Chris Corry of the Washington Policy Center points out that it allows citizens to access the details with all proposals, reports, and backup documentation
Washington Policy Center
One of the setbacks to government accountability this session came from SB 5082, a bill that repealed advisory votes. Advisory votes were non-binding but provided insight into how Washington State citizens felt about bills that increased their taxes.
The bill to repeal advisory votes did include requirements for the state to create and maintain a website that provides current information to Washington citizens, including:
- Summaries of recently adopted budgets
- Graphs of budget expenditures by area over the biennium
- Comparison of state and local spending with personal income over the past 20 years
- Analysis of bills raising taxes or fees that have passed the legislature
The information is summary in nature but helpful in seeing how Olympia is spending your tax dollars.
The summary of budget information is broken down by operating, capital, and transportation. It allows you to access the details with all proposals, reports, and backup documentation.
Functional areas of government spending include how much was budgeted and the total outlook of fund spending for the biennium.
Linking to a separate site, the website provides information year over year on how much state and local spend per $1,000 of personal income. Currently, Washington ranks 31st in the nation. The data goes back 20 years.
Lastly, the website provides information on all bills that passed the legislature that increased taxes or fees on Washingtonians. The detail helps see how Olympia is raising taxes on individual legislation. Find a bill you want and select cost analysis to see the projected detail.
You can find the website here.
Chris Corry is the director of the Center for Government Reform at the Washington Policy Center. He is also a member of the Washington State House of Representatives.
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