New Website Brings More Openness To Government
By Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Marlboro Twp.)

When I talk to the residents of the 50th House District, I am encouraged by how interested they are in the actions being taken by the state legislature. They have every reason to be because the decisions legislators make in Columbus have an impact on Ohioans’ businesses and families, not to mention their tax dollars pay for what government does.

For that reason, I was happy to learn last month that a new website was being created to help Ohio residents, and particularly businesses, follow the rules that impact their daily lives. Ohio has more than 120 agencies and commissions that implement various rules to help the agency carry out its purpose.

To make this process more transparent, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, or JCARR, created the website At no cost, Ohio residents can log into the site and track the topics that interest or affect them. After completing this simple process, RuleWatch Ohio will track the changes made in those areas and alert you by sending no more than one e-mail a day.

The mission of this helpful website is similar to legislation I introduced at the beginning of the year—“The Fiscal Integrity Act.” That bill (HB 10) makes it easier to hold public officials who misuse public funds accountable. By making more information open to the public, we increase the chances of catching bad behavior and correcting it.

Every now and then, I get to hear some of the more tenured members of the House describe their experiences, sometimes dating back multiple decades. In listening to those accounts, and seeing how much things have changed over the years, it is easy to appreciate the important impact that technology, for instance, has had on making government more open to the people.

I am excited by the advancements that have been made to hold government more accountable, such as websites like RuleWatch Ohio and live online streaming of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. This is our government, and the more people there are keeping an eye on what it is doing, the more we can ensure an honest, transparent government in the future.

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