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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. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  2. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

  3. Good try, Mr. Irwin, but I think we all know the primary motivation for pursuing legal action against the BMV is the HUGE FEES you and your firm expect to receive from the same people you claim to be helping ~ taxpayers! Almost all class action lawsuits end up with the victim receiving a pittance and the lawyers receiving a windfall.

  4. Fix the home life. We're not paying for your child to color, learn letters, numbers and possible self control. YOU raise your children...figure it out! We did. Then they'll do fine in elementary school. Weed out the idiots in public schools, send them well behaved kids (no one expects perfection) and watch what happens! Oh, and pray. A mom.

  5. To clarify, the system Cincinnati building is just a streetcar line which is the cheapest option for rail when you consider light rail (Denver, Portland, and Seattle.) The system (streetcar) that Cincy is building is for a downtown, not a city wide thing. With that said, I think the bus plan make sense and something I shouted to the rooftops about. Most cities with low density and low finances will opt for BRT as it makes more financial and logistical sense. If that route grows and finances are in place, then converting the line to a light rail system is easy as you already have the protected lanes in place. I do think however that Indy should build a streetcar system to connect different areas of downtown. This is the same thing that Tucson, Cincy, Kenosha WI, Portland, and Seattle have done. This allows for easy connections to downtown POI, and allows for more dense growth. Connecting the stadiums to the zoo, convention center, future transit center, and the mall would be one streetcar line that makes sense.

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