Recently, the Ohio House has partnered with Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel to improve government transparency through an initiative known as Ohio’s Online Checkbook. The checkbook displays over $400 billion in spending with full search, compare, and share capabilities. Over 100 local governments and school districts have worked with the program to put their spending online for the taxpayers to view.

In the 19th House District, both the city of New Albany and New Albany-Plain Local School District have joined the initiative by posting their checkbooks online. I applaud these local entities for their transparency and commitment to the taxpayers. I am hopeful that others in the 19th House District and throughout Ohio will follow suit, and I encourage them to do so.

It is imperative that as elected officials we do everything in our power to ensure taxpayers are educated about how their tax money is spent, enabling them to hold those elected officials accountable. Ohio’s Online Checkbook empowers taxpayers with this ability and House Bill 46, recently passed by the Ohio House, strengthens Treasurer Mandel’s initiative.

The legislation establishes the following requirements for the Ohio State Government Expenditure Database, among others:

  • Treasurer of State must establish and maintain the database on their website for each fiscal year;

  • The database must be accessible to the public at no charge;

  • The Database must include certain expenditure information and have specific search and filter capabilities.

I was proud to vote yes on House Bill 46 this past April, and look forward to the work the Ohio Senate will continue to do on the legislation. Most importantly, the bill requires the Treasurer of State to continue to maintain the online checkbook, even after Treasurer Mandel has left office. This is crucial to the House’s effort to expand transparency for the public going into the future.

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