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Cox presses for state spending Web site

By Chris Rizo | Oct 9, 2008


FLINT, Mich. (Legal Newsline)-Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has called on Gov. Jennifer Granholm to start a Web site that shows where Michigan tax dollars are spent.

Cox, a Republican, said lawmakers can create the Web site legislatively, but if the Democratic governor signs an executive order creating the site time and effort would be saved.

"It's all up to the governor," Cox said at a press conference Wednesday. "She can make it happen today."

For his part, Cox already has information on his office's budget posted online, including information on pay for contract employees.

Arizona, Missouri and Texas are among states that currently have government spending Internet sites. Currently in Michigan only limited contract information is available on the Web.

"Taxpayers ought to be able to say 'show us the money,'" Cox said.

Kurt Weiss, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Information Technology, told the Detroit News it would cost more than $500,000 to create a site similar to the one used in Missouri.

Last month, Cox called on candidates for the state Legislature to pledge their support for creating an online database of state spending.

"This isn't a new concept. The $3 trillion federal government created a transparency Web site in 2006, and 16 states created transparency sites as well," Cox said in a statement at the time.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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