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Track State Spending of Stimulus Funds

By Brandon Lorenz, Senior Editor - April 2009 - Facilities Management

stimulus act


State What the States Are Offering Web Sites
Alabama Alabama's recovery site has information about the stimulus package and how it will affect the state. It also consolidates a list of Web sites for federal agencies that will implement provisions of the bill, including how much money each will receive.
Alaska Alaska's Checkbook Online offers downloadable spreadsheets of expenditures, but does not include contracts. The stimulus site contains fairly extensive lists of approved and recommended projects.
Arkansas The Arkansas recovery site lists stimulus projects and operations by state agency. The entries, so far, include significant detail, such as the contact person who is assigned to each program. Users can also choose to enter their e-mail address and receive updates specific to programs they are interested in.
California California's stimulus site describes the governor's quarterly reporting obligations to Washington, but doesn't offer any additional accountability resources or plans to implement them. Links to state and federal agencies and funding breakdowns by category are available, but there is no information about specific projects.
Colorado The state doesn't have a comprehensive online reporting site, but the legislators introduced a bill in January to require statewide reporting for the public school system. Gov. Bill Ritter has established an accountability board to oversee stimulus projects, and created a site for information about stimulus spending.
Connecticut Connecticut's stimulus site includes only a few links and very basic information about the state's plans for spending the money, such as the creation of the Connecticut Recovery Working Group, which will monitor spending. The site says that officials are still working on a plan for transparency.
Delaware Delaware's recovery page features some simple charts showing the distribution of stimulus funding in the state. Some the charts don't include dollar amounts (only visual proportions), making it difficult to tell how much funding officials expect for each project. News from officials about the stimulus is also aggregated on the page.
Washington, D.C. While the District doesn't yet have an expenditures database or dedicated transparency Web site, contracts are published online as PDFs. The Washington recovery page describes in detail projects that have already been awarded and a few that city officials expect will receive funding soon. However, the spending transparency page appears to be organized as a list of bullet points, not a searchable database.
Georgia "Open Georgia" makes available information about professional services hired by the state and employee salaries, as well as documents describing the state budget available in easily searchable databases, though other types of expenditures are not included. Georgia's recovery site includes phone numbers for state agencies, but little else at this point.
Hawaii The "HI-Way to Economic Recovery" breaks stimulus projects down by categories, like "Clean Energy" and "Human Services." Some of these provide clear, user-friendly lists of different initiatives, while others spell out Hawaii's planned projects. Some transportation projects are even mapped out, though the maps aren't interactive.
Idaho By executive order, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has required all state agencies to notify him directly of requests for stimulus funding, or of funds received. Those individual requests, signed by agency officials, can be downloaded from the state's stimulus Web site, but no consolidated list of approved or recommended projects is available.
Illinois The Illinois comptroller offers separate databases for contracts and expenditures. Both are searchable, but finding records without basic information about specific vendors may be difficult. As of now, the Illinois stimulus Web site allows users to "suggest" projects, and will provide other information for residents and contractors.
Indiana The Indiana Office of Administration allows searches of contracts and grants. The recovery Web site includes information on highway and water infrastructure.
Iowa The recovery site launched with general information about the stimulus package, by issue, and a nifty graphic displaying Iowa's funding in different categories. The site promises an upcoming dashboard that will help Iowans track the spending.
Kansas KanView breaks down revenues and expenses by vendor, object, program and other categories. It also has documents on contracts and grants. However, the portal shows expenses as aggregates, not line items. The Kansas stimulus site directs residents to resources for individuals and businesses.
Kentucky Kentucky's transparency triumvirate includes an online checkbook provided by the secretary of state, a database of contracts and grants from the state's treasurer, and yet another searchable tool for cabinet and agency spending by the governor's office. The recovery site is no match for the general tools at this point, but it offers a nifty graphic that shows breakdowns of Kentucky's stimulus dollars.
Louisiana A preliminary transparency site lists the budgets of the state's departments and agencies, but no line item, contract or grant information is available. Two state agencies began reporting more detailed data in February, and state universities began on March 3.
Maine Maine has no transparency site, but now offers a recovery page that contains press releases and other communications about how the bill will affect Maine, as well as links to the PDF of the bill and project lists produced by certain agencies.
Maryland Maryland has a searchable database of contracts with vendors who receive more than $25,000 a year. The recovery site includes an interactive map that will plot projects.
Massachusetts Massachusetts has no transparency site, but the new recovery site offers project lists and will post reports from various task forces established by the governor to oversee stimulus spending.
Michigan Michigan has no online databases for spending or contracts. However, state legislators have introduced a bill that would create a transparency site, and the state has also promised to report which projects will be funded by stimulus dollars. Michigan's recovery site will also document projects that have been approved for funding.
Minnesota Minnesota's Management and Budget department has posted cursory links and information about the stimulus. However, their still-incomplete, 179-page "summary" of the stimulus impact in the state includes some good details about specific grants and projects, and some insight into the state government's thinking and process about the package.
Mississippi The state has a general site that includes a searchable database for contracts, line item expenditures, agency budgets and government employee salaries. Mississippi's recovery site was among the last state Web pages to go live. It directs users to the state's auditor and management and reporting system, but is not clear about what those services will offer in the way of stimulus transparency.
