Treasurer’s Office Provides Proponent Testimony in Support of House Bill 46
HB 46 Would Require Treasurer’s Office to Post State Spending Online
COLUMBUS – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s office provided proponent testimony today in support of House Bill 46. This legislation would require the Ohio Treasurer’s office to publish and maintain an online database of state spending.
Last year, Treasurer Mandel launched OhioCheckbook.com, putting all state spending online for the first time in Ohio history. OhioCheckbook.com includes more than $408 billion worth of spending over the past seven fiscal years, displaying approximately 112 million transactions and approximately 3.9 billion pieces of spending information.
HB 46 is sponsored by Representatives Mike Dovilla (District – 7; Berea) and Jonathan Dever (District – 28; Cincinnati). As part of today’s testimony, the Treasurer’s office appeared before the House State Government Committee to give proponent testimony and offer support for HB 46.
“Ohioans have the right to know how their money is being spent,” said Treasurer Mandel. “We are proud to have launched OhioCheckbook.com and believe it is a powerful tool for taxpayers. By passing this bill into law we can ensure future generations of Ohioans have access to this information. I encourage the members of the Ohio House of Representatives to vote for its swift passage.”
HB 46 would require the Ohio Treasurer to continue to host and publish this fully searchable state agency expenditures database online. This legislation also places in statute a requirement that the Treasurer’s office host fully searchable databases that display salaries of state employees and local school district education employees.
OhioCheckbook.com has received an overwhelmingly positive reception from Ohio taxpayers, good government groups and news organizations throughout the state since its launch. The website sets a new national transparency standard and gives Ohioans unprecedented access to follow how their money is being spent.
OhioCheckbook.com is part of Treasurer Mandel’s Treasurer’s Transparency Project. For more information on the Project please visit www.OhioTreasurer.gov/Transparency. Ohio’s online checkbook can be found at OhioCheckbook.com.
SUPPORT FOR OHIOCHECKBOOK.COM & HB 46:
“Kudos to Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel for unveiling the best website I’ve seen to easily slice-and-dice how government spends money. OhioCheckbook.com is a great tool for journalists and anyone who supports open government in Ohio. Treasurer Mandel has done a service to all of Ohio with this website, and it’s very important to put into statute that it continues to be maintained into the future.”
- Dennis Hetzel, Executive Director of the Ohio Newspaper Association and President of the Ohio Coalition for Open Government
“Access to state spending online encourages the public to ask questions and government officials to be thrifty. Ongoing access to this information is important because it reinforces government accountability to taxpayers.”
- Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio
“Efforts like the Ohio Checkbook are critical for the future of transparency in Ohio. In the long-run, the only way Ohio taxpayers are going to be able to hold government accountable for how it spends their money is to see exactly what the government is doing. This lies at the heart of what The Buckeye Institute has long pushed for with our own public salary databases.”
- Greg Lawson, The Buckeye Institute
“The Ohio Society of CPAs has long supported increased transparency throughout government. Treasurer Mandel’s online checkbook helps open the books for taxpayers across Ohio and is a step in the right direction when it comes to increasing government transparency.”
- Scott Wiley, President and CEO of the Ohio Society of CPAs
“As an organization that advocates for open government, the Sunlight Foundation finds that when governments put valuable public information online, citizens have greater access to it and can more effectively use it to ensure that government is working in their best interests. By requiring that the state make government expenditure data available online in easily searchable, sortable, and downloadable formats, the expenditure database described in HB 46 represents an important demonstration of state’s interest in being transparent and accountable to its citizens. We very much hope that the legislature will decide to pass this bill.”
- Emily Shaw, Sunlight Foundation
LIST OF HB 46 CO-SPONSORS:
Rep. John Becker (District – 65; Union Township)
Rep. Louis Blessing (District-29; Colerain Township)
Rep. Terry Boose (District-57; Norwalk)
Rep. Tim Brown (District-3; Bowling Green)
Rep. Timothy Derickson (District-53; Hanover Township)
Rep. Mike Duffey (District-21; Worthington)
Rep. Cheryl Grossman (District-23; Grove City)
Rep. Bob Hackett (District-74; London)
Rep. Steve Hambley (District-69; Brunswick)
Rep. Terry Johnson (District-90; McDermott)
Rep. Ron Maag (District-62; Lebanon)
Rep. Rick Perales (District 73; Beavercreek)
Rep. Jeff Rezabek (District-43; Clayton)
Rep. Kristina Roegner (District-37; Hudson)
Rep. Mark Romanchuk (District-2; Ontario)
Rep. Tim Schaffer (District-77; Lancaster)
Rep. Gary Scherer (District-92; Circleville)
Rep. Andrew Thompson (District-95; Marietta)
Rep. Nino Vitale (District-85; Urbana)
Rep. Paul Zeltwanger (District-54; Mason)