Ohio again top state for spending transparency

From The Columbus Dispatch Ohio has repeated as the top state for public spending transparency, according to an annual report today by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

“Following the Money 2016” ranked Ohio No. 1 for the second year in a row, largely as a result of OhioCheckbook.com, the online spending database hosted by state Treasurer Josh Mandel.

Ohio was one of four states to achieve a perfect 100-point score on the U.S. PIRG report, but was ranked first due to additional criteria. Also receiving perfect scores were Michigan, Indiana and Oregon. California, Alaska and Idaho received “F” grades and were at the bottom of transparency rankings.

U.S. PIRG based its ratings on the state websites and how easy, or difficult, it is for taxpayers to get detailed information on government spending.

Ohio got high marks for adding municipalities, other local government entities, and schools to the OhioCheckbook.com website. Of the 3,962 local government and schools in Ohio, about 650 have signed up for the online checkbook, Mandel said in a conference call this morning.

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