It looks like the stars may finally be aligning for improved transparency in New Mexico government. Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones is leading the charge by filming committee hearings in the House. Sen. Mark Boitano too has been a leader on the issue in his chamber where a majority of the body supports filming legislative floor sessions. Of course, as I point out in this op-ed, open government goes beyond filming legislative sessions.
There is an effort underway including legislation sponsored by a bi-partisan group of legislators (led by Sen. Kent Cravens) that would create a searchable, online database of government spending.
Similar legislation, which was championed by then Sen. Barack Obama in Congress, has resulted in the creation of a database of federal spending. Seventeen states have created similar databases with many other states now considering similar legislation.
Enabling average citizens to log on to their computers to find out where their money is going and to whom will not only enhance government transparency, it will allow each of us to become our own government spending watchdog, thus making sure that government is spending taxpayers’ money appropriately and effectively.