A new website will allow anyone, at any time, to track money spent by the state government – from employee salaries, to contracts with private companies, to activity-specific costs for one agency's department.
The website, TransparencyMN, features sortable money data, based on just about anything you want – from what it was used for, to who it went to, to how much somebody is getting paid.
And you can get pretty specific, searching for exact programs in certain agencies, and which activity the money went to.
So for example, want to know how much the Pollution Control Agency spent on Admin Support for the Clean Water Fund in 2014? $67,729.
Or, guess how much a Minnesota State Lottery sales representatives earned last year? Nearly $60,000.
And did you know, from 2012-2015, the state paid 3M $696,955 for traffic control materials and reflective sheeting?
All of this data is now available on the one website.
“Minnesotans expect and deserve this level of transparency and accountability in government,” said Gov. Mark Dayton, according to Hometown Source. “This new online tool will provide Minnesotans 24-hour access to the information they need to understand how their tax dollars are being spent.”
Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said the site “will allow citizens, the media, and legislators more access to information about how state dollars are spent.”
Minnesota isn't the only state doing this (check out Wisconsin's recently launched Open Book website, for example), but it is a more customizable option compared to the states that still offer .pdf or spreadsheet files – which require a user to sift through tons of information, rather than cutting to exactly what they want.