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Chart: Tracking States’ Spending Sites

Tracking States' Spending Sites

by Christopher Weaver, Jennifer LaFleur and Sabrina Shankman, ProPublica - March 5, 2009 3:15 pm EDT

Sept. 28: This chart has been updated.

The states are promising transparency on stimulus spending. Here is a list of what sites are actually doing.

Some states, not all of which have special "recovery" homepages yet, are old hands at open government 2.0. We've included links to states' general transparency sites, many of which have details on contracts and expenditures.

We’ll keep the list updated as more states take the pledge. Also, we're considering adding a scoring system. (Think: "And for accountability and décor Missouri nails a 9.8!") Feel free to send us your suggestions.

This chart and other stories are part of Eye on the Stimulus, our blog dedicated to tracking the stimulus from bill to building.

State What the States Are Offering Web Sites Project Lists
AlabamaAlabama's recovery site has information about the stimulus package and how it will affect the state. It also consolidates a list of Web sites for federal agencies that will implement provisions of the bill, including how much money each will receive.
AlaskaAlaska’s Checkbook Online offers downloadable spreadsheets of expenditures but does not include contracts. The stimulus site contains fairly extensive lists of approved and recommended projects.
Arizona 
ArkansasThe Arkansas recovery site lists stimulus projects and operations by state agency. The entries, so far, include significant detail, such as the contact person who is assigned to each program. Users can also choose to enter their e-mail address and receive updates specific to programs they are interested in. 
CaliforniaCalifornia's stimulus site describes the governor's quarterly reporting obligations to Washington but doesn't offer any additional accountability resources or plans to implement them. Links to state and federal agencies and funding breakdowns by category are available, but there is no information about specific projects.
ColoradoIn July, Colorado's stimulus site was ranked second, behind Maryland, in best stimulus reporting by watchdog group Good Jobs First. But specific project information and county breakdowns can still be tricky to find. A PDF called "What it Means for Colorado" gives specifics on projects.
ConnecticutConnecticut's stimulus site is easy to navigate, with links to contracst, bids and project status updates. Under the "Accountability" link, there are PDFs of grants, as well as spreadsheets for each department's funding and projects.
DelawareDelaware's recovery page features some simple charts showing the distribution of stimulus funding in the state. News from officials about the stimulus is also aggregated on the page. 
Washington, D.C.While the District doesn’t yet have an expenditures database or dedicated transparency Web site, contracts are published online as PDFs. The Washington recovery page describes in detail projects that have already been awarded and a few that city officials expect will receive funding soon. However, the spending transparency page appears to be organized as a list of bullet points, not a searchable database. 
FloridaFlorida's late-blooming recovery site offers a lot of downloadable documents against a soft, blue background, but the governor's office appears to have no tangible plans for comprehensive or interactive tracking of expenditures. 
Georgia"Open Georgia" makes available information about professional services hired by the state and employee salaries, as well as documents describing the state budget available in easily searchable databases, though other types of expenditures are not included. Georgia's recovery site includes phone numbers for state agencies but little else at this point. 
HawaiiThe "HI-Way to Economic Recovery" breaks stimulus projects down by categories, like "Clean Energy" and "Human Services." Some of these provide clear, user-friendly lists of different initiatives, while others spell out Hawaii’s planned projects. Some transportation projects are even mapped out, though the maps aren’t interactive. 
IdahoBy executive order, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has required all state agencies to notify him directly of requests for stimulus funding or of funds received. Those individual requests, signed by agency officials, can be downloaded from the state’s stimulus Web site, but no consolidated list of approved or recommended projects is available. 
IllinoisThe Illinois comptroller offers separate databases for contracts and expenditures. Both are searchable, but finding records without basic information about specific vendors may be difficult. As of now, the Illinois stimulus Web site allows users to "suggest" projects, and will provide other information for residents and contractors.
IndianaThe Indiana Office of Administration allows searches of contracts and grants. The recovery Web site includes information on highway and water infrastructure.
IowaThe recovery site launched with general information about the stimulus package, by issue, and a nifty graphic displaying Iowa’s funding in different categories. The site promises an upcoming dashboard that will help Iowans track the spending. 
KansasKanView breaks down revenues and expenses by vendor, object, program and other categories. It also has documents on contracts and grants. However, the portal shows expenses as aggregates, not line items. The Kansas stimulus site directs residents to resources for individuals and businesses.
