« Ind. Decisions - Transfer list for week ending September 4, 2015 | Main | Law - "Two notable new papers about plea bargaining procedures and practices" »

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - Arguments that local budgets should be published in newspapers continue

KPCNews of Kendallville (here via Indiana Economic Digest) has an ediotiral that begins:

The past few weeks, you have probably noticed stories about the budgets being drafted by local school districts, cities and towns and your county government.

As is the case with news stories, our reporters write about the highlights of these budgets, such as raises for personnel, key capital projects and tax rates.

Historically, citizens have been able to drill down into the nuts and bolts of budgets through public notice advertising that has appeared in this newspaper and others across Indiana. This allowed you to scrutinize every penny that was proposed to be spent.

Until this year.

That’s because the Legislature, under the advice of the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance that oversees the budget process, changed state law in 2014 requiring that budgets be published as legal notices in newspapers. Instead, the budgets now must be posted on a website that’s run by state government called Indiana Gateway for Government Units (not exactly a household name like Google or Yahoo).

Later in the article, this caught the ILB's eye:
[T]raffic on the Gateway website, for the last half of 2014, reportedly was 4,633 unique visitors. We would guess that much of that traffic is from representatives of local government who are checking information about their budgets. By comparison, daily readership of KPC Media Group newspapers is about five times that amount on a daily basis. And that’s chiefly just for four counties, not 92.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 8, 2015 10:30 AM
Posted to Indiana Government