Indiana is among the highest-rated states in the nation in terms of transparency in government spending, according to a top watchdog group.
An annual U.S. Public Interest Research Group report released Wednesday included Indiana among five “A-plus” states, and one of four to score a perfect 100 score in its grading system.
So-called “leading” states provide user-friendly websites that include data on expenditures and subsidies that can be downloaded for analysis by independent parties. Indiana’s website is called the Indiana Transparency Portal.
Among the elite sites, Ohio’s was considered the best. OhioCheckbook.com launched in 2014 and features interactive, Google-style searches of billions in state spending. Spending for Ohio's five public pension funds and more than 600 local government entities have been added since Ohio leaped to the top of the ranking last spring.
Indiana was ranked third behind Ohio and Michigan. Although all three scored 100 points, their scores were different when calculated without extra credit points, thus allowing a ranking, according to U.S. PIRG.
Other states receiving A-pluses were Oregon and Connecticut. California, Alaska and Idaho received Fs.
U.S. PIRG commended Michigan for streamlining its transparency data and West Virginia for launching a site showing the projected and actual public benefit of major subsidy programs.
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel said Ohio's site is used by taxpayers, journalists and law enforcement.