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Monday, April 27, 2009

Lawmaker Proposes Funding for States to Oversee Stimulus

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has announced that he will sponsor a bill to provide funding for state auditors who are struggling to keep pace with the demands of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. "With individual states receiving billions in stimulus funding, it makes sense that the states also be fully equipped to closely monitor those taxpayer dollars," said Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns at a committee field hearing last week. "Not initially providing funds for state auditors under the Recovery Act was an omission that should be rectified as soon as possible." In an interview with Government Executive after the hearing, Towns said the new state money would be separate from the $787 billion economic stimulus package, but an exact amount has yet to be determined. The new funds, he said, could not be used to beef up other areas of the state workforce.

The Recovery Act provided nearly $210 million for inspectors general at federal agencies, $84 million for the Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board and $25 million for the Government Accountability Office. The law did not allocate any money for comparable oversight at the state level.

--Robert Brodsky, Government Executive.

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