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INDIANA LEADS IN TRANSPARENCY - STRAIGHT FROM THE SENATE

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Taxpayers should demand a transparent, efficient government. In Indiana, ensuring taxpayer dollars are used responsibly and keeping taxpayers informed are always top priorities.

As proof of this commitment, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group recently ranked Indiana the best in the nation for spending transparency, based on our website, the Indiana Transparency Portal.

Last year, for the first time ever, all 50 states had websites allowing the public to access state spending information. Indiana was among only eight states to receive an A grade for transparency, and out of those states, Indiana was ranked number one. Nine states earned Ds, while three states received failing grades.

This study underscores Indiana's dedication to fiscal responsibility, accountability and promoting efficiencies to make the most of limited tax dollars. A strong foundation in transparency helps state lawmakers advance prudent, common-sense improvements to grow our state and goes hand in hand with our record of writing honestly balanced state budgets.

Indiana's online transparency portal allows taxpayers to view Indiana state government spending and operations. Anyone can access a variety of information about state spending including agency budgets, state contracts and agency performance measures. The purpose of the portal is to allow Hoosiers to see exactly how their dollars are being spent.

Although we rank high in transparency, there is always room to improve. This year the General Assembly passed legislation that expands the state portal to show information on local spending, including the fiscal health of school corporations and other local units of government.

In addition to expanding the Indiana Transparency Portal, a few other noteworthy bills were signed into law this year to keep your Indiana government accountable and accessible.

I authored Senate Enrolled Act 80 to eliminate outdated, duplicative study committees that jam up state government and waste taxpayer dollars.

The legislature also worked to cut burdensome red tape for businesses. House Enrolled Act 1198 calls for the creation of an online one-stop-shop for businesses where owners can file permit applications, pay fees and manage other requirements.

This will make it quicker for entrepreneurs to establish and grow their businesses, and will create a single point of contact allowing employers and the state to interact more easily.

Through the Indiana Transparency Portal and these newly enacted laws, taxpayers can be assured Indiana is working for them and spending limited state tax dollars responsibly.

To access the online Indiana Transparency Portal, visit www.in.gov/itp.

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Indiana State Senator David Long
About This Author
He is a Republican member of the Indiana State Senate representing the 16th district which encompasses Waynedale. He serves as the President Pro Tempore of the Indiana State Senate. David writes the "Straight From The Senate" column for the newspaper.
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