Ohio House Bill 40 Legislation Review

By Sean Roberts and Frank Kohstall 12 Mar 2018

‘This bill require the Treasurer of State to establish the Ohio Government Expenditure Database.’

This bill will codify the open data policies that currently exist in the Office of the Treasury. The Treasurer’s office has already built and published OhioCheckbook.com, which houses ten and a half years’ worth of State expenditure information. The website set a new national standard of what a government transparency website could and should offer its citizens. Additionally, nearly one thousand local governments voluntarily participate by placing their spending online. This hard work should be recognized and put into state statute to ensure its legacy.

For more details on the Ohio State Checkbook.com, read the Ohio State Financial Transparency User Story on this site.

A version of this bill was first introduced 2013 in the Ohio House legislature. Originally House Bill 175, Treasurer Mandel took the lead in the State to promote the idea of improving the state’s transparency. HB 175, known as the “Open Ohio” bill would establish the Ohio State Government Expenditure Database to help show taxpayers exactly where their money is being spent, requiring the Treasurer’s office to place the state’s checkbook online.

HB 175 in the 130 the General Assembly did not pass. In the next General Assembly Session, the 131 st , the checkbook bill became HB 46. House Bill 46 passed unanimously out of committee and the chamber floor. The senate had little to no action and the bill failed the 131 st session.

The current checkbook bill is stuck in committee with no anticipation of being brought to a vote. The Treasurer’s office continues to update and improve Ohiocheckbook.com along with continually adding more local governments. Their policy to drastically improve the financial transparency of the state is in a level of harm when Treasurer Mandel’s term ends in 2018. ODI encourages Ohio elected officials to codify and put into statute the OhioCheckbook.com database.