Support for the Senate Democrats’ Open Government Initiative is spreading, with House Speaker Pat Bauer, the Hoosier State Press Association, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette and the South Bend Tribune recently weighing in on the issue.
The Open Government Initiative, announced by Senate Democrat Leader Vi Simpson earlier this month, will call for greater transparency in state government and will be proposed during the 2011 legislative session. Read more from the June 1 announcement >>
In the most recent show of support, several Republican state senators have asked Gov. Mitch Daniels to create a website where the public can access budget and spending information. Simpson said she was pleased to hear that there will be Republican support for the Democrats’ initiative, which includes a website but will be much more far-reaching.
LISTEN to Simpson’s full audio statement>> or select comments from June 24:
A new website alone, without legislative mandate, does not mean a change in attitude. And it won’t by itself break through the culture of secrecy that has been eminating from this current administration.
Simpson said the Democrats believe that legislative action is absolutely necessary.
To make government more open and more accessible to the public it is going to require more than posting budget figures and agency totals. We also want to shine the light on what programs have been cut within the individual departments and how much those programs have been cut, some have been eliminated…
Through a series of requests, Simpson has already begun the process of gathering this information and plans to post the information online.
We’ll be doing our part to make the information available to the public and practice the principles of open government, which we believe in very strongly… We’ll be doing that whether the governor decides to cooperate or not.