Report: States Are Making More Effective Use of Web to Inform Taxpayers About Stimulus Spending

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Some states are making dramatic improvements in their Recovery Act websites but others are still failing to make effective use of online technology to educate taxpayers about the impact of the stimulus.

So finds Good Jobs First in Show Us the Stimulus (Again), a report released today which updates GJF's July findings; text plus state appendices at: www.goodjobsfirst.org/stimulusweb.cfm.

"Some states are striving to deliver on President Obama's promise that the Recovery Act would bring unprecedented transparency and accountability," said Good Jobs First executive director Greg LeRoy. "Led by Maryland, which again receives our highest score, these states' Recovery Act websites help taxpayers understand and evaluate how the Recovery Act benefits their state."

On a scale of 0 to 100, the study rates the disclosure on more than $200 billion in ARRA funds flowing through state governments to communities, organizations and individuals. It grades information on programs and on specific grants and contracts, with special emphasis on jobs data and the geographic distribution of spending.  

"Cinderella states such as Kentucky and Illinois swept from the bottom in our previous assessment to the top tier in our new ranking," said Philip Mattera, GJF's research director and principal author of both reports. "Many others have improved their sites and are effectively incorporating the data states transmit to the federal Recovery.gov website. The state sites and Recovery.gov are both vital to public understanding of the Recovery Act's performance."

Top-rated states are: Maryland (87), Kentucky (85), Connecticut (80), Colorado (72), Minnesota (72), Wisconsin (72), California (69), Illinois (69), Oregon (67), Massachusetts (65), Georgia (64), West Virginia (64), New Mexico (62), New York (62), Pennsylvania (62), Montana (61) and Arkansas (60).

Worst-rated, from the bottom, are: North Dakota (5), District of Columbia (6), Missouri (10), Alaska (13), Vermont (13), Louisiana (16), Mississippi (17), Idaho (18), Oklahoma (18), Texas (18) and South Carolina (19).

The biggest Cinderella stories are Kentucky, which soared from 47th place to 2nd; Illinois (50th to 7th); Minnesota (34th to 4th); and Utah (50th to 24th).

The study includes state-specific scoring sheets and recommendations for improvement based on best practices. Good Jobs First is a non-profit, non-partisan research center based in Washington, DC.

CONTACT: Michelle Lee, +1-202-232-1616, x 210

SOURCE Good Jobs First



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