Title: Increasing Legislative Oversight of Federal Funds
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to override a veto of a bill that establishes a new joint legislative committee to provide oversight of federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ("stimulus bill"), establishes a website for public reporting of state expenditures, and guarantees each member of the Legislature a key to the state capitol building.
-Establishes the Joint Committee on Recovery Accountability and Transparency to oversee federal funds from the "stimulus bill," consisting of two members of the Senate appointed by the President Pro Tem of the Senate, one from the majority party and one from the minority party, and two members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one from the majority party and one from the minority party (Sec. A).
-Establishes the following duties of the Committee (Sec. A):
-Review the reporting of contracts and grants to ensure they meet applicable standards and specify the purpose of the contract or grant and measures of performance;
-Review whether competition requirements for contracts and grants have been met;
-Determine whether federal funds should be utilized to purchase back a portion of the state's unredeemed tax credits at a discount rate;
-Review funds to determine whether wasteful spending, poor contract or grant management, or other abuses are occurring, and if the Committee determines that such abuses are occurring, refer the matters for investigation to the Attorney General;
-Submit annual reports to the Governor and the Legislature on its findings; and
-Make recommendations to agencies on how to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.
-Specifies that the Committee may issue subpoenas to individuals other than federal officers or employees (Sec. A).
-Requires the Commissioner of Administration to establish a free website consisting of an "easy-to-search database" of state spending that must be updated each business day (Sec. A).
-Requires the Commissioner of Administration to distribute keys to the state capitol building to each member of the Senate and House of Representatives (Sec. A).
-This is a substitute bill sponsored by the Senate Committee on General Laws.
NOTE: A TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY OF MEMBERS ELECTED IS REQUIRED TO OVERRIDE A GOVERNOR'S VETO.