A new study released earlier this week evaluated each of the 50 U.S. states on their spending transparency. This year marks the first time all 50 states provided some form of checkbook-level information on state spending online.
The “Following the Money 2013” study, released by independent research and education organization U.S. PIRG Education Fund, was the fourth annual study which awarded states letter grades ranging from “A” to “F”.
States that earned “A” grades are Texas, Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Oklahoma, while Wyoming, Wisconsin, Hawaii, California and North Dakota earned “F” grades. According to U.S. PIRG, states with “F” grades had websites that are “limited in scope, lack comprehensiveness and are difficult to navigate.”
According to the organization, three years ago, only 32 states provided checkbook-level information online. Thirty-nine state transparency websites now include reports about government spending through tax-code deductions, exemptions and credits – a significant increase from just eight states three years ago.