Borrowed Money: Opportunities for Stronger Bond Oversight


Report #236, February 2017


In this report, the Commission calls for more consistent oversight and greater transparency for public spending financed by state and local bonds. This report updates and builds on recommendations the Commission made in a June 2009 report, Bond Spending: Expanding and Enhancing Oversight

The 2017 update acknowledges progress to better account for statewide bond spending, but found inconsistencies across state programs.  

The Commission urges the Governor and the Legislature to develop a strategy for oversight of all statewide bond measures that links bond expenditures with results and makes this information easily available to the public. 

The Commission also urges policymakers to assess and improve local bond oversight. Specifically, the Commission recommends that policymakers update and overhaul statutory code enacted in 2000 that created Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committees for local school facility construction bonds. This includes a list of specific changes, including improved training for committee members and enhanced performance audits that assess the effectiveness and results of the bond program, as well as other opportunities for improvement.