Otto wants Dayton to strike budget bill over audit clause

Published 9:27 am Monday, May 18, 2015

ST. PAUL — Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto wants Gov. Mark Dayton to bring down a wide-ranging state government funding bill over a provision that shifts audit powers away from her.

The third-term Democrat is criticizing a clause allowing counties to hire private accounting firms to do financial audits now undertaken by her office.

Supporters of the shift said it’ll be faster and cheaper. Otto countered that private firms will be accountable to county boards that hire them and lack the independence her office brings to the process.

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The measure is in a bill that funds agencies like the Revenue and Veterans Affairs departments as well as the Legislature, governor’s office and attorney general’s office.

Otto expects Dayton to take a special interest in her concerns having once held the auditor’s job himself.