Ever since Steve Watson had his first job at age 16 picking
asparagus, he's paid his taxes. And he's always wanted to ensure the
government spends his money wisely.
So naturally, when the 53-year-old heard that President Barack
Obama pledged a new era of transparency with his 3-week-old $787
billion stimulus package, Watson was glad he could log online and check
how every dollar was spent.
Salem, OR — Amidst renewed calls from the Obama administration
for accountability from private contractors on the federal level, the
Oregon State House of Representatives is considering a bill that would
far outstrip the contractor accountability provisions maintained by any
state governments to date.
This Monday at 8am, leading transparency experts from the national
Coalition for an Accountable Recovery (CAR) will testified before the
Oregon House Business and Labor Committee in support of the bill, HB
2037, which would require private contractors in Oregon to disclose the
number of employees and the wages, they pay. This is especially
important with the federal government requiring transparency on jobs
created through the $6.48 billion in federal funds set aside for Oregon
under the recovery plan.
ProPublica has created a new site, Eye on the Stimulus, to
track developments in the recovery package around the country. The
organization is also working with the morning news program The
Takeaway and WNYC in creating Shovel Watch, a project to combine investigative reporting and public comments to help monitor recovery money from "bills to building."
A broad coalition of groups have signed onto these Principles for State Implementation of ARRA,
which emphasize directing funds to benefit those hurt most by the
recession and assuring that funds are spent in an open and accountable