Massachusetts auditor Diana DiZoglio announced Tuesday that her office has launched an audit of the state legislature — the first such assessment in a century.
The Democrat, who previously served as both a state representative and senator, had pledged to review the operations of the Democrat-controlled legislature during her campaign for the accounting firm last year.
DiZoglio said she hopes the audit will “increase transparency, accountability and fairness in an area of state government that has been completely ignored.”
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“Historically, legislature has been a closed-door operation, where committee votes have been hidden from the general public and legislation has been voted on in the dead of night,” DiZoglio said in a press statement.
According to DiZoglio, the last time the Massachusetts legislature was audited was in 1922.
Massachusetts Democratic Auditor Diana DiZoglio announced Tuesday that her office has launched the first audit of the state legislature in more than a century. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)
Karen Spilka, president of the Democratic Senate, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An aide to Democratic House Speaker Ronald Mariano said he had no immediate comment.
Critics have pointed to the Massachusetts legislature as one of the least transparent in the country.
The 200-member legislature is exempt from the state’s open assemblies law, and Democrats — who hold overwhelming majorities in both chambers — routinely hold closed-door caucuses to discuss legislation off the ears of the press and public.
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During state budget debates in the House, lawmakers typically gather in a side chamber next to the House Chamber to work out which amendments will be added to the massive spending plan and which will not – again out of the public eye and press. .
DiZoglio said taxpayers deserve the chance to weigh in on legislative, budgetary and regulatory matters that matter to them.
“Everyone should have fair and transparent access to and information about all state-funded agencies, including the legislature,” DiZoglio said.
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DiZoglio said she hopes lawmakers welcome the audit. She said her office will make the assessment public once it is complete.