We all keep up with what’s being spent in our own checkbooks, but if Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has his way, we could soon get to see what’s being spent in the state’s checkbook as well.
Mandel and State Representative Mike Dovilla introduced House Bill 175 last year with the goal of adding transparency to the state’s finances. Wednesday, Mandel stopped by the WHIZ studios to explain the legislation.
"I believe the people of Ohio have a right to know how their tax money is being spent, so as State Treasurer, I’m working to put the state’s checkbook on the internet," Mandel said. "Essentially, take every single check the state writes–from two bucks for a pack of pencils up to millions of dollars for more expensive things–and put it on the internet. Empower the people of Ohio to follow the money and hold the politicians accountable."
The bill received bipartisan support in the House, passing with 86 yes votes to just eight no votes in June. Mandel hopes the Senate will follow suit in passing the bill this fall.
"One of my pet peeves is when you see public officials spend tax payer money to go to these junkets in places like Hawaii or Disney World, and I want to put an end to that," Mandel said. "One of the things that this state online checkbook will do is, it’ll help us smoke out these politicians and these other public officials who are using taxpayer money to take vacations and spend it on a lot of things that I believe are not in the best interest of the taxpayers."
If passed, Mandel hopes to have the online database up and running within the next year.