Lafayette Parish School Board Joins Louisiana Checkbook Coalition
Louisiana Checkbook: Lafayette Parish School Board joins growing statewide coalition calling for creation of Louisiana Checkbook transparency website
New good government tool would open the books of state and local government spending in Louisiana
NEW ORLEANS (Feb. 8, 2018) – Today the Louisiana Checkbook coalition is pleased to welcome the Lafayette Parish School Board as the first governmental entity to join its ranks. Last night, the Board decided – by a unanimous vote – to endorse the creation of LouisianaCheckbook.com. Further, the Board resolution passed last night calls on every other school board across Louisiana to join Lafayette Parish in opening up their books on Louisiana Checkbook. VIEW THE RESOLUTION HERE
“I hope the Checkbook will be a useful tool, not only for citizens wanting to know how their tax dollars are being put to use,” said School Board Member Justin Centanni, “but also for policymakers at all levels of government whose fiscal decisions must be based on facts, not rhetoric. Making our government spending available online will lead to more sound budgetary decisions and, more importantly, to a more informed public. Truth generates trust, and math doesn’t lie.”
“The Lafayette Parish School Board’s vote last night is what every public entity in Louisiana should do: agree to make every taxpayer dollar spent fully transparent and open for inspection,” said Pelican Institute CEO Daniel Erspamer. “Citizens and taxpayers deserve this level of access and accountability, and we hope local government entities will soon follow suit. Citizens of Lafayette Parish should cheer this news, and we congratulate the school board on their bold action.”
If adopted, Louisiana Checkbook will be a searchable transparency website that allows citizens to track and investigate spending by the state, local governments, school districts, pension systems, and other entities. This model has been implemented successfully in Ohio, with their pioneering “Ohio Checkbook” website.
The coalition believes that Louisiana government – at all levels – should be more open and transparent. Citizens need easy access to information on how their tax dollars are being spent so they can be fully engaged in understanding proposed policy and budget changes, and that’s why a diverse group of state leaders have come together to support its implementation.
What the Louisiana Checkbook will do:
- Inform and educate Louisianans by providing a user-friendly interface to access information on how public funds are spent.
- Expand on existing government transparency to provide spending data on every tax dollar spent in Louisiana, at all levels of government, all in one place.
- Display data and trends on state and local government spending, public pensions, debt obligations, public salaries, and government contracts.