State finances go online

December 16, 2011
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What is the state spending on your street and on local leaders’ salaries? A new website called the “Massachusetts Open Checkbook” reveals all the details of state spending.

The site, run by the state, includes searchable spending information by departments, vendors and various categories. It also includes the state payroll and pensions.

The site may include even more information next year if local state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz has her way. She is co-sponsoring a bill that would put state tax-credit deals on the site, as well as information that shows what the state got out of the deal. She called tax credits a “shadow budget” known to few people.

“I’m thrilled with the information that’s up there now,” Chang-Díaz said. “I hope everyone will visit and poke around on there.”

The website was created by the state legislature and Gov. Deval Patrick as part of government reform. It is available at mass.gov/opencheckbook.

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