Jason Murphey

The Senate Transparancy Conundrum

Regular readers of the state’s appropriations bill were greeted by something new as they opened this year’s version of the venerable legislation.

Historically, the bill has contained a section-by-section narrative detailing the assignment, or transfer, of dollars to the many government agencies and programs. This document, often confused with the state budget, assigns about 7 billion of the approximate 17.5 billion spent by state government.

In reality, only about 30% of state government spend goes through the legislative process. What about the other 10 billion of spend?

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Jason Murphey HD31I have always believed that citizens are the best positioned to hold government accountable. Unlike legislators, citizens are not subject to co-option by bureaucracy, unlike the press, they need not fear loss of access if they take a tough stand against the actions of government.

Citizens need powerful tools to enable oversight. Until recently, these tools weren’t easily available; however, advancements in technology are finally allowing taxpayers to truly oversee government action.

 

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During the last fifteen months I have mostly resisted the temptation to write about my feelings regarding the current state of transparency in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. This may seem perplexing to my regular readers because up until March …