ISSUES FOR WASHINGTON STATE

Below is a list of issues I've been talking about on the campaign trail.  The State Auditors Office has a budget of over $80 million and 400 employees.  Leading it is an important position, and I believe it is crucial to present a vision for the office to voters.  When choosing performance audits, I would use rigorous risk assessments and public comment.  Should I be elected, I will work with staff to determine the feasibility and potential cost savings on the following issues and more.

 

  • Cyber Security – We have seen data breaches at all levels of government from the US State Department and the VA, to the University of Washington and local governments within Washington State.  We need to make sure that our cyber security is top notch, and not vulnerable.  We have seen states lose millions of people's social security numbers and other personal information.  I want to be sure that does not happen here and would institute cyber audits immediately to conserve government resources and protect our citizens from harm.

 

  • Interstate Compacts – These are negotiated agreements with other states that govern everything from the trafficking and supervision of felons to riparian water rights.  We should review the potential for cost savings here and look at best practices from around the country in negotiating and implementing these compacts.

 

  • Local Whistleblower Programs – This Office runs the state whistleblower program, and I will advocate for a stronger whistleblower program at the local government levels.  We have seen some egregious cases of worker abuse that have cost taxpayers millions of dollars, made our government less efficient, and could have been prevented.  Further, current law must be changed to enable this office to stop retaliation against whistleblowers.

 

  • Transparency – Promote open government and propose executive request legislation to establish transparency at the local, county and state levels, ensuring public access to all three branches of our government.

 

  • Implementation of the Affordable Care Act – Washington State will be implementing this act and the state auditor will play an integral role in ensuring that the implementation runs as smoothly as possible.  I will make sure that policymakers have the best information available by looking at best practices from around the nation and independent experts.

 

  • I-937 – Review the Clean Energy Initiative and compare it to established practices from around the country to find out how we can implement this more efficiently and effectively with straightforward standards that can be relied on by all parties. 

 

  • Change Orders – Our public works projects pay substantial amounts of money because of inevitable change orders during construction.  I would examine the best practices from the public and private sectors around the nation to eliminate overruns in this area and help maximize our tax dollars.