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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 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 Alaska.

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 spending."


Source of News:

Office of Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D - Anchorage)


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