Thank you to the many members who spoke with legislators in support of HB 2421, Representative Schmick’s bill, which would fund a study of DOC staffing levels. While the bill has been pulled from executive session and will not be moving forward this year, lawmakers have given good reason for doing so.
After speaking today with the State Auditor’s office, Representative Schmick, and legislators on the House Public Safety Committee, we have learned that the bill was pulled because a comprehensive performance audit of the DOC, which had been on hold due to pending litigation, is now underway.
A performance audit of the Department will go much further than Representative Schmick’s proposed bill. It will take an independent, rigorous look, not only at DOC staffing levels, but at all aspects of DOC operations. The Department will be held accountable to the Legislature and the Governor for any improper activity, safety and security hazards, or lack of effectiveness. The State Auditor, Troy Kelley, has assured us that no stone will go unturned.
A full-scale audit of the DOC is long overdue. It will help provide lawmakers with objective evidence of problem areas and it will make concrete recommendations about how to resolve them. Your willingness to speak out about staffing levels and other safety-related issues helped make this possible.