Sen. Mark Schoesler’s successful effort to make state government more transparent received a final endorsement today when his bill requiring an online inventory of state-agency fees was signed by the governor. Senate Bill 5751 already had received unanimous support from the Senate and House of Representatives.
“I thought it was a great idea when the state Office of Financial Management voluntarily created a database of state fees several years ago; unfortunately the agency hasn’t kept the list up to date,” explained Schoesler, R-Ritzville. “My bill would make maintaining and updating the fee inventory an official duty.”
“It’s a lot easier to hold state government more accountable – which is one of our Majority Coalition Caucus goals – when things are transparent,” added Schoesler, who is among the leaders of the coalition, as Senate Republican leader, and also serves on the Senate budget committee.
More than 40 state agencies collect fees; they’re assessed for a wide range of activities that include operating non-profit bingo games or a fleet of cargo carriers to harvesting seaweed or launching a boat in a state park.
The inventory of fees called for in SB 5751 would let people see exactly who is collecting the fee, the purpose of the fee, the current amount of the fee, the amount of the fee over the previous five years, and the statutory authority for the fee. The new law will take effect in late July.