New Legislation Would Open The State's Checkbook to Public Scrutiny
January 07, 2008
(SitNews) - A bill that would enable Alaskans to easily track
state government spending was introduced Thursday by Sen. Bill
Wielechowski (D - Anchorage). It calls for the creation of
a free, publicly searchable website with detailed and comprehensive
information on state expenditures.
"All Alaskans deserve to know how their state dollars are
being spent," Wielechowski said today. "Public scrutiny
of state spending will reduce waste and ensure that Alaska's
limited funds are directed to the state's most essential needs.
The Alaska Open Government Act will help achieve that."
Across the country, taxpayers are clamoring for better information
about government spending and greater accountability. Wielechowski
believes Alaskans have a right to this type of detailed information.
The federal government just posted its "checkbook"
online at www.federalspending.gov.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress put aside their differences
to pass the landmark legislation that led to creation of this
website. Senator Wielechowski hopes the same thing will happen
In 2007, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Hawaii passed
legislation requiring on-line posting of state expenditures.
At least 13 other states are considering "taxpayer transparency
acts," including Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico,
Maryland, Florida, Georgia, Colorado, North Dakota, Washington,
Connecticut, Tennessee, and Louisiana.
In addition, several governors have issued executive orders that
require web posting of state expenditures. They include Gov.
Blunt of Missouri and Gov. Sanford of South Carolina.
Wielechowski noted that a more informed public will lead to better
government decisions. "This bill will empower Alaskans
to become fiscal watchdogs and add more accountability to government
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Office of Sen. Bill Wielechowski
(D - Anchorage)
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