transparency budget proviso passes

update: anderson independent’s coverage saturday, april 19th
For Immediate Release
April 16, 2008

Senator Bryant Gains Approval for Online Register
State would withhold general operating funding to noncompliant counties.

Columbia, SC – As part of the ongoing Senate budget debate Senator Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson) today proposed a proviso to the budget that would withhold general operating funding the state returns to county governments for one year unless the county maintains an online, searchable, register of expenses that includes all checks over $100 and county credit card statements. The Senate voted to adopt the proviso to the General Appropriations Bill.
“Finally the taxpayer will have easy access to see how his or her hard earn taxpayer money is being spent,” says Senator Bryant.
The amendment requires the register be updated once a month and include the amount of the expenditure, name of the payee, and an explanation on the purpose of the expenditure. The register will not include salaries or information that can identify individual employees. The monthly additions to the register must be maintained online for at least one-year.
Today’s action is similar to the Truth in Spending Act (S.1144) Senator Bryant co-sponsored earlier this year, although the proviso would only be enacted for fiscal year 2008-2009. The State Comptroller General, Richard Eckstrom, is currently maintaining similar state agency registers for little or no additional cost. The comptroller’s office has offered its assistance to local governments to help them fulfill this requirement. Sen. Bryant may be reached on his cell phone for additional comments at 864.202.8394.
Douglas Ford
Majority Communications Director
South Carolina Senate
803.212.6295 – office