COLUMBUS—State Representative Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) has introduced legislation that would greatly improve government transparency by making it easier for Ohioans to search state government spending during each fiscal year.


House Bill 40 requires the Treasurer of State to establish and maintain the Ohio State Government Database on the Treasurer’s website. Ohio residents would be able to use the database at no charge to track and monitor the state’s expenditures.


“Transparency and accountability are the cornerstones of responsive and responsible representation,” Representative Greenspan said. “Taxpayers of our state deserve to have visibility to review how their dollars are being spent and this legislation is a step in that direction,” said Greenspan, who is joint-sponsoring the legislation with Rep. Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira).


“Ohio’s taxpayers have the right to know how the state is spending their hard-earned money,” said Dever. “By requiring future state treasurers to maintain this database, our state government will become more transparent and accountable.”


In 2014, State Treasurer Josh Mandel unveiled a similar database known as OhioCheckbook.com, which provides the public access to how state tax dollars are being spent. However, under existing law, the online database could be taken down by a future treasurer. House Bill 40 would permanently implement that service into statute, and thereby ensure that future state treasurers would maintain that resource, regardless of political affiliation.


The bill specifies that the website:
• Include certain information with specific search and filter options
• Provide charts and graphs to be created by the Treasurer’s Office
• Allow public comment on the database’s functionality and utility
• Not include confidential information or information that is not recognized under state law as a public record


Greenspan is serving his first term in the Ohio House of Representatives. He represents the 16th Ohio House District, which includes the cities of Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River, and Westlake.

 
 
 
  
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