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Ohio Spending Site Earns Group’s Highest Transparency Mark

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Ohio has moved from close to the worst in the nation to the top of a list in a watchdog group’s ranking of transparency in government spending.

An annual U.S. Public Interest Research Group report released Wednesday credited Ohio’s 1st-place ranking to an online checkbook developed and launched last year by Treasurer Josh Mandel. The website, OhioCheckbook.com, features interactive, Google-style searches of more than $408 billion in state spending from 2008 to 2014.

Mandel, a former U.S. Senate candidate, aimed to top U.S. PIRG’s list with his effort. He asked his staff to make a site better than those of states that topped the group’s report last year, when Ohio received a D-minus and scored 46th.

Some watchdog groups remain critical of transparency in other areas of Ohio state government.