Don Fitz for State Auditor - Issues

Auditor Platform of Missouri Green Party Candidate Don Fitz

 

Duties of Missouri State Auditor: The State Auditor's Office works to ensure the proper use of public funds and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Missouri government by performing audits of state agencies, boards and commissions, the circuit court system, the counties in Missouri that do not have a county auditor, and other political subdivisions upon petition by the voters.

 

1. Monsanto and other agribusinesses

In July 2018 a San Francisco jury awarded $289 million to black groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson due to cancer resulting from his exposure to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. Governmental practices could be poisoning workers, students and community members. As State Auditor I will audit costs of purchasing Roundup and other pesticides/herbicides for use on MO roadways, parks, schools, government building grounds and all other state green spaces (along with an audit of such costs by MO political subdivisions) and potential costs for litigation from lawsuits by workers, students and residents for health damage from pesticide/herbicide usage. The audit will gather information to determine if Missouri has a pattern of differentially exposing people of color to poisonous chemicals.

I will audit financial relations between agricultural businesses (such as Monsanto) and Missouri Departments of Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources as well as all campuses of the University of Missouri and all school districts, including gifts such as computers which may promote interests of the corporation. I will explore whether the Missouri Department of Health has studied costs to governmental bodies in Missouri which could result from the use of agricultural products such as pesticides and herbicides including, but not limited to Roundup and Dicamba.

 

2. Energy Companies

As State Auditor I will examine relations between energy corporations (including but not limited to Peabody Coal and the Callaway Nuclear Generating Station) for financial malfeasance and gifts which may promote interests of the corporation. I will explore whether the Missouri Department of Health has studied costs to governmental bodies in Missouri which would result from a catastrophic nuclear accident that resulted in the loss of numerous lives and billions of dollars which exceeded the nuclear generating station's total liability limit established by the 1954 Price-Anderson Act.

 

3. Public Spending for Privatized Medicaid

The purpose of Missouri Medicaid is to help the indigent and underserved get the health care they need. I will audit how much of our taxpayers’ health care dollars for Missouri Medicaid (MOHealthNet) go directly towards care by providers to patients, and compare what percent of those tax dollars go to administrative costs and profit for the insurance companies and their agents.

 

4. Racial Equality

As State Auditor I will ensure that the Auditor’s office hires staff at all levels who are reflective of the ethnic composition of Missouri. I will audit state contracts to ensure that they are awarded to black contractors in the same proportion as the black population of Missouri.

 

5. Militarization of Police

As State Auditor I will audit all costs associate with militarizing police in Missouri, including but not limited to purchase of armored vehicles, military grade assault rifles, grenade launchers, sniper rifles, clothing that looks like military uniforms, swat teams, and heavy duty riot control gear. The audit will examine crime rates before and after the militarization.

 

6. Public Spending for Prisons and Jails

Missouri law (RSMo 217.230) requires that it provide health care for prisoners “equivalent to community standard.” I will audit Missouri’s contract with Corizon Health LLC, to determine whether allocated funds are sufficient to ensure the “community standard” of care which will reduce expensive chronic care needs and hospitalizations. I will also examine how much of taxpayers’ health care dollars go directly towards care of the incarcerated patients, and compare the percent of those tax dollars which go to staffing, administrative costs and profit for the private health care provider Corizon Health LLC.

I will audit extra costs associated with mandatory sentences and "three strikes" sentencing requirements and examine data to determine if these are associated with a lower or higher rate of crime.

I will audit costs of solitary confinement, including costs resulting from lawsuits regarding its inappropriate use and estimate savings or costs resulting from its discontinuation.

I will audit all costs of sex offender registration and how much could be saved by eliminating the program and examine data to determine if the program has any effect on the rate of sex crimes.

Prisoners have to pay taxes on all purchased items despite the fact that the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) acquires those items tax free. I will audit how much revenue is being generated on the backs of Missourians who financially support their incarcerated loved ones.

Revenue from prisoners’ canteen purchases was meant to support activities and programming that benefits prisoners. I will audit how much of the funds are being misappropriated for other purposes, such as for staff benefits.

 

7. Death Penalty

Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Indiana are just a few of the states which have found that the death penalty is much more expensive than life without parole. I will audit total costs, including costs to the trial jurisdiction of having the death penalty even when a grand jury decides no death sentence is warranted, or a prosecutor asks for death but no death sentence is reached; costs involving an exoneration at any point in the process, or the sentence is thrown out along the way without reaching execution. The audit will cover costs to local jurisdictions for the initial trial and costs to Missouri for appeals, public defender and other state-funded defense such as costs of the execution itself and of last-minute stays after the procedure has been put in place.

 

8. Marijuana

As State Auditor I will examine how much money Missouri and all of its political subdivisions have spent during the last five years on law enforcement training, arrests, trials, appeals, incarceration, and all other costs associated with criminalization of marijuana and how much could be saved for Missouri taxpayers by complete decriminalization. I will also specifically examine health costs related to denial of medical marijuana to recipients of Medicare, Medicaid and all other state-funded treatment entities and project how much could be saved by making medical marijuana available.

 

9. Schools

When Missouri voters approved the lottery that began in 1988, they were promised that proceeds would go toward education. I will audit what proportion of lottery proceeds have actually gone to education every year since it was begun, if funds for education have decreased from other state sources after the lottery was initiated and how much total funding for education has changed as a result of the lottery.

Missouri's current system of standardized testing may not accurately gauge student learning.  As State Auditor, I will examine whether the cost of Missouri's current system of standardized testing in public education shows a strong enough benefit in student learning to justify its continued usage, or whether other measures would be more beneficial, accurate and cost effective for Missouri.

I will audit potential costs to Missouri and its political subdivisions from health damage and litigation resulting from toxins such as lead, mold and asbestos in schools and juvenile detention centers.

 

10. Gender discrimination in retirement benefits for Missouri State Employees

Retirement benefits from the State of Missouri could be structured against female employees. Monthly benefits are based on a formula that multiplies the years of service by the average wage of recent years. Since couples who move for employment advancement are far more likely to do so for the husband’s than the wife’s career, this could result in female employees’ maintaining continuous employment for a shorter time period for a lower salary. The resulting reduced retirement benefits could be particularly devastating for a woman who get divorced a few years prior to her husband’s retirement and loses his benefits. As State Auditor I will examine the difference in retirement benefits to women and men who have worked for the State of Missouri and propose corrective adjustments.

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  • Clifton Whitchurch
    commented 2018-08-07 19:05:16 -0500
    We need an auditor who is not afraid to AUDIT; and who is not wholly owned or sold out to powerful interests who’s real interests are not necessarily those of the people.