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Indiana found most transparent in study of state data access

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California, the U.S. state with the largest population and budget, offers the least website access to its government spending data, according to an analysis by the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group.

Indiana provided the most information, and Oregon, Florida, Texas and Massachusetts also scored high with online disclosure of details on contracts, expenditures and economic-development subsidies, the report released Tuesday found.

Alaska and Idaho also got failing grades. New Jersey, where Governor Chris Christie pledged unprecedented transparency, ranked 30th.

Last year was the first that all 50 states operated websites to make information on state spending accessible to the public, according to the not-for-profit group, which advocates for transparency in government. North Carolina and Colorado were among the 10 whose access improved the most since 2013.

California, with a proposed $106.8 billion annual budget, a record high, provided no ability to search contracts and expenditures by recipient, keyword or agency. On economic development, it had no web-based detail on areas including projected and actual public benefits, tax-expenditure reports and recouped funds.

Michael Liang, a spokesman for the California Department of General Services, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call or an e-mail for comment on the study.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. last year created a "Transparency Portal," which allows users to search for and view incentive contracts the state has reached with companies.

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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