An open, honest government should always be transparent with the citizens it serves. Ohio is taking steps to increase our government transparency. My colleagues, Representative Mike Dovilla and Jonathan Dever, introduced legislation during this General Assembly that should put us on the right path to increase Ohio’s reputation as the most transparent state government in the country. House Bill 46 passed in the Ohio House on April 15th, and is now receiving consideration in the Ohio Senate.

HB 46, known as “Open Ohio,” would require the Treasurer of State to establish and maintain on his website the Ohio State Government Expenditure Database. Treasurer Mandel and the state government established in December of 2014 as on online resource for all Ohioans to access free of charge. This website is an easily accessible database that catalogues state expenditures so that Ohioans know where their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent.

This bill would codify into state law the maintenance and continuation of this database. Without this legislation, a future treasurer could readily take down this important resource. I hope to see this bill signed into law so that we can prevent political affiliation from threatening something as common-sense as this resource.

The efforts we have taken in recent years to increase government transparency in Ohio are already being recognized across the country. Last year, an independent consumer group that ranks online access to government spending data ranked Ohio as 46 out of 50, with a grade of a “D-“. I am proud to say that Ohio is now number one in the country. That is an enormous improvement, and something I am very proud of. The hard work that my colleagues in the House, Treasurer Mandel and many others have done on this issue has pushed Ohio to the top.

With House Bill 46, we can ensure that Ohio continues to be the one of the most accountable, transparent state governments in the country. I hope you will consider checking out, as well as contacting my office with any state government related issues you may have.

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