Senators are preparing to put together and unveil their version of the budget that was passed by the House last month - which featured key differences from the original spending plan from Gov. John Kasich. But getting it done on time might be difficult. The March presidential primary next year will be pushed further down the calendar if the idea is approved by Gov. John Kasich - who's still not yet announced his presidential intentions.
For data nerds, public spending watchdogs or unapologetically nosy, the amount of information that's being put online about what government is doing is very exciting. One of the newest additions to this treasure trove of information is ohiocheckbook.com, a site set up by State Treasurer Josh Mandel's office. Mandel now wants local governments and school districts to provide their expenditure information to put on his site as well.
But skeptics have to wonder if there's more behind ohiocheckbook.com than just an altruistic effort to share financial information with the taxpayers who provide the money. Two experts in transparency, open data, campaigns and politics talk about that. Catherine Turcer is with the watchdog group Common Cause Ohio and is also on the board of the Ohio Open Government Coalition. Jill Miller Zimon runs the blog "Writes Like She Talks" and is a former Democratic candidate for the Statehouse, and is the founder and chief open data evangelist at Open NEO, which is described as the first non-profit in Ohio dedicated to creating a robust ecosystem of data sharing in the region.
May 29, 2015