UPDATE 7/1: Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed the sections requested by Kelley.
The budget compromise today requests that State Auditor Troy Kelley’s office perform a series of studies that Kelley said are “unfunded mandates” that “compromise the independence of this office.”
He said so in a letter to fellow Democrat Jay Inslee today asking the governor to veto the study requests, especially since lawmakers diverted money from his voter-approved performance-audit fund to pay for audits in other areas of government.
“The unfunded mandates requested in these subsections constitute a large portion of the funds remaining in the performance audit account, and serve to remove the independent performance audit function of the Washington State Auditor”s Office,” Kelley wrote.
Democratic House budget chairman Ross Hunter, in explaining the bipartisan budget Thursday, said of the auditor’s office: ”He has more money to spend on audits than he’s ever spent on performance audits” — presumably including Kelley’s predecessor Brian Sonntag.
The budget indicates the $10 million being diverted into a Legislature-managed fund would leave the regular performance audit fund at $17.8 million, up from $16.8 million last year.
Here’s Kelley’s letter: