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What we think: General Assembly got it right, too

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By The Staff

That idea in the General Assembly to create an oversight branch that would do checks and balances on government activities out of the eyes of the public has died – at least for the time being. You no longer have to worry that your state would be using your tax dollars to investigate itself without your being able to find out what was going on. House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President David Williams had coauthored identical bills in their respective houses to create this agency. Legislators had been complaining that they weren’t getting accurate information from some offices and individuals. They were asking questions and getting answers that didn’t match reports they had seen.  They rightfully were trying to create a solution to this problem. But their concept went too far and created the image of an auditing group sticking pins in public dolls while doing so out of the light of public sunshine. This bill may not have gone anywhere – the governor, the state’s auditor and the attorney general were questioning it, and public comment had been biting -- but finally on Monday Rep. Stumbo withdrew his version of the bill, citing problem swith its design. Sen. Williams said he would do the same thing. We commend that step, and we implore him in his future discussions to remember that those who elected him have every right to know that he is watching out for their interests, and not simply the legislature’s. They deserve to be able to check the accuracy of his reports, too.