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Moves are being made in several quarters in our state government to ensure that the use of the funds provided our state by the federal recovery package will be transparent and accountable.

First of all, to make the injection of federal dollars more transparent to the public, State Auditor Susan Montee has set up a handy-dandy stimulus tracker on her website. Once the federal dollars start flowing into state coffers,  the tracker will update daily to reflect every dollar allocated by our state government. Campaign finance junkies who like to play “Follow the Money” might find a fix during the long months in between campaign finance reports.

Also, in a move that could aid Montee, the unlikely team of Senators Gary Nodler (R-Joplin) and Joan Bray (D-University City) have guided a bill through the Senate, SB 313, that would create two separate funds for federal stimulus dollars. The first is a “Federal Budget Stabilization Fund” for money intended to bolster the General Revenue, like unemployment benefits and Medicaid reimbursements. The other, the “Federal Stimulus Fund” is for any additional funds. The idea here is to make sure the legislature doesn’t reroute federal stimulus dollars for other purposes by putting it all in general revenue.

Interesting to see that both Nodler and Bray are termed in 2010. In any case, it’s nice to see state officials making an effort on behalf of transparency.