Transparency Setback

In a setback for transparency efforts during the General Assembly Session, the Senate Finance Committee killed SB 812, which would have allowed (but not required) local governments to put their expenditures online. Its patron, Senator Ken Cucinelli, released the following statement:

“In the age of Obama, where Democrats preach ‘hope,’ ‘change,’ and ‘open government,’ its disappointing to see that those are meaningless words,” said Cuccinelli.  “The reality is that the status quo is willing to block anything that allows the people to see into how their government is really run.”

I have to admit that in the initial publicity surrounding this year’s transparency bills I thought the measures were only for the state government. While other bills do focus on the state government, I think this bill may have been even more important. Even though its closer to most people’s lives, local government often does not get enough notice or attention. Such an open look at the goings-on of local government probably would have a put a halt to the sort of minor corruption that goes on all the time, such as the government paying for employees lunches (and I’m not talking Christmas Dinner here) or indiscriminate use of petty cash. 

Wonder where VACO stood on this one?

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