News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

The Holden Arboretum

Hennes Paynter Communications


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


Ohio Democrats and Republicans introduce transparency bills
Both political parties say theywant to improve government transparency, but differ on what they want to be transparent about
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Rep. Mike Duffey, co-sponsor of the DateOhio Initiative, says he thinks information about budgets, staffing and public employees salaries will be popular to the public.
Courtesy of Ohio House of Representatives
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Lawmakers in the Ohio House from both political parties have introduced bills that they say will improve government transparency. But as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, that word “transparency” is being used by each side in different ways.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:06)


Two House Republicans have introduced a four-bill package called the DataOhio Initiative, which they say will increase transparency for local governments by making it easier for Ohioans to get data online. The bills sponsored by Rep. Mike Duffey of Worthington, near Columbus, and Rep. Christina Hagan of Stark County would require certain standards defining public data and how it can be accessed. The package also would provide grants to local governments as an incentive to set up online databanks.

Duffey says the bills don’t spell out exactly what kind of data should be put online, but he thinks information about budgets, staffing and public employee salaries will be popular. 

“What will rise to the surface and what will get the most amount of attention is what people really want. And that’s the way we want the process to work, right? We want journalists and people, citizens, to come into their local government or to a state agency – goose and gander," Duffey says. And he says that should apply equally to the state.

But is the state going the other way?
That idea of government transparency has been talked about for months by House Democrats – mostly as it relates to Gov. John Kasich’s public-private partnership JobsOhio. The so-called JobsOhio Accountability Act, which would institute public oversight of the entity, was introduced in May and has yet to get a hearing. It’s sponsored by Democratic Rep. John Carney of Columbus. 

“I think we can all agree – transparency in government is a good thing. That’s why I’m a bit perplexed why they would close the books of state government and JobsOhio at the same time when they’re saying, ‘We really need greater transparency in government’.”

While both Republicans and Democrats are using the word “transparency," they seem to using it in different ways. Duffey says that the four Republican bills make no changes in public records law, which he notes has lots of exceptions and areas that are off-limits. They include the home addresses of police officers. And he says public agencies have rules that don’t apply to JobsOhio. 

Pushing the locals while exempting the state
“I’ve always said about JobsOhio, if it’s not related to job creation – meaning disclosure wouldn’t hurt job creation – it should be disclosed. And at the end of the day, JobsOhio is a non-profit organization. I think a lot of people are asking it to be more transparent than other non-profits.”

But Carney says Republicans seem to focus on local governments while keeping state books shut. 

“I think that where the definition seems to change, unfortunately, is with my colleagues in the Republican Party ... who seem to think, ‘Trust us when it comes to what we’re doing, but we’re distrustful of what others are doing.'” 

Democrats also say they think government transparency can be improved by listing corporate tax credits on-line, by changing the way the Inspector General is appointed, by redrawing legislative district lines in a bipartisan way, and by broadcasting committee meetings. A bill on that last idea has been proposed, but has yet to be referred to a committee.
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio becomes first in the nation to dump PARCC testing
Best test to use for elementary schools is the old pre common core Iowa test of basic skills. This test measures apples to apples and tests the skills appropri...

Ohio is moving forward with new standardized tests
Mr Chow, Nice piece on testing. Should not Ohio go to an open bid process for the new assessment contract? Ohio has stayed with a "connected" DC non-profit fo...

The Surpreme Court gay-marriage decision plays out in Ohio Amish country
Keep in mind that the majority of the people residing in Holmes County are Amish, a church people who do not vote because they do not believe in governmental ru...

Akron council committee recommends Forney for its opening
Which committee member voted for Wilhite?

Nearly a dozen Cuyahoga gay couples get licenses to marry after the Supreme Court ruling
Presiding Judge Anthony J. Russo a graduate of Chanel High School and supposed member of St. Francis Parish in Gates Mills has just excommunicated himself. As ...

Canton Youth Symphony is named orchestra of the year
This is what makes CSO the hippest small town orchestra in America!

What can be expected if Ohio's tobacco taxes increase?
let's face it! The increase has little to do with smoking cessation

Rare Cleveland Indians photo from 1911 hits the auction block
Paddy Livingston, who cut his teeth on a Louisville Slugger in Kent, Ohio was one of the immortals that played in that game. He was the catcher. Ty Cobb actuall...

Nexus denies Green's request to relocate its planned gas pipeline
These people have so much power. Too much. They could care less about the people they leave when it is done. Spectra does not, and admits, they do not do the...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University