‘Online checkbook’ would help Ohioans monitor state spending

More than a year ago, state Rep. Mike Dovilla, R-Berea, and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel proposed the establishment of an “online checkbook” for the state of Ohio. Once up and running, a database maintained by the treasurer’s office would allow anyone to go online to see just what the state was paying for.

Dovilla introduced House Bill 175, which would require the treasurer’s office to establish the Ohio State Government Expenditure Database. It would be a searchable database that would allow filtering by category of expense, by payment made to specific vendors and other criteria. It would also include state and school- district employee salaries.

The legislation isn’t perfect. Though public- school expenditures would be available, charter schools are specifically exempt. Also exempt would be public-employee retirement payments. But while such favoritism is a problem, the protection of those sacred cows shouldn’t stand in the way of passage. Continue>>>