Despite Resistance, Massachusetts State Auditor Diana DiZoglio Reports Some Legislative Audit Meetings

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By Colin A. Young
State House News Service

Not everyone who works in the Legislature has stonewalled Auditor Diana DiZoglio as she conducts a wide-reaching audit of the House and Senate that top Democrats have resisted, and she pledged in a TV appearance this weekend to publish her findings regardless of whether legislative leaders cooperate.

In an appearance on WCVB’s On The Record that aired Sunday, February 18, the former state representative and state senator said she would “report on the information that we are able to get” and added that her office has already spoken with “some folks who have met with our office, despite legislative leaders instructing them not to.”

“They’ve done so anyways and we’re thankful for those folks for coming forward and meeting with us to tell us about some of the challenges,” DiZoglio told co-hosts Ed Harding and Sharman Sacchetti. “But certainly, Ed, to your point, voters deserve to be able — taxpayers deserve to be able to get access to what is happening with their tax dollars behind those closed doors on Beacon Hill. And certainly they deserve a complete audit where we have full access to that transparency and accountability.”

Massachusetts House Speaker Ronald Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka have resisted DiZoglio’s audit attempts, arguing that it would violate the state constitution’s separation of powers, and Attorney General Andrea Campbell in November concluded that existing law “does not allow an audit of the Legislature over its objection.” Mariano’s did not answer when asked if the speaker had instructed representatives or employees not to talk with DiZoglio’s office and instead referred back to previous comments he made about the auditor lacking the authority to audit the Legislature. Spilka’s office did not respond Tuesday morning.

DiZoglio is meanwhile pressing ahead to get a question on the November ballot asking voters to grant her office the explicit authority to audit the Legislature.

“The ballot question is really the way that we are looking to move forward,” DiZoglio said, explaining that she does not expect the Legislature to act on the ballot question proposal by its May 1 deadline. She added, “It’s looking like we’re going to need to get another 12,000-plus signatures in the spring. So we will be in touch.”

DiZoglio’s On The Record television appearance also touched on her concerns with the fiscal year 2025 budget that Governor Maura Healey has proposed for her office. The state auditor had previously raised questions about the equitable distribution of funding to constitutional offices, and during the interview on Sunday she suggested the governor’s proposal for a modest 2.1 percent budget increase for the state auditor’s office could have something to do with the fact that her office is “currently auditing and getting ready to soon release the results of an audit of the [Executive] Office of Administration and Finance.”

“You know, it is interesting that that’s happening at a time when we are getting ready to release the results of this Administration and Finance review that we’ve been conducting,” she said.


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