRA-Unemployment Insurance (pages 37-38)

ARRA-Weatherization Assistance for Low-Income Persons (pages 40-44)

ARRA-State Administrative Matching Grants for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (page 55)

ARRA-Child Support Enforcement (pages 55,56,68,69)

ARRA-Adoption Assistance (pages 55,57,61)

ARRA-Medical Assistance Program (pages 55,57,70)

ARRA-Emergency Food Assistance Program (Food Commodities) (page 56)

ARRA-Foster Care Title IV-E (page 57)

As a CPA, Susan personally participated in the auditing processes of federal stimulus funds in Missouri, along with a staff of career staff auditors dedicated to focus specifically on the tracking, spending, and auditing of federal stimulus dollars by Missouri state agencies.

And contrary to Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, Susan performed these duties of her office without spending or seeking to spend federal stimulus dollars.  Peter Kinder, on the other hand, spent and requested to spend the very stimulus dollars that he’s criticized others for spending.

In Fiscal Year 2010, Kinder spent $300,000 in federal stimulus funds (Lt. Gov. Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Request, http://oa.mo.gov/bp/budreqs2011all.htm, page 8, “Federal Budget Stabilization Fund Replacement”; Block 3: “This additional general revenue is needed to replace $300,000 one-time Federal Budget Stabilization Funds that were used for ongoing programs in the FY2010 budget.”).

And his Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Request for the Office of the Lt. Gov. included a request for another $300,000 in federal stimulus funds for his office (Lt. Gov. Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Request, http://oa.mo.gov/bp/budreqs2011all.htm, page 6, “Veterans Remebrance Core”; Block 1: FY2011 Budget Request, Total Federal Funds $300,000).

HB 2051 Statement

Latest News from Susan Montee CampaignBullied at school, fearful of how their families will react, and vilified by hateful political propaganda at a time in their lives when they feel lonely and desperate, some gay teenagers commit suicide. Sadly, it has been this way for a long time. But in the last year the media have finally taken notice. Important strides are being made by groups like The Trevor Project and It Gets Better, but suddenly members of the Missouri Republican state legislature want to slam on the brakes and stem the tide of progress for our own young people.

Susan Montee for Missouri Lieutenant Governor 2012House Bill 2051, recently introduced by a group of Missouri Republicans (one who thinks it will cut down on the number of boys marrying goats), seeks to ban the use of language pertaining to sexual orientation in our schools. It’s a tactic used in other states and often referred to as ‘Don’t Say Gay’. If you read between the lines, the supporters of such bills aim to convince voters that they are protecting children from being recruited into ‘the homosexual lifestyle’. What they’re actually attempting is to outlaw the formation of gay-straight alliances at schools, places where young gay students and their allies can gather to support one another. The law would also have a disastrous effect on students, impeding their ability to receive potentially life-saving help from school faculty.

It’s shameful, it’s ugly and it’s wrong. Even worse, it’s a political ploy. Oh, look. There’s an upcoming election and the Republicans, who control the Missouri State House and Senate, have accomplished almost nothing. Now, before they go home and campaign, they seek to play upon irrational fears, unconcerned with who they might harm, just as long as they have an issue they believe will stir up their base and get them to the polls.

Call your state legislator and let him or her know that this type of fear mongering will not stand. And, on election day – vote! The strongest message you can send that we will not stand for this harmful and divisive politicking is to vote those who practice it out of office.

And make no mistake… if we stand together, we will stop this legislation. Most Missourians are fair-minded and will see this sorry ploy for what it truly is. But once the threat of this bill passes we cannot forget the vulnerable among us. Bullying has to stop. Young gay people need to feel safe at school and know that they can ask for help.

www.thetrevorproject.org

www.itgetsbetter.org

While we’re on the subject of language, has anyone had the heart to tell these Republicans what the abbreviation for Missouri means in certain circles that we’re not supposed to talk about any more? Please don’t or we’ll be in for another round of hateful, useless, time wasting legislation.