“A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” — former U.S. President James Madison, 1822
According to dictionary.com, transparency in the frame of reference of James Madison would probably mean:
- easily seen through, recognized, or detected: transparent excuses from government insiders who don't want you snooping around in their sandpiles.
- open; frank; candid: enabling all Kentuckians to clearly see how Frankfort and local governments are spending their tax dollars.
This section of FreedomKentucky.org intends to shine a disinfecting light on how governments are spending your money.
Transparency Efforts in Kentucky
The Kentucky Legislative Research Commission unveiled a database containing the salaries and reimbursements for all legislators and staff - both part time and full time. This represented a great step forward in the financial transparency of Kentucky government. Visit that database here
In the summer of 2009, The Bluegrass Institute began collecting financial data from school districts, cities, and state agencies in an attempt to create transparency. You can view the results of this effort here. This database provides a list of sortable check book registers so that citizens can see how their money is being spent.
Currently there is a movement to put Kentucky's expenditures online. Governor Steve Beshear established an "E-Transparency" task force in order to study the procedure and effects of making the state's check book register available online. This 14-person task force is supposed to establish Kentucky's Open Door by January 2009. This will be a website providing all the information about Kentucky's expenditures that is permitted by law.  States that are serving as models for Kentucky's initiative are:
The task force is headed by Secretary of the Finance and Administration cabinet, Jonathan Miller.
Bills prefiled December 15, 2009 in the Senate and House by Sen. Damon Thayer, R- Georgetown, and Rep. Jim DeCesare, R- Rockfield, would create the “Transparency Act of 2010,” which would place the state’s checkbook ledger online.
Senate Bill 40 and House Bill 128 would require beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, records of expenditures by all three branches of government to be placed online within 30 days. Information already part of the state electronic accounting systems, such as the Enhanced Management Administrative Reporting System, would have to be updated weekly.
County Fiscal Courts
- Legislative Branch Expenditure database
- FreedomKentucky Spending Transparency Site
- Fayette Property Value Administrator
- Kentucky State Constitution
- E-Transparecy website
- Kentucky Finance Cabinet - E-Transparencyaccessed September 11, 2008