KentuckyKentucky’s transparency triumvirate includes an online checkbook provided by the secretary of state, a database of contracts and grants from the state’s treasurer, and yet another searchable tool for cabinet and agency spending by the governor’s office. The recovery site is no match for the general tools at this point, but it offers a nifty graphic that shows breakdowns of Kentucky's stimulus dollars. 
LouisianaA preliminary transparency site lists the budgets of the state’s departments and agencies, but no line item, contract or grant information is available. Two state agencies began reporting more detailed data in February, and state universities began on March 3. Louisiana’s late-arriving recovery site includes two impressive features: an extremely simple flow chart that shows how stimulus funding passes from the Treasury to folks who actually spend the money, and a detailed timeline of the state’s stimulus-related responsibilities.  
MaineMaine has no transparency site, but now offers a recovery page that contains press releases and other communications about how the bill will affect Maine, as well as links to the PDF of the bill and project lists produced by certain agencies. 
MarylandMaryland has a searchable database of contracts with vendors who receive more than $25,000 a year. The recovery site includes an interactive map that will plot projects.
MassachusettsMassachusetts has no transparency site, but the recovery site offers project lists and will post reports from various task forces established by the governor to oversee stimulus spending. An interactive Google map allows you to search Department of Transportation projects, and a tool on the state's procurement page allows you to search contracts by department or category.
MichiganMichigan has no online databases for spending or contracts. However, state legislators have introduced a bill that would create a transparency site, and the state has also promised to report which projects will be funded by stimulus dollars. Michigan's recovery site will also document projects that have been approved for funding. 
MinnesotaMinnesota’s Management and Budget department has posted cursory links and information about the stimulus. However, their still-incomplete, 179-page "summary" of the stimulus impact in the state includes some good details about specific grants and projects, and some insight into the state government’s thinking and process about the package.
MississippiThe state has a general site that includes a searchable database for contracts, line item expenditures, agency budgets and government employee salaries. Mississippi also has a recovery site, but it's populated mainly by press releases and some background information on the stimulus bill. 
MissouriThe Missouri Accountability portal provides comprehensive documentation of grants, contracts, budgets and state employee salaries. All line item expenditures are accounted for, even for minimal expenses. Missouri's recovery site lists stimulus funds received by the state, with fields for the date of deposit, the funds' intended purpose, the amount and how the dollars have been spent.
MontanaMontana's recovery site includes a comprehensive list of priority projects for state agencies, as well as information about direct aid to Montanans. The state has no ongoing transparency page.
NebraskaNebraska's recovery site includes very general information about how stimulus dollars will be spent in the state. The site offers press releases from the governor's office and promises to keep residents abreast of any changes to the state's tax code that might be sparked by provisions in the stimulus bill. 
NevadaNevada's Open Government Web site allows users to compare budgeted spending to actual spending. Click through expenditures to view line-item spending. The site was created by executive order in March 2008, with the intention of posting all information collected by the comptroller, treasurer, legislature and administrative courts on state financing. Nevada's recovery site is up too. A simple pie-chart showing the division of ARRA funds provides easy access to program information by category.
New HampshireNew Hampshire's recovery site includes basic information about the stimulus package, such as links to the congressional bill that created it and state certifications to accept the money. There are also links to the state's Departments of Transportation and Environmental Services, which have published proposed project lists.
New JerseyThe New Jersey recovery site includes detailed explanations about how stimulus spending will be allocated in New Jersey, an extensive list of competitive grants that will be made available by the plan, and says it will include documentation of spending when projects begin.
New MexicoNew Mexico's recovery site includes links to other economic stimulus-related pages -- mostly federal -- as well as a few news items. There is a page for submitting project proposals, but no portal to transparency information, such as spending or contracting data.
New YorkNew York's Office of the Comptroller has funded a quasi-public transparency site. It includes an independent database of contracts and agency spending, though line item expenditures are unavailable. The project is sponsored by the state government. New York’s recovery site provides links to other state and federal Web sites, outlines direct aid to New York and provides information about submitting proposals for eligible projects.
