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Testimony given to Arizona House Committee on Education by Serena Unrein, Arizona PIRG Public Interest Advocate, on House Bill 2421, which increases school district budget transparency:
"Budget transparency is not a new idea, but it can be revolutionary. Oversight of the public purse is a cornerstone of our government. The ability to see how government uses the public purse promotes fiscal responsibility, bolsters public confidence in government, and checks corruption.
Amid all the dark budget news in Arizona, having additional information about where tax dollars go will provide taxpayers with a ray of light. With the launch of the new state transparency website in late December, the veil on state spending has been lifted and it is time to extend that transparency to school districts in the state.
Putting more information about government revenues and expenditures online will allow government officials and the public to track underperforming programs and hold them accountable, eliminate wasteful duplication, and increase competitive bidding. It also will mean that public officials will increasingly know that their spending and fiscal decisions are open to public scrutiny.
House Bill 2421 will be a step forward for government transparency in Arizona and I encourage you to support it."
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