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Friday, July 17, 2009

Cost and Benefits of State Spending Transparency

The Mercatus Center has a new podcast on state online spending transparency.  Jerry Brito, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, discusses the need for spending transparency in states through online databases and searchable open books.   He says that criticism (coming mostly from legislators)is unfounded - these websites are inexpensive and that states that have built these websites have spent an average of $140,000.

The Commonwealth Foundation has advocated the need for spending transparency in Harrisburg on a consistent basis, such as HB 1460 or SB 105. Many states have already seen the need for some sort of an "open book" on government spending.

Kansas is one of the first states to pass substantive transparency legislation and boasts one of the most comprehensive online databases for government expenditures. Other outstanding examples include Oklahoma’s OpenBooks website and Missouri’s Accountability Portal, which also provides the salaries of government employees.


Anonymous said...

NB. Speaking of transparency, where do the potential Gov candidates stand on PIT increase. Gerlach and Wagner have laid out their views. Where are the others in this debate?

Abhi said...

I have not seen much information about individual legislators saying that they are for or against the bill, but have come across a few articles that say the Governors plan has dissenters-a-plenty on both sides of the fence. This article by KYW Newsradio titled Rendell's PIT Increase Lacks Support, Even From Dems and also House Republican leader Sam Smith of Punxsutawney said he sees little or no support for a PIT increase among the 99 House Republicans. He also predicted "25 to 30'' of the 104 Democrats would vote against it also.