In Budget Testimony, Auditor Bump Stresses Funding for Early Voting and Police Training

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Boston, MA – State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump testified today before the Joint Committee on Ways and Means in support of her fiscal year 2021 budget request. During her testimony, Bump highlighted ways over the past year her office has improved government operations in the Commonwealth and her agency’s priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. She also flagged areas beyond her office’s budget that warrant attention from lawmakers, including funding for early voting and municipal police training.

“In the coming year, we will continue to hold agencies to high standards, challenging them to leverage technology to improve service delivery and reduce costs,” Bump said. “We take great pride in our contributions to making government work better and ask for your support to enable this work to continue.”

In addition to her budget request, Bump also called on lawmakers to provide additional financial support for early voting and police training.

In her testimony, Bump asked the legislature to provide funding for cities and towns to administer early voting in the 2020 general election, and once again, called for the creation of a permanent and consistent method to fund the service. In 2017, Bump determined parts of the state’s early voting law were unfunded mandates on cities and towns that should be paid for by the Commonwealth.

Bump, in her testimony, called on lawmakers to maintain the Municipal Police Training Committee’s (MPTC’s) annual line-item funding, while also supplementing it with revenue from the newly implemented rental car surcharge. A report released by Bump’s office last year found that insufficient funding for the MPTC hinders its ability to provide adequate training to local police officers.

For fiscal year 2021, Bump is seeking increases averaging 3.1 percent across all five of her office’s line items. The total increase would result in an additional $606,253 over last year’s appropriation and would enable the office to continue to invest in staff training and development. Bump noted, during the upcoming year her office will examine issues related to environmental water quality, the state’s system for caring for vulnerable children, and opportunities for savings and improving efficiency in MassHealth.

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