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August 16, 2007

Speaker Appoints Two to Transparency Board
Rep. Kelley shares her legislation ideas at national conference

Topeka – Kansas Speaker of the House of Representatives Melvin Neufeld (R-Ingalls) announced today he has appointed Rep. Kasha Kelley (R-Arkansas City) and Alan Cobb, director of the Kansas chapter of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation (APF) to serve on the Kansas Public Finance Transparency Board, as required by House Bill 2368.

“Legislators during the last session expressed a strong desire to help Kansans understand how the state spends its tax dollars through the establishment of the Kansas Taxpayer Transparency Program,” Speaker Neufeld said. “I believe it is vitally important that government be as open as possible. This board will work with the Secretary of Administration to make sure Kansans have access to state agency expenditures through a searchable website.”

The Public Finance Transparency Board will advise the Secretary of Administration about the content for the website.

“Rep. Kelley has worked diligently in helping Kansans understand how agencies spend their money. She also has been committed to limiting government growth. She will represent the House position well,” Speaker Neufeld said.

Rep. Kelley said she will work to restore the trust Kansans have lost in their state’s ability to control spending.

“Kansans can only have more of a say in how their state government functions if they understand what is going on. Transparency to state spending is key to that understanding,” Rep. Kelley said.

Alan Cobb and AFP have lobbied the legislature to implement a state budget stabilization fund, reduce the tax burden on all Kansans and hold the line on new state spending.

“Alan Cobb and his organization have shown a strong commitment to a fiscally-responsible government. He is well-respected around the state and was recommended by a number of business leaders. I am confident he will represent Kansans well,” Speaker Neufeld said.

Cobb said he looks forward to working with fellow board members to help Kansans better understand their state’s spending.

“Transparency in government adds to the public’s trust of their government. Kansas is the first state to pass a transparency law and it is a privilege to be a part of this groundbreaking effort,” Cobb said. “I look forward to serving with an eye reflecting the citizen and the taxpayer.”

House Bill 2368, the 2007 Appropriations Bill, also:

  • Allocates $4.4 million for a new central computer system and allow the Department of Administration to begin development of a statewide financial management system, including software, hardware and consultant services;
  • Places in operation by March 1, 2008, a single, searchable website for free public access to state agency expenditures and revenues, bonded indebtedness, and other relevant information;
  • Insures that the Kansas Taxpayer Transparency Program would be developed and implemented concurrently with the development of the new statewide financial management system. -30-

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