State's checkbook online

Technology has made it a lot easier for all of us to keep up with our finances, like credit and checking accounts.  Soon, you can keep up with how the state government is spending your tax dollars.

Governor Bob Riley signed an executive order that puts the state's checkbook online.  Taypayers will be able to see where every dime of state money goes.  The website will detail all spending, grants and contracts.  It will also include the amount spent, the date of the transaction and who spent the money.  "It's important to know where those dollars the government took out of my check are going, " says resident Chanda Crawford.

Taxpayers we spoke with believe it's a step in the right direction, but those who don't have internet access, would like to see the government take it a step further.  "Put it in the newspaper or on the news", says resident Nelson Pounds.  Taxpayers hope it will make government more accountable and in turn earn the public's trust.  "It's very important that the people know what's going on," says Crawford.

The executive order states the website must be online no later than March 1, 2009 with information on spending from fiscal year 2008 and with monthly reports of expenditures incurred in 2009.  Software that makes the database searchable must be in place by September 1st.