Missouri The Missouri Accountability portal provides comprehensive documentation of grants, contracts, budgets and state employee salaries. All line item expenditures are accounted for, even for minimal expenses. Missouri's recovery site lists stimulus funds received by the state, with fields for the date of deposit, the funds' intended purpose, the amount and how the dollars have been spent.
Montana Montana's recovery site includes a comprehensive list of priority projects for state agencies, as well as information about direct aid to Montanans. The state has no ongoing transparency page.
Nebraska Nebraska's recovery site includes very general information about how stimulus dollars will be spent in the state. The site offers press releases from the governor's office and promises to keep residents abreast of any changes to the state's tax code that might be sparked by provisions in the stimulus bill.
Nevada Nevada's Open Government Web site allows users to compare budgeted spending to actual spending. But it does not document contracts or line item expenses. The site was created by executive order in March 2008, with the intention of posting all information collected by the comptroller, treasurer, legislature and administrative courts on state financing. Nevada's recovery site is up, too, but many of the links are not live yet. The site directs users to federal Web sites for stimulus information
New Hampshire New Hampshire's recovery site includes basic information about the stimulus package, such as links to the congressional bill that created it and state certifications to accept the money. There are also links to the state's Departments of Transportation and Environmental Services, which have published proposed project lists.
New Jersey The New Jersey recovery site includes detailed explanations about how stimulus spending will be allocated in New Jersey, an extensive list of competitive grants that will be made available by the plan, and says it will include documentation of spending when projects begin.
New Mexico New Mexico's recovery site includes links to other economic stimulus-related pages -- mostly federal -- as well as a few news items. There is a page for submitting project proposals, but no portal to transparency information, such as spending or contracting data.
New York New York's Office of the Comptroller has funded a quasi-public transparency site. It includes an independent database of contracts and agency spending, though line item expenditures are unavailable. The project is sponsored by the state government. New York's recovery site provides links to other state and federal Web sites, outlines direct aid to New York and provides information about submitting proposals for eligible projects.
North Carolina North Carolina's Web site only has information about government grants; contracts and expenditures are not included. The recovery site includes stimulus news and will feature a tool for tracking spending on individual projects. Direct aid to North Carolina and a timeline for stimulus benchmarks are already available.
Ohio Ohio has no state transparency Web site, but signature state law to create one passed in December. Ohio's recovery site provides information about submitting proposals that are eligible for stimulus funding and background information about the bill.
Oklahoma Oklahoma's transparency site contains a searchable database of grants, agency budgets and expenses, and employee salaries. The recovery site explains how stimulus funds will be disbursed in the state and says it will report on specific projects that receive money and whether those funds are spent properly.
Oregon Oregon's recovery site links to information about the Gov. Ted Kulongoski's plan for implementing the stimulus bill and state legislation that approves certain transportation and infrastructure spending.
Pennsylvania The state government makes grants and contracts available in separate, searchable databases. Pennsylvania's stimulus site features an interactive map that allows residents to calculate the impact of the bill by county. The site says it will feature local projects in a similar format when they begin to break ground.
Rhode Island Rhode Island's online checkbook is updated weekly and lists line item expenses, but as yet, it doesn't include actual contracts and grants. The recovery site will feature project lists, and the public copies of reports the state is required to submit to the federal government.
South Carolina The state transparency Web site allows users to examine individual expenditures by agency or department. The site is easy to browse, but searching for specific information, like vendors or dates, is more difficult.
South Dakota South Dakota's transparency page includes a searchable contract database, and an expenditure database that can be browsed by department and agency.
Tennessee Tennessee's stimulus site aggregates state and federal agency recovery sites. There is little mention of online transparency efforts so far.
Texas The Texas transparency site is searchable by both contracts and vendors, and users can browse line item expenditures. It also comes with a handy glossary to help users decode expenditures like "capital outlays."
Vermont Vermont's stimulus site includes only the most general information about the recovery plan, such as links to the text of the bill, and to the federal stimulus site, www.recovery.gov. More information will follow, a press release says.
Virginia Virginia's Commonwealth Data Point compares budgeted expenses to actual expenses. Virginia is accepting proposals for stimulus funding at its recovery Web site.
Washington Washington's transparency site documents the total spending of each government department and aggregates it into broad, browsable categories. The recovery site will include notice of all contracts and supporting information, according to an executive order by the governor.
West Virginia Grants from the West Virginia government are posted in a searchable database, but contracts and line-item expenses are not available. The recovery site includes some general information and links to stimulus-related project lists and other documents provided by state agencies.
Wisconsin Wisconsin's recovery site pledges to give users details about goals, timelines and accomplishments as it becomes available. In the meantime, the site is accepting suggestions for projects.
Wyoming Wyoming's recovery site includes only the most general information about the stimulus plan and its impact on Wyoming, such as links to other organizations' analyses of the bill. The site says state employees have been detailed to determining the specific impact on Wyoming, and the residents can expect more information soon.
Federal The federal government's transparency Web site was created by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 to make contracting and spending information available to the public. In January, the Obama administration created recovery.gov to detail information about the stimulus plan. The site currently includes a brief timeline and background information about the plan. The site also promises to track stimulus spending (only at the federal level) when projects start.
©Copyright 2009 Pro Publica Inc.





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