FedSpending.org’s Offspring


Earlier this month, Texas released a state spending database. The database, “Where the Money Goes,” allows citizens to search state spending by agency and recipient. The Houston Chronicle, makes the point that the bill that created this database was “modeled after federal legislation passed last year.” The Coburn-Obama bill’s teeth went all the way down to state level.

Texas is now one of six states this year that have created a database or adopted laws that require a spending database to be created. The Kansas state legislature also mandated such a database, modeled after the federal database, which Stateline says was inspired by FedSpending.org, a project of Sunlight grantee OMB Watch. Minnesota, Oklahoma, Hawaii, and Missouri also have databases in the works to launch in 2008.

The movement to bring this kind of transparency to the states is being led by a coalition called “Show Me the Spending." Their site provides information on the coalition as well as a very convenient map that allows you to keep track of what is going on in all 50 states.

According to the Show Me the Spending Web site, there are partial databases in seventeen other states and legislation being offered in Nebraska, South Carolina, and Georgia. This is great news for transparency. This is a great example on how the federal government can lead the states in creating an open and accountable environment. It will be interesting to see how the states create their databases, and if they will take the lead on more transparency measures in the future.