TOPEKA, Kan. — A Republican senator says that Kansas needs a state auditor but only if the position uncovers enough corruption to pay for the office’s budget.
Sen. Dennis Pyle requested legislation Tuesday to require the election of an auditor. The position would be for one four-year term that would end unless enough waste, fraud and abuse were uncovered to pay the bills, the Kansas City Star reported .
“I’d like to see a dog have motivation to go hunt,” Pyle said. “And I think they hunt better when they’re motivated.”
A state auditor’s job includes probing agencies that skirt transparency laws.
The push comes after legislative auditors found that the Kansas State Department of Education had been giving some school districts extra bus funding not authorized by law.
Some wondered if Pyle’s proposed method is appropriate.
“I question the expiration mechanism the senator has proposed,” said Democratic Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore. “Any auditor should only be concerned with finding fraud and waste where it exists, and not to find some solely to justify his budget and his existence.”
The National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers isn’t aware of any other states that fund their auditors’ offices in the manner Pyle is proposing.
Two dozen states have auditors elected by the public, including Missouri. Several lawmakers and editorial boards in Kansas are calling for the reinstatement of a state auditor.
Pyle’s bill hasn’t been officially introduced. He said his goal is to get the measure to require the election of a state auditor on the ballot this year.
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com