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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

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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