A proposal to eliminate the state’s non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau appears to be falling flat with key state lawmakers.
The bill from state Rep. David Craig (R-Big Bend) would replace the LAB with inspectors general at each state agency. The Big Bend Republican argues it would make it easier to spot problems with waste, fraud, and abuse at agencies early on, rather than waiting for a reactive audit to be performed.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) on Tuesday said he thinks the ideas of the bill have merit, but he does not support the bill as drafted.
The Republican co-chairs of the Legislature’s Audit Committee are also pushed back against the proposal, arguing in a statement that the bureau has served as a vital legislative check on state government agencies and programs for almost 50 years. Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-Salem), a co-chair of the panel, added that having “the Audit Bureau perform its work externally to state agencies and in a non-partisan manner is crucial to its findings and to the value we place in its work.”
Democrats were also critical of the idea. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) called it “outrageous” to even consider the plan. He said “taxpayers are well served when you’ve got non-partisan service agencies providing them with the unvarnished facts.”