A national report released yesterday gives Pennsylvania good marks for providing information about how President Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan is being spent in the state. According to the study, released by the PA Public Interest Research Group (PennPIRG) and DC-based Good Jobs First, Pennsylvania's recovery website does a decent job of explaining to citizens where the money is going.
The study examined the quality and quantity of information available on the each state's website. Each state was given a rating between 1 and 100. Pennsylvania received a 62, tying with two other states for 13th place.
“The Recovery Act has prompted states to ratchet up transparency and show citizens where money goes,” said Megan DeSmedt, state director of PennPIRG. “Pennsylvania is leading the pack in some regards—for example, we’re one of only two states to have an online feed that provides continuous updates on specific projects. But we only ranked 13th, and there’s no reason that we can’t be number one.”
In addition to the live feed, Pennsylvania is the only state to provide expected outcomes of spending and tools for measuring progress. The state is also preparing to track minority business participation in the stimulus, and will be the only state to compile such information. Pennsylvania could improve in some areas, like posting full contracts for stimulus projects online.