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    Senate Democratic Caucus
    Indiana General Assembly
    200 W. Washington
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    (800) 382-9467
     

    Government Transparency

    Indiana Senate Democrats believe transparency and open communication are critical components of the democratic process. We continue to utilize new means of informing constituents about the legislative process, how to connect and engage with state government, and how new laws can affect us and our communities.

    Keeping constituents informed and advocating for a clear and open government is of the utmost importance to Indiana Senate Democrats.

    In 2010, Senate Democrats rolled out their "OpenGov" legislative package to improve public access to state government information. OpenGov is about improving government efficiency, keeping citizens informed through increased transparency and tracking how taxpayer dollars are spent.

    2012 Open Government Proposals:

    Stopping "Pay to Play": Public contracts should be awarded based on qualifications, not contributions. (SB 266

    • Requiring stricter regulations to ensure that campaign donations don't sway decision making in state and local public works contracts
    • Requiring donors to state and local campaigns to register in public databases

    Campaign finance reform: The influence of money in political campaigns at every level, and how that money affects policies after the election, is gaining increasing attention. (SR 8)

    • Launching a two-year legislative study of how other states control campaign finances to limit the influence of big money in election outcomes
    • Using study results as a model for Indiana's campaign finance laws

    One-stop online public access to track taxpayer dollars in state budgets, spending and contracts: As a continuation of the Senate Democrats' effort that helped result in the Transparency.IN.gov state website, the caucus will push in 2012 for more access to information on:

    • Businesses that fail to meet their incentive agreement for job creation and how the state is reclaiming lost tax dollars from those businesses (SB 163)
    • Reports comparing state program-level budgets to actual expenses and how those cuts are impacting program performance and service (SB 349)
    • An opportunity for citizens to track and comment on administrative rules that are being proposed or reviewed by the state's agencies and offices (SB 349)

    Corporate accountability for economic incentives: Businesses that receive taxpayer-funded incentives for job creation should be held to their end of the deal. (SB 163)

    • Requiring the recapture of funds from businesses that receive state incentives but fail to make the level of capital investment, create the number of jobs, or pay less than the wages specified in the agreement
    • Making economic incentives subject to disclosure under the state's Open Records Act and published on the Transparency.IN.gov website

    Read more about Senate Democrats' work to increase government transparency >