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19 January 2012

Nance: Bill Increases Transparency In Local Governments

“It ain't over till it's over.” Yogi Berra

The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a pair of newly redrawn state Senate district maps and sent the new congressional map back to a judge for review. This may have an impact on several areas of the state including Ray County which was placed in the fifth congressional district (currently held by Congressman Cleaver of Kansas City). I will keep you posted.

I couldn’t attend the State of the State address on Tuesday. Our Governor applauded our everyday heroes in the state and included Bob and Kay Vandiver with family members who were honored as he spoke of the importance of agriculture in our state.

He also highlighted the legislation that I was proud to co-sponsor that will bring $1.1 billion in investment and 1600 new jobs to Claycomo, as well as General Motors investment in Wentzville. Missouri’s Triple A credit rating along with the U.S. Chamber ranking Missouri in the top ten business environment because of low taxes and fiscal discipline are important for attracting new businesses. Governor Nixon touted an agreement to sell $4.6 billion in goods from businesses and agriculture leaders in Missouri to China.

The General Assembly has a lot to accomplish this session.The Committee on Downsizing State Government passed HB 1140 as part of the House’s Blueprint for Missouri plan that pledges to protect Missouri taxpayers. The bill provides transparency in government by improving public access to financial information about counties and school districts.

HB 1140 allows residents to track their local tax dollars by requiring counties and schools to submit information regarding their debts and holdings to the Office of Administration. This information is then posted on the Missouri Accountability Portal, a one stop shop for information on state spending.

Taxpayers are not the only ones who can use this valuable resource. Counties and schools can use the information posted to the portal to analyze their current situation. A central database would serve as an assessment tool, allowing counties and schools to compare their progress throughout the year with other counties and schools.

Through the sharing of information, we can assist each other by improved efficiency and having better informed citizens.

In the District

Representative Jerry Nolte and I will tour the local levies with Tom Waters this afternoon.

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