Thursday, August 04, 2011

Which State Senator Posts His Expenses?

Earlier this week I posted a blog entry outlining which state representatives put their legislative expenses online. While many areas of governmental transparency are dependent on a group decision -- laws or regulations that need a majority of votes to be enacted, this is one that is solely up to the individual legislator. He or she decides what goes on his or her legislative website.

As before, I used a master list of state senators taken from the general assembly's website. To look at each senator's individual site I used the linked list of senators from the Democratic Senate site ( and the Republican Senate website ( The senatorial sites don't quite use the same type of uniform template that the state representatives do so it took me a little longer to get the hang of how they are arranged. On my first sweep through I didn't see that anyone had their expenses posted. Then near the end of the entire research process I found one senator who had the information on a second level menu, under "news room." To make sure I wasn't missing anything I went back and checked everyone's second level menus. Unfortunately, no one else had the information available that I could see. And, really, if you have to go below second level menus you might as well put the info in a basement cabinet somewhere -- no one is going to find it.

So, according to my findings, the only state senator to post his legislative expenses is (drum roll please):

Jeffrey E. Piccola (Rep), District 15

For the state reps, roughly 10% had their expenses online (20 of 203). The senate has a poorer showing. Of the 50 senators (20 Dems, 30 GOP) only the one made them available that I could see, that's about 2%. Like the state representatives, none of the leaders of either party led by example, or if they did the example they wanted to set was to keep the information out of the public eye.

If this is important to you, and you are not in Sen. Piccola's district, please make your feelings known to your state senator, and ask about it during campaign season.

This is just appalling.

[On a personal note, thanks to my neighbor for letting me tap into his wireless as my is still down.]

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