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Jason Donofrio,
Arizona PIRG

New Bill Increases Transparency for Local Government Budgets

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Testimony given to Arizona House Committee on Government by Serena Unrein, Arizona PIRG Public Interest Advocate, on House Bill 2422, which increases budget transparency for counties, cities, and towns in Arizona:

"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 counties, cities, and towns in the state.

This bill asks local governments to post information they already have compiled to be placed online so it will be easy for the public to access.  It should be simple to do and cost little to nothing, all while providing taxpayers with much more information.

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 2422 will be a step forward for government transparency in Arizona and I encourage you to support it."

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