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Washington tops in studying costs, benefits

OLYMPIA — Washington does the best of any state in figuring out the benefits some state programs provide for the money it spends.

A review of the states' track record on cost-benefit analyses by Pew Charitable Trusts, said the majority of states have a mixed record, at best, in checking up on what government programs get for its money. A new report by Pew says Washington conducted the most cost-benefit studies between 2008 and 2011, and singled it out for a case study that showed how money spent on some programs in juvenile corrections had the prospect of high returns for the money spent.

It says the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, which conducts the studies, has a good working relationship with the Legislature and state agencies.

Every state has some kind of cost-benefit studies during that period, but their level of activity varied widely, the report said. 

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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