May 22, 2022

The Nerve

Where Government Gets Exposed

Lawmakers just blow off work

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BY HANNAH HILL

Businessman tear paper with word Rules on gray background

Don’t do what we do, they say, declining to turn in assignments

The Nerve has reported before on how the General Assembly plays by a different set of rules than the rest of the public. For instance, just this past week its actions triggered a succession crisis (see here and here), and it has historically been averse to following the laws it makes requiring joint open budget hearings (see here, here, and here).

Now an investigation has turned up yet another example.

State law requires that “Each agency and department of state government shall submit an annual accountability report to the Governor or General Assembly.” These reports must cover the agency’s mission, objectives, and performance measures and can be viewed here.

Notably missing are reports for the state Senate and the House of Representatives.

The House and Senate do not have any exemption from this responsibility in state code. Yet they have not submitted accountability reports since at least 1999-2000, which is as far back as the online archives extend.

This is a violation of state law, especially given that the Senate and the House appropriated over $36 million combined of taxpayers’ money in last year’s budget to themselves to pay for just these kinds of operations – record-keeping, compliance, and who knows what else, because they’re not filing their accountability reports.

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The Nerve