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Day 4 - Welfare Expenditure Report

Rep. Mike Morley is sponsoring HB89, officially known as the Government Assistance Expenditure Report. The bill was unanimously approved by the House Government Operations Committee and will now go to the House floor for debate.

HB89 requires the Legislative Fiscal Analyst to submit an annual report of state and federal expenditures for financial assistance and services to low-income individuals and families.

The report would include expenditures for programs such as

- Medicaid
- General assistance
- Food stamps
- Free and reduced price lunch

Why is HB89 needed?
Currently, elected officials and taxpayers can readily determine how much is being spent on transportation, higher education, and public education because this information is easily found in the governor's and the legislature's budget documents. However, similar information regarding expenditures on government assistance programs is not readily available to elected officials and taxpayers. HB89 corrects this problem by summarizing these expenditures in one report. Since a large portion of state spending is targeted towards low-income households, lawmakers and taxpayers have an interest in having a fundamental understanding of how much is being spent on government assistance programs.

Possible floor amendment?
We anticipate that a legislator will propose an amendment from the House floor that will require the compilation of a so-called "tax expenditure" report. We'll have more information on that in a separate post.