Diana DiZoglio, the Massachusetts state Auditor, pushes for a 2024 ballot to audit the Legislature, aiming for greater financial transparency amid political opposition.
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Massachusetts, US – Diana DiZoglio, the Massachusetts state Auditor, has found herself in the spotlight, caught in a tussle with the State House’s top lawmakers.
At the heart of this debate is a push for transparency and a demand for accountability in how taxpayer funds are used.
A History of Disagreement
Since DiZoglio declared in March that her office aimed to audit the Legislature, tension has been simmering.
Top officials from the State House have contested her claim, arguing she lacks the legal mandate to carry out such an audit.
Further stirring the pot, DiZoglio has decided to take her battle to the next level.
Over the summer, she pronounced her intention to propose a ballot in 2024 that seeks permission to audit the Legislature.
The Case for an Audit
DiZoglio’s office, responsible for auditing state entities, thinks scrutinizing the Legislature’s finances can usher in much-needed transparency for the residents of Bay State.
With the Legislature being immune from Massachusetts’ public records law, there has been a pressing need to comprehend how politicians utilize public funds.
In her op-ed for the Boston Globe, DiZoglio mentions, “A holistic approach produces more meaningful audit reports that can identify challenges in systems to help make government work better.”
As reported by GBH News, the state auditor’s office has been auditing the Legislature since 1849.
However, the last such audit was in 1922.
This long hiatus in auditing has tarnished Massachusetts’ reputation, rendering it one of the least financially transparent states in the country, as a report by the Pioneer Institute points out.
“That has been due to a lack of political will to do so,” DiZoglio told GBH.
The 2024 Ballot Proposition
The state Attorney General’s office ratified DiZoglio’s ballot proposal earlier this month, inching her closer to her objective.
However, for this to come to fruition, DiZoglio has until December 6, 2023, to collect and submit signatures from at least 75,000 registered voters.
Support Grows for DiZoglio
Across the political spectrum, figures from both the Republican and Democratic parties have extended their financial backing to DiZoglio.
Prominent donors, including Rick Green and Ernie Boch Jr., have made generous contributions to support the ballot proposal.
Our Revolution Massachusetts, a progressive group, has supported DiZoglio’s initiative.
Opposition Stands Firm
However, only some people are on board. Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka have openly dismissed DiZoglio’s audit calls, maintaining that it would breach the state’s constitution.
The Massachusetts Constitution mandates an annual audit for the Senate.
However, the Senate president’s office has stated that their records can be obtained from the comptroller’s office.
A Musical Note to the Cause
Adding a melodic twist to the narrative, DiZoglio is also known for her vocal prowess apart from her political career.
She recently showcased an original song, “My Voice,” on Boston Public Radio, symbolizing her relentless quest to audit the Legislature.
This ongoing battle is a testament to the importance of transparency in governance and how it continues to be a pivotal concern for politicians and citizens alike.