Thursday, April 12, 2007

Maryland Misses Spending Transparency Opportunity

Here at the Free State Foundation, we were touting the notion of Maryland creating an easily searchable Internet website to track state spending even before Maryland legislators Warren Miller and Alex Mooney introduced a bill to do just that. You can see some of our early writing on the subject and Del. Miller's and Sen. Mooney's "Maryland Funding Accountability and Transparency Act" bill collected here. You would think that in the Internet age this would be pretty much of a no-brainer, unless the majority of our legislators don't want to make it easier to track state spending.

The Examiner newspaper has done a terrific job of covering and editorializing on this issue. In today's Examiner there is a column describing how other states are moving forward to put their spending information on the web. Too bad that Maryland's legislature thinks it is more important to spend time figuring out how to rework the Constitution's electoral college than enacting legislation that would give citizens an effective tool to better understand how their taxpayer dollars.

Well, there's always next year, as they say. And with the looming budget deficit, and talk of tax increases in the air, by all rights there ought to be increased pressure on the legislature, and Governor O'Malley too, to "show us the money"!