DFL Rep. Keith Ellison says he once again is attempting to pass legislation that would restore the full flow of remittances to Somalia.
Last year, nearly all banks stopped facilitating wire transfers to Somalia because of concerns about sending money that could be diverted to aid terrorism.
Ellison introduced similar legislation last session. The bill has a better chance this year, he said, with the help of two Republican cosponsors, one of them fellow Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen. Also, the U.S. government in January formally recognized Somalia. The legislation addresses terrorism concerns, Ellison.
"We do want to make sure that bad guys don't get the money. What we're doing here is making sure that we keep the money from the bad people but we get the money to the people who really do need it," Ellison said. "What we're doing is making the law more efficient."
Ellison says his bill simplifies oversight of businesses that wire money and improves coordination between state and federal governments in identifying possible terrorism funding.