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Taxpayer Group Applauds Show-Me State for Showing Citizens the Spending

by Pete Sepp / /

(Alexandria, VA) -- By recently issuing an executive order to reveal government spending on the Internet, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt has opened a new chapter in the history-making "Google Government" movement -- and, in the process, has earned kudos from the National Taxpayers Union (NTU). The non-partisan citizen group, which has 362,000 members nationwide and nearly 7,300 members in Missouri, has been advocating "spending transparency" on the federal and state levels for several years.

Through an executive order, Governor Blunt created a new Internet website that will allow the public to view and search many state expenditures. The site, called the "Missouri Accountability Portal," is located at mapyourtaxes.mo.gov and is already available for use. Taxpayers can log on and search by spending category or recipient.

NTU is one of the founders of the "Show Me the Spending" coalition, which is dedicated to implementing similar programs in all 50 states. The 21-group coalition, located at www.showmethespending.org, has state-by-state legislative updates, model bill language, and further research and commentary on the issue.

"Thanks to Governor Blunt's efforts, reform is coming to the halls of government in Jefferson City," said NTU Government Affairs Manager Andrew Moylan. "These disclosure tools are helping to build more honest and responsible budgeting."

Missouri is one of several states to follow the federal government's lead and construct a database that catalogs expenditures. The federal legislation, cosponsored by Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Barack Obama (D-IL), ordered the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to establish an Internet destination for the general public to track the flow of disbursements.

Though the Governor's voluntary disclosure is both welcome and extremely important, Moylan urged Missouri's Legislature to make this disclosure a matter of permanent law. "Governor Blunt has taken the first big step, but the Legislature needs to seal this deal by passing a bill to make spending transparency a part of the law."

"The Show-Me State is living up to its name by opening its spending books to taxpayers," Moylan concluded. "Once a permanent bill is passed, Missourians can look forward to a government that is more open and accountable than ever before."

Note: For further details on the "Google Government" movement, visit www.showmethespending.org or www.ntu.org.

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