COLUMBUS—State Representative Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) 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.


“Ohio’s taxpayers have the right to know how the state is spending their hard-earned money,” said Dever, who is joint-sponsoring the legislation with Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake). “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


Dever sponsored similar legislation during his first term in office, which passed the House unanimously before stalling in the Ohio Senate. The bill now awaits committee referral and testimony.


Dever is currently serving his second term as state representative. He represents the 28th House District, which includes the northern suburbs of Hamilton County.

 
 
 
  
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