North CarolinaNorth Carolina's Web site has information about government grants and contracts. The public can search by company name. The recovery site includes stimulus news and will feature a tool for tracking spending on individual projects. Direct aid to North Carolina and a timeline for stimulus benchmarks are already available.
OhioOhio has no state transparency Web site, but signature state law to create one passed in December. Ohio’s recovery site provides information about submitting proposals that are eligible for stimulus funding and background information about the bill.
OklahomaOklahoma's transparency site contains a searchable database of grants, agency budgets and expenses, and employee salaries. The recovery site explains how stimulus funds will be disbursed in the state and says it will report on specific projects that receive money and whether those funds are spent properly.
OregonOregon's recovery site links to information about the Gov. Ted Kulongoski's plan for implementing the stimulus bill and state legislation that approves certain transportation and infrastructure spending.
PennsylvaniaThe state government makes grants and contracts available in separate, searchable databases. Pennsylvania's stimulus site features an interactive map that allows residents to calculate the impact of the bill by county. The site says it will feature local projects in a similar format when they begin to break ground.
Rhode IslandRhode Island's online checkbook is updated weekly and lists line item expenses, but as yet, it doesn't include actual contracts and grants. The recovery site will feature project lists, and the public copies of reports the state is required to submit to the federal government.
South CarolinaThe state transparency Web site allows users to examine individual expenditures by agency or department. The site is easy to browse, but searching for specific information, like vendors or dates, is more difficult. South Carolina's stimulus site provides overview information for recovery spending in South Carolina as well as information about recovery task force meetings. 
South DakotaSouth Dakota's transparency page, "Open SD," includes a searchable contract database, and an expenditure database that can be browsed by department and agency, though the level of detail only goes down to aggregates of spending types, like "contractual services." South Dakota also has a bare-bones recovery site that directs readers back to the transparency site, which separates out stimulus spending.  
TennesseeTennessee's stimulus site aggregates state and federal agency recovery sites. There is little mention of online transparency efforts so far.
TexasThe Texas transparency site is searchable by both contracts and vendors, and users can browse line item expenditures. It also comes with a handy glossary to help users decode expenditures like "capital outlays."
UtahUtah's newly relaunched stimulus site features a nifty map -- complete with pie charts and graphics -- that lets you see where the money is going and how it is being spent. There's no way to look at contracts, however, and some of the projects details are yet to be filled in. You can find at bit more detail on their transparency site. 
VermontVermont's stimulus site offers basic program information. A "Where is Your Money Going" link on the homepage connects to a spreadsheet that breaks down projects by area. The non-profits Public Assets Institute and Ethan Allen Institute operate a handy site, Vermont Transparency (Note: we mistakenly wrote earlier that the site is operated by the state itself).
VirginiaVirginia's Commonwealth Data Point compares budgeted expenses to actual expenses. Virginia is accepting proposals for stimulus funding at its recovery Web site.
WashingtonWashington's transparency site documents the total spending of each government department and aggregates it into broad, browsable categories. The recovery site will include notice of all contracts and supporting information, according to an executive order by the governor.
West VirginiaGrants from the West Virginia government are posted in a searchable database, but contracts and line-item expenses are not available. The recovery site includes some general information and links to stimulus-related project lists and other documents provided by state agencies.
WisconsinWisconsin's recovery site pledges to give users details about goals, timelines and accomplishments as it becomes available. In the meantime, the site is accepting suggestions for projects. 
WyomingWyoming’s recovery site has a link for "Wyoming ARRA Funding Summary" which takes you to a spreadsheet that breaks down projects by agency, description, funding amount and status. There's no link for contracts. 
FederalThe federal government created usaspending.gov in 2006 to make contracting and spending information available. In January, the Obama administration created recovery.gov to detail information about the stimulus plan. The site currently includes a brief timeline and background information about the plan. The site also promises to track stimulus spending (only at the federal level) when projects start. Federal contracts are available at fbo.gov. Go to the "advanced search" section, and, at the bottom of that screen, check the "yes" box underneath "Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action." The search will list contracts funded by the stimulus.