Victory for Transparency in the Sooner State!

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Earlier this month, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry (D) signed into law the "Taxpayer Transparency Act" which directs the Office of State Finance to "build a web site detailing virtually all expenditures of state funds, including state contracts and tax credits and incentive payments given to businesses." The proposal received widespread bipartisan praise. According to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, 72 percent of Oklahomans support the creation of the website. Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has advocated for a similar website to monitor federal spending. The State Chamber of Commerce opposed this bill saying that the legislation, "will shine an unwanted light on those who invest in Oklahoma, and it will make it much more difficult to attract those investors." Undoubtedly the website will be a helpful tool for legislators, the public, and the media. Mark Thomas from the Oklahoma Press Association says this about letting the sunshine in on government spending: "If you want the people of Oklahoma to give you a tax break, go ahead and ask us, but don't expect us to keep it a secret."

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