Friday, March 27, 2009

Star Tribune: Click online and see how state spends your money

Only a few clicks will enable taxpayers to get more details on how their dollars are being spent.

Last update: March 26, 2009 - 10:40 PM

Minnesota's checkbook register went online Thursday.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty unveiled a new website, titled TAP Minnesota -- -- that anyone with a computer can access to find out how much money the state is spending and where.

Figures for 2007-09 can be found by state agency, funding source or the vendor receiving the payment. Private data are omitted.

Special funds as well as the general fund can be searched, Pawlenty said. The site will be updated daily.

The governor said he hopes that taxpayers will use it to learn more about their government, scrutinize state spending and even wag a finger at profligate officials.

"We anticipate that this is going to be a powerful new tool," Pawlenty said at a Capitol news conference. "Taxpayers are paying the bills for government in Minnesota, and we think they should have a chance to look at the checkbook register and see where all this money is going in a great amount of detail, and be able to do that on a user-friendly, online, anytime basis